Dancing to Elvis
By Laura McHale Holland
Jim burst through the door yesterday afternoon after running errands and called, “Laura, Laura, you have to hear these two Elvis songs I just listened to! I’d forgotten how great he was.” I was at work, but, hey, when does that sort of thing stop one spouse from interrupting the other?
I left my office and joined him in the family room. He put on Elvis 30 #1 Hits, and Suspicious Minds blasted into the room.
“You could dance,” he said. “You’ve been sitting all day.”
“True,” I said, feeling guilty that I hadn’t even walked the dogs at lunchtime. I was grateful he was spurring me to get energized.
Every so often Jim plays DJ for me, and I gyrate freeform around the room like people did in the 1960s. Sometimes he just plays a couple songs, but other times, he plays tunes for an hour. I dance. He sways to the music and sings along during his favorite parts while he looks through his CD collection to see what he’ll put on next. It reminds me of long-ago days when guys I knew would make cassette tapes for their girlfriends, except there’s no recording when Jim selects songs, and he never picks the same ones. This was the first time he’d played Suspicious Minds for me.
“This is from when he broke up with Priscilla. You can tell he put everything he had into it. I think it might be the best song he ever did,” Jim said.
I’d never considered which Elvis song might be his best, but the song that came immediately to my mind as I shuffled and pirouetted and jigged around the room was Can’t Help Falling in Love. I suspect many of my female baby boomer peers favor that one too, as well as women from the generation born during World War II who came of age before the Beatles were on the scene. Favorite doesn’t necessarily mean best, though, and I don’t feel like I’m a big enough Elvis fan to opine on what his best might be.
The second song, Burning Love, came on. Now that one is energizing. I spun and pranced, arms waving, and wore myself out. When the tune ended, I thought of asking Jim to play Can’t Help Falling in Love before he put the disc back in its case. I like Elvis’ interpretation of that song better than Andrea Bocelli’s version, although one afternoon when Jim and I were driving along scenic Tin Barn Road. Jim put on Bocelli’s Amore CD, and after Can’t Help Falling in Love played, I pressed repeat, not once, but three times.
Jim didn’t complain then. I’m sure he would have obliged had I asked him to play one more track before putting Elvis’ CD away. We might even have slow danced instead of hugging quickly before I tromped back into the office and he went out to chop firewood. Why didn’t I? It would have delayed my return to the computer by only a few minutes. Why was I so quick to rush off? The Elvis moment with Jim has passed. Would it be the same if I asked him to play it today? I guess the only way to find out is to speak up.
Copyright © 2014 by Laura McHale Holland