My Rubberband Man

-This blog was first seen in Jennifer’s Boogie Writes column at 

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Everybody loves a superhero. Some gals love Superman. For others, it’s Batman. But the Rubberband Man is the only superhero for me. A few years after the Spinners came out with their hit, “Rubberband Man,” I married him. We’ll be celebrating our 39th anniversary this year.

In 1977, on my first day of college, this tall, skinny, big-haired guy at the college registration desk handed me my class schedule. Only later did I find out he’d memorized my number, and for three weeks proceeded to spy on me like 007.

Every Friday night, at the school’s disco, he asked me to dance. To be honest, it was raining boys for this former wallflower and at first I didn’t notice the consistency. Then, I realized this same tall guy always seemed to snag me for a slow dance.

A few months later, his friend fixed us up on a “blind” date. After that, the superhero traits began to surface. I started setting the alarm for 6:00 a.m. (unnatural!) so that I could “run into” him at breakfast. He was so funny, crazy smart, and a great listener. He had this incredible positive energy that left no room for inhibition. Even when he laughed, he gave it his all. It was addictive and still is. His piercing blue gaze on me made me feel I was the only girl in the cafeteria-heck-the world!

At first the Rubber Band Man comparison was mainly physical. He took up more than his share of dance space with his long legs and arms, and danced with six foot three inches of uninhibited joy and confidence. I remember thinking, He’s the Rubber Band Man!

 “Hey ya’ll prepare yourself for the Rubberband Man

You never heard a sound

Like the Rubberband Man

You’re bound to lose control

When the Rubberband starts to jam.”

—-The Spinners

Thank God that with every instinct I possessed, I recognized how rare he was. Being with him made me feel like anything was possible; I could leap high buildings in a single bound, even follow my dream of becoming a published author! No matter how lofty the goal, we could meet it together. So I married him.

Almost thirty-nine years later, the comparison to Rubberband Man goes way beyond the physical. Throughout the years, he’s been that superhero: no matter what life throws at him, he bounces back with grace and good humor. Every day his joyful strength buoys and supports me. His flexibility and kindness have made the toughest of days endurable. And he’s still got this positive energy that makes everyone around him feel good.

Through the years, his positive energy and joy of life have seen him through trials that would test any superhero. In 2010, leukemia hit him like a runaway train, and he did everything in his power to set it back on track, adapting to his new normal with flexibility and strength. Now, 7 years after a double cord blood transplant, he sacrifices his time and precious energy to help other people who’ve been through the same trials, on an individual and national basis.   And there’s no one else I’d rather dance through life with. Take a listen and grab some good vibes from the “Rubberbandman.” I know I do.


7 thoughts on “My Rubberband Man

  1. Yeah….I love him too. He’s the best brother in the world, next to my other brother who is also the best brother in the world. You are blessed and lucky to have him Jenny. So glad that you treasure him as you do!

  2. Diane J Lee

    I LOVE this! and while I haven’t gotten to spend much time around this amazing Rubberband man lately, I knew for sure the day I walked into our dorm room to find the two of you cross-legged on the floor laughing hysterically over your feast of sardines and crackers that I was watching the beginning of something totally unique and amazing – two souls who were bringing out the best in each other, and loving every minute of it. You guys were are still are – AWESOME!!

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