Just as I was getting this shit tight again, feeling good about forward progress and being all Liked on Facebook, along came a dark cloud of sick that just settled in over the apartment. Stella was all crazy fevered late last week, and now Nuv and I are ass-dragging all over the place, inhaling honey lemon'd tea, and letting flies settle into our eye sockets. A full coil of diapers from the Diaper Genie sits outside on the deck beside a half full box of beer. Small fish crackers are ground into the carpet. Stella's outfit today could best be described as "My mom hates me." It's all falling to pieces. So, instead of a fresh column bursting with the scent of fresh laundry, hope and a dream and a cap thrown straight up into the crisp fall air, here is a failed attempt at a magazine pitch I sent off early in the year. A little ditty about one aspect of our wedding planning. Back in a time that seems so quaint and overflowing with free time and clean hair. Enjoy. (As I typed that last period a balloon just spontaneously burst in the empty kitchen. Great. We're living in HAUNTED squalor.)
“If a playlist flops at a wedding, does anybody hear it?”
Will you? Yes, I will. Easy. Now comes the hard part. Well, parts. Plural. Oh yes, the polar opposite of romance and love and fun – the wedding planning. The good news is that once you’ve found that special someone to spend the rest of your life with, the one you may verbally castrate when you disagree on the 77th item on your Wedding To Do List, you will eventually stumble upon the one aspect of wedding planning you both are actually excited about. For my husband (then fiancée) and I, we gritted our teeth through a year of detail doldrums, to get to the fun part – choosing our wedding playlist.
We were, and still are, huge music aficionados, so this job wasn’t going to fall on some cheese ball DJ’s shoulders. Aside from a formidable combined record collection, our pedigrees were as follows – I have the deadly 1-2 punch of no musical talent and no shame when it comes to sing-a-longs, whether I’m in the car, at home or even perusing a late night grocery store aisle. My guy has been rapping most of his life and excluding the nu-country treacle that comes slowly oozing off the radio, he has love in his heart and iTunes library for all types of music.
That first day we sat side by side in front of the computer, actually hyped and smiling about a wedding chore. Cue us two weeks later, with a playlist of 167 hours and matching scowls. Culling that list down was painful and more than once fisticuffs were lovingly threatened. How could we possibly choose his favourite Prince song? Or my favourite Beach Boys track? Only one Jackson 5 single, why that’s impossible! And how come my Spice Girls song got vetoed?
After many hours of deletions and deep sighs, we finally finished the playlist. It was 2 am on a Sunday and we had a perfectly curated list of the best of the best. As a joke, my guy highlighted all the songs in the playlist and hovered his finger over the Delete button. “Haha,” I sarcastically whispered, as we had out-of-town guests lightly snoring on air mattresses behind us. He hit Delete. Then hit the Undo button. Wait, no he didn’t, because in iTunes that button doesn’t exist. Have you ever silently exploded? I did just then, dramatically yet stealthily stomping off to the bedroom. Luckily after so much perusal of those tracks he was able to rather quickly reassemble our list, but at the cost of my blood pressure.
As it always does, the big day finally dawned, and after the beautiful blur of vows, photos, countless hugs and high-fives, gorgeous food and touching speeches, it came time for everybody to cut loose to the tracks we had so carefully selected.
Here’s the hard sad truth - for most of the evening, the floor was woefully empty. The fatal flaw in the playlist was that we chose the music we loved to hear punctuating a great time at a party or floating out a car window. We forgot the 1980s ballads that get aunties and uncles swaying in unison, head on shoulders, hands on butts. And the 1970s power rock ballads that turn forks into microphones and inspire cousins to twirl until their dresses get dangerously high. We may have hated country music, but a line dance on a packed dance floor is better than tumbleweeds blowing across a deserted one.
(Fault also lies in the fact we eliminated plus ones and didn’t have an open bar, which also severely maimed the dancing. As I realized later a) girls make boys dance and b) a steady flow of alcohol in the bloodstream makes everybody dance.)
The evening ended, we put the wedding in the books, and it was perfect. Of course it wasn’t, but if you dwell on the details that weren’t all that you dreamed of, the damper you put on the memories of the day is soggy and silly. And, you know despite the misfires, miscues and missed opportunities, friends still talk about our wedding and reception being the “best one they ever attended.” Little do they know how much cooler it could have been had I been able to slide in “Spice World.”