Tuesday, May 29, 2007

burning beta brides

Here come the waterworks.

As a rule, I bawl at weddings. The controls on the waterworks are sensitive, turning on with the slightest of stimuli: how a vow gets recited, on what word the groom's voice cracks, how flower girls perambulate down the aisle, the parents that didn't live long enough to see this day, how geese take to the skies above, whatever. And this past weekend was no different. Thank God the ceremony was outdoors, so that I could wear my cop shades.

It helps me prepare for when I head to a Texas wedding next week, wherein I will bust out such moves as the "Texas Two-Step" and "Cotton-Eyed Joe" (and no, not the Eurodisco version they play at Yankee Stadium). The best thing about Texas weddings, aside from a catered barbecue dinner, shots of Hot Damn!, and tables full of sliced jalapenos and pickles, is this giant processional dance, "The Grand March." Hard to unpack here but let's just say it's about as close as I get to being in a Busby Berkeley musical, participating in that ineffable dance of humanity that is part geometry, part biology.

In the week preceding that white wedding, Nick and I trade emails about wedding reception playlists. He noted that at the last wedding he attended, "lots of people would get up all the sudden and say this is 'our song' and go dance and 'our song' would be something like Earth Wind and Fire's "September" or Kool and the Gang's "Celebration."' Funny enough, neither of these were on the playlists. Instead, we got the next generation of "our song," which translates as "Hey Ya." And of course, Johnny Cash's dour "Ring of Fire." Finally, I admit to myself that I'm just not a fan of the Man in Black. Everytime I hear his voice, it invokes only John Wayne, bulky and wasted. I was pleasantly surprised to hear Sparks' "Perfume" (the bride doesn't wear any) and realized out on the dancefloor just how long and ludicrous the breakdown for "One More Time" is. You could nap in it.

The best song of the entire affair though came early on. After the two families entered to the blaring horns of "All You Need is Love," all fell quiet. The opening notes of "Here Comes the Sun" were plucked as the bay doors swung wide so that the bride could enter in all of her luminance. Of course, it made me cry.