I wrote the blog post below on December 10, 2010. I’m revising and reposting it on Dec. 8, 2019, as I near the 19-year anniversary of my first meeting with Robert. I find myself sad and contemplative — but also grateful that I had the honor of loving Robert and being loved by him. So much has changed in my life in the past 19 years that never would have happened if Robert hadn’t been looking for a new place to dance and found my line dance class. Ageless fitness works for everyone!

 

December 10, 2000  turned out to change my life in every way: my emotions, my personal growth, my sexuality, my view of aging, even my career. That was the evening that Robert’s life journey landed him in my line dance class. He had recently moved to Santa Rosa and was looking for a place to dance.

 

Here’s how I tell it in Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk about Sex After Sixty (the book that never would have been written without that eventful evening):

Better than I ever Expected

Love Dances In

 

The day that Robert Rice walked into my line dance class, my hormones thought they were twenty years old again. His smile, fit body, and grace of movement caught my eye immediately.

 

Then, when he started to dance, his years of tap, modern dance, and ballet training were revealed in every movement, and I was lost at sea. His nimble feet, muscled thighs, and sensually mobile hips commanded my attention. I wanted to touch the inviting curl of chest hair that peeked through the open top buttons of his shirt. I met his dazzling blue eyes and pretended to breathe. For the rest of the evening, I kept losing my place in the dance I was teaching because I couldn’t take my eyes off him.

 

Robert kept coming to class and danced into my heart. I tried to engage him in conversation after class occasionally, and he responded almost warily, answering me but not giving me any signals that my attentions were welcomed or reciprocated. I wondered:  Is he gay? Attached? Or simply not interested in me?

 

ageless fitness expert, Joan PriceI started inviting him for walks after class, which he accepted. We talked, but never very personally. I told him about the Internet health book I was writing, and he told me about his art and the English gardens of his travels. There was no touching, no eyes locking, no double entendres, no intimate details revealed.
We choreographed a line dance together, which felt extraordinarily intimate to me. We were using our bodies to communicate and showing each other movements, which was very sexy. But the harder I tried to push to the next stage, the faster he retreated.
Then what? I am tempted to tell our whole story here, but I’d rather you enjoyed it yourself in Better Than I Ever Expected.

 

December 8, 2019 update:

Now, 19 years and a lifetime later, Robert has been gone since August 2008, his life ended by cancer. He is still strongly present — my house filled with his paintings, my mind filled with memories, my heart filled with love.  I am forever grateful that Robert chose December 11, 2000, to wander into my dance class and that he found something there that kept him coming back.
For any of my readers who have also lost a beloved partner, I hope you’ll read Sex After Grief, my most recent book and the book I wished for during my own grief journey.