I don’t understand people when they say something is “as easy as pie,” because I imagine pie-making to be an extremely labor-intensive process. I have to imagine baking a pie because I’ve never done it before, for the precise reason that I imagine it to be difficult.
As you can imagine, all this imagining takes up considerable brainpower, most of which I was, at the moment, supposed to be channeling into processing the directions given by our cruise’s Caribbean Dance Fitness instructor. The instant she started off the class with “I’m going to teach you the basics of a native dance, the Merengue,” I stopped listening and started thinking profound thoughts about lemon meringue pies and what exactly it was about them that made them so easy.
Is the saying “as easy as pie” because when it originated, homemakers had the baking fundamentals down? Or is it “easy” as in “easy to eat?” I don’t think I’ve ever associated pies as easy to eat, mostly because I have no control when it comes to food and by the time dessert rolls around, I’m always about to explode.
I was shaken out of this stupor once I noticed people around me were pairing up, which I’m told is typical of partner dancing. Whirling around in a panic, I found myself face-to-chest with a large man in a grey button-down shirt. He looked like a cross between Jonah Hill and my sophomore year history teacher, only with the height/girth of a man in his early thirties and the face of a bearded cherub.
“I’m Nicole,” I said, extending my hand.
DP (short for Dance Partner) was assessing me, too. After an uncomfortable second, he took both my hands—including the one at my side—and shook them. Not having expected this turn of events, I watched as he pulled on my arms like one would the reins of a horse or the arms of a person really reluctant to do the wave. “It’s nice that you don’t only come up to here,” he gestured to his stomach after having offered me his name. “You’ll do.”
“Happy to conform to your standards,” I said.
He gave me a confused little smile.
“Move your hips from side to side,” the instructor called over the din of conversation. “Left, right, left, right!”
At that moment, my brain registered that a) the instructor, swaying sinuously to the rhythm, really was an incredible dancer, b) DP was stroking my knuckles, and c)
I whipped my head around to find that DP had not yet let go of my hands and yes, he was stroking my knuckles. Granted, he probably thought it was a soothing gesture and, admittedly, it was kind of like how I pet Cat. Except, hold on, last time I checked, I was not a cat.
As if taking advantage of my temporary immobilization, DP yanked me forward so that there were only two inches between us. “Latin dancing is all about flirting,” he said, before pushing me out again, “but not actually going anywhere.”
Feeling slightly indignant but at least little less violated, I considered telling him how uncomfortable he was making me. Honestly, I didn’t think he knew—he seemed to just be really into Merengue dancing—and I didn’t want to hurt his feelings.
“Move your hips, people!” The instructor called. “Would it help if I demonstrated again?”
“What if you lemon-strated?” were the first words out of my mouth once I regained control over my vocabulary, forgetting that DP wasn’t up to speed with the whole pie thing.
“What?” He asked.
“MOVE YOUR HIPS,” the instructor screamed. “Next four counts: ladies, put your arm around your man and walk around.”
Eager to remove my hands from his grasp, I gratefully wound an arm around his stomach and did exactly that.
“Is this how girls assess how fat we are?” He asked, and I laughed, surprised.
“We’ve got to check how much pie you’ve been eating somehow.”
And even though he sweated so much throughout the rest of class that I couldn’t peel off my jacket, even though he took his fumbling way too seriously, even though he seemed to have no concept of personal space…
“Hey,” I grinned, after we finished one round without tangling our arms, “this isn’t so bad.”
… I was also pretty sure he found me just as weird, if not weirder, for taking every available opportunity to sneak confusing pie references into conversation.
“We’ve got this down, haven’t we?”
“Easy as pie.”
Hey! So I’ve created a Facebook page for this blog, and I would greatly appreciate it if you went and followed me there. Originally, I used my personal account to share posts, but I always felt bad for shoving this blog down my FB friends’ throats, so now I’ll only force feed the willing.
Yes, this is another post about my spring break cruise. It’s not like nothing happened this past month; it’s just that life hasn’t been very funny for me lately.