When I Saw His Parents on the Dance Floor, I Knew He was the Man I Would Marry

Thirty-five years later, he’s still learning new moves that thrill me

Karen Traub
Human Parts
Published in
6 min readFeb 15, 2024


Photo by mimi lalaa on Unsplash

We had been together about six months and I was already starting to fall in love with Frank when we drove to New Jersey to celebrate his parents’ 35th wedding anniversary.

The party was in a rented hall with music provided by an old friend from high school. There were aluminum trays of lasagna, stuffed shells, and eggplant. Frank’s Nanny Rosie brought her homemade sausage rolls from Brooklyn. I was still a vegetarian then, but too nervous to eat much anyway. I stuck close to Frank as he introduced me to his grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. There were a lot of Ralphs, Joes, and Vinnys.

At the table after dinner, I saw Frank’s father raise an eyebrow as he looked at his wife, then at the dance floor. Frank’s mom put down her napkin, pushed out her chair and stood up. Frank Sr. gave his hand and she took it.

They were an old married couple for sure, but they had an undeniable spark of passion between them. They owned the dance floor.

Frank’s dad, raised by immigrant parents, had started his career as a mechanic and worked his way to the American dream of owning his own successful company. He…