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A Miraculous Tale of Unexpected True Love

A series of divine signs lead to a singles square-dancing meet.

Illustration of legs square dancing; Getty Images

”You’re not getting any younger, you know,” Grammy said. “You’re 30 years old! For goodness’ sake, why aren’t you married yet?”

I winced. I’d come to this restaurant to have lunch with my grandmother, not to be interrogated about my love life—or lack thereof. I was painfully aware of my age. And my relationship status. Most of my friends were already married, some with children. I could feel my own biological clock ticking.

But the typical dating scene wasn’t me. I hated going to bars and trying to meet people. Really, I hated dating. The way things were going, I was headed for a life alone with only a cat for company. The only thing scarier than that image was the idea of being trapped in a marriage with the wrong person.

“You don’t understand, Grammy,” I said with a sigh. “I’m looking for more than just a decent man. I’m looking for Mr. Right. And it seems utterly impossible!”

“Impossible situations can become possible miracles,” Grammy said sagely.

“You’re not helping,” I muttered.

“I am helping! You’re just not listening! You shouldn’t be looking for a man, you should be looking for a miracle. Miracles happen, and they come in small moments. Keep your eyes open.”

Grammy’s words—confusing as they were—stayed with me. So a few days later, when I was driving home from work and an inexplicable but overwhelming urge to take a different route overcame me, I was extra receptive to it. I went with it, turning right instead of left at the next intersection. I wove my way along unfamiliar backroads, enjoying the change of scenery. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw it—a sign-corner board in front of a recreation center. It read: “Tired of the singles bar scene? Try singles square dancing. Inquire within.”

Was this one of those “miracle moments” that Grammy had been talking about? I quickly turned into the lot, parked and headed in to check it out.

The elderly gentleman inside was very helpful. He assured me that their square-dancing nights were the perfect place to meet “wholesome” single men. Their next lesson was held the following Tuesday. He pushed the sign-up sheet in front of me. I scribbled my name on it. “Here’s your dance card,” he said, sliding it across the counter. “You best be gettin’ yourself a square dance outfit. Petticoat Junction is a right affordable place. It’s just around the corner.”

Why not? I thought.

I was almost giddy picking out my outfit, with cowboy boots to match. But Tuesday night I found myself in the recreation center’s gym, nervously clutching my empty dance card in my hand and feeling silly.

“Bow to your corner, bow to your partner,” the caller’s voice crackled over the loudspeakers. “Join hands. Circle left.” Ladies’ petticoats swished, and men’s boots shuffled across the shiny wooden floor. I awkwardly watched the dancers from the sidelines, much like I had as a teen at school dances.

What are you doing? I scolded myself. This is crazy. You should just go home.

I headed to the exit, hoping to escape without being noticed. Just as I placed my hand on the door’s push bar, I glanced back, catching a glimpse of a redheaded man whisking his partner around the dance floor. His eyes met mine. Then he flashed me a wide, magnetic smile—the likes of which I’d never seen before. I felt my heart skip a beat as I hesitantly returned it. Maybe five more minutes wouldn’t hurt. I turned around and headed to the refreshment table.

“I’m guessin’ the fellas are keepin’ your dance card full,” said an older woman who was pouring herself a glass of lemonade.

“No, not really.”

“Don’t you go frettin’,” she said.

“Men are just shy little boys at heart. “Any of them younger fellas caught your attention?”

I could feel myself blush. “You see that man over there—the redheaded man sporting a cowboy hat?”

“I do. He was eyeing you earlier, you know.”

“Eyeing me?”

She smiled. “Oh, yes.”

The speaker crackled again. “The next dance begins in five minutes,” the caller said into the mic. “Gentlemen, find yourself a partner, square your sets.”

People scrambled to pair up. I watched the redheaded man. Whom would he ask? We locked eyes again.

“Look! He’s walking toward you!” the older woman exclaimed.

I couldn’t believe it, but he was. My heart was in my throat.

“Ma’am,” he greeted me. He tipped his hat. “Might I have the next dance?” His eyes were blue, I noticed. My mouth was dry. I quickly gathered my composure. “Yes,” I said, my voice quivering. “I’d love to.”

He took my hand in his, ushering me onto the dance floor. The music began, and I melted into his arms like I’d always belonged there. His name was Bill.

A few months later, as I stood at the altar exchanging wedding vows with Mr. Right, I realized Grammy had been right. Thank goodness I hadn’t run home before the miracle unfolded, moment by moment, each one leading me to Bill.

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