‘I don’t feel like we’ve really connected this week.’ – Reservoir Mum, March 10, 11.30pm
‘Hey? Hang on… shit, Tyson’s awake,’ – Reservoir Dad, March 10, 11.31pm
Even before Tyson wakes me again, as usual, at 5.30am I am startled from sleep by a disturbing realisation; I have not sent one ‘sexy but subtle’ text to Reservoir Mum this entire week.
And just as I accept that horrendous fact I am seized upon by something even more startling; Reservoir Mum has not yet made a leering comment about an aspect of my physical appearance before slapping me on the arse – her trademark move.
The walls move in around me as I fight off a rising panic – we are less than 36 hours away from Date Night and I remain sexually un-harassed. I need to turn The Pheromony on.
Tyson wakes and as I collect him from his cot and head downstairs, wearing nothing but my silky boxer shorts, I tell myself that even though there is a reason for the temporary physical and emotional distance between us, there is no excuse. This week has been full on furious and faster than a sentence filled with words that start with F but for the first time in a long time I know that I have not made the effort to connect with Reservoir Mum in a manner that makes the marital bed shake with fear.
Corrections need to be made and they need to be made quickly. As I serve up Tyson’s breakfast and begin on Archie and Lewis’s lunches for the day I remember a Tweet I received late 2010 that linked to an article that talked about a study that found that upper body movement was the key to dancing in a way that makes you irresistible to women (lower body movement has nothing to do with it) and suddenly I am certain of the path I must take.
Archie and Lewis appear and ninety minutes of readying them for school and kindergarten + doing dishes + cleaning up spilled food + breaking up fights = time to formulate my plan. I will use my superior cunning, innovative dance skills and a well chosen 80s classic to reconnect with Reservoir Mum and prevent Date Night from becoming a passionless sham.
With the boys enjoying their twenty minutes of TV in the lounge room I complete the final tasks of the morning routine and do some intense static stretches, focussing mostly on the muscles of the upper body – such as the latissimus dorsi, and pectoralis major – as these are the areas that will be stressed most by the choreographed routine I have in mind.
I place a CD of recently downloaded 80’s dance hits in the kitchen CD player and push play just as Reservoir Mum appears at the bottom of the stairs, looking hot in her corporate get-up. She smiles coyly and shakes her head a little as the song I have selected begins. It’s Funky Town by Lipps Inc. and fits the mood perfectly.
The scene is set, the moment is upon me and even though I feel somewhat limited by the lack of leg movement required to turn women on, I am able to adapt, as always, by using my imagination – there are a dozen under-dressed women holding me by the ankles and looking up at me longingly.
Reservoir Mum moves around me, in a nonchalant fashion, preparing her breakfast but I know she’s watching. My upper body jerks into action. The music overwhelms me and suddenly I have no will of my own. One eye catching dance move follows the other.
I have a vague awareness of what I am – an almost forty, bald guy with pasty white skin, who thinks humping thin air is a form of dance – but I will not allow myself to acknowledge it. Inside, I am like a Lion in the burst of a mane-shaking roar and without inquiring into the truth of the matter I imagine that Reservoir Mum is into this in a big way because she’s aware of two crucial things – I am an impressive catch, yes, but I am also hard to get, and at some stage she will need to fight her way through the dozen or more enamoured women who are calling my name and pressing their faces against my muscular thighs. The fight that’s required thrills her.
But even as I acknowledge this, I know the boxes still need to be ticked – her trademark comment, the sting of her ass-slap. As I continue to dance I work out an approach that will garner the response from her that I need.
‘You know,’ I say, ‘just the other day, Chrissie Swan from The Circle said that it really is a shame the way the media has pressured women into striving for a physical shape that isn’t natural and now it seems the same is happening to men. And I have to agree with her. I mean, broad shoulders and big pecs don’t define manhood. We’re much more than that.’
Reservoir Mum laughs and says, ‘What are you talking about? You’ve got a gym in the garage. You work out all the time. You’ve got big shoulders and big pecs…’
‘True,’ I say, as I keep my feet planted, swivel my hips in circles and make each pec jump for her pleasure. ‘Still, they can always be bigger…’
She laughs again and gathers her breakfast. ‘I’m going to go sit with the boys before I head to work,’ she says, as she slaps me on the bum, ‘Coming?’
And there it is – the gratuitous coment about my body, the sweet sting of the slap. We round the corner towards Date Night with our connection and focus reaffirmed.
What can I draw from this experience to help others? Several things – 1) The world is constantly circling with its pressures but it’s simply a matter of lowering your vision and keeping your focus clear, 2) There are no excuses for a week of passing each other by and no room for half-hearted efforts, 3) 80’s music is ‘feel good’ music and can really get you out of a tough spot and 4) in times of trouble trust in an innate skill that places you above the realm of the ordinary – to quote myself “ I am Reservoir Dad. And I can dance.”
What can you do?