Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Do, Re, Mi...

A cute, young counselor at my school once told me a phrase that describes and encompasses all teenage girls around the world:

"They are all starring in their own movies."
Very true my friend, very true. I can remember how the slightest pimple on your nose was cause to fake a cold and stay home from school because surely that little imperfection on your face was going to be hot gossip in the morning. All hopes of going with Josh the cute boy from Science class to the Fall Carnival? Dashed to shreds because what was lurking on your face could not be cured by Clearasil, nor covered up by Cover Girl. You walked the halls all day paranoid and listening to snippets of whispered conversations all around you. Waiting to hear those key words that would confirm your greatest fears that indeed yes...everyone had noticed and yes...everyone was grossed out. Your only respite was the bell ringing for the final time at the end of the school day when you could rush to your locker, haphazardly grab your books and then bolt to your mother's car waiting in the side parking lot. As you clambered into the car, blinking back tears behind your beloved Olsen-twin inspired sunglasses, you guiltily prayed the same complexion fate for the most popular girl in school. After all, what teenage girl doesn't like to see the mighty ones fall?
Living in the head of a teenage girl is like being a cast member on The Hills. You live your life like it is perpetually being filmed, only Zac Efron isn't dancing in the gym and nobody bursts out in unanimous song. Thankfully, the "life in movies" aspect of youth fades with time and is unfortunately replaced with cold and harsh reality of adulthood and leaving you...at times...peeking in the gym still looking for your dancing basketball team.
I wasn't a girl who saw her life enhanced on the big screen, but instead there was always a soundtrack playing along inside my head. Every dramatic outburst and every serene moment had it's own accompianment. From Eagle Eye Cherry's "Save Tonight" to Bush's "Glycerine" and Dixie Chick's "Fly" to TLC's "Scrub" in high school and more recently from Sia's "Breathe Me" to Candi Staton's "You Got To Love;" moments and events in my life are not chronicled in my mind by date and time...but by song and verse.
What was playing on the radio at that moment that encapsulated my feelings at the particular time? How did I use this music to express emotions in my head and heart that wouldn't have escaped otherwise? Without the ability to retreat into the CD collection of my youth and iTunes of today, I doubt that so many of my memories and emotions would be as clear to me as they are now.
When I envision the processional, recessional, first and last dances of our wedding I don't really picture my dress or his tux...I am invoking the emotions I want to have at that moment, as well as the emotions I want to convey to our guests. Having said this, it might be a little bit easier to understand why I am being so meticulous in my wedding music selection. The obvious songs have been thrown out and needless to say Canon in D will not be played at my wedding. But that leaves me at a conundrum - I have to choose several pieces of secular music that are meaningful to include in our ceremony and reception.
Here are my thoughts so far:
- My entrance to the wedding: Picture a cloudless sky on a beautiful March day in Texas. There is a slight breeze, just enough to keep me from sweating and blow my hair romantically a bit. My dad and I stand at the glass doors of the hotel from where I can see Craig standing nervously and uncomfortably in his borrowed suit, anxiously waiting to get the "show on the road." As the music starts, I take a deep breath and step out into the gently setting sunshine with my dad as the guests turn and stand to see us walk down the aisle. I am holding my head high and with confidence...my eyes focused only on Craig and the smile that is spreading across his face. I look to my right and see slight tears beginning to form in my daddy's eyes and I pat his arm - I know he'll be okay once he sits next to my mom. This is one of the biggest moments of a girl's life and I know that I will be confident and serene...after all, I am getting to be with my best friend forever so I have chosen a song that exudes that peacefulness as well as a hope for the future: "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by Irael Kamakawiwo'ole.
- The Recessional: Same day as above, about thirty minutes later. Craig and I kiss triumphantly as everyone claps. This truly is a celebration of our lives and our love and what better way to start a joyous occasion than with "Beautiful Day" by U2. And yes. It also pays homage to Craig's beloved band.
- The First Dance: There are some songs that play on the Oldies station that, while driving in the car with my mom, will cause her to completely abandon the conversation and sing along softly with the most faraway look on her face. I dare not speak a word during these songs because I almost feel as if I would be uncomfortably invading something quite personal. After the song finishes and the DJ returns to the airwaves, she quickly snaps out of her daydream and automatically picks up the conversation where we left off. I've never asked what these songs mean to her not because I don't care...but because I know that it's something quite special for her and my dad. I cherish the fact that a simple song played on a radio station while running errands on any given day can remind my mother of how much she adores and loves my father. Our first dance will be this type of song...it has me pausing and reminiscing already and I haven't even married the guy yet. I've (well...WE'VE...but really I chose and he agreed) chosen U2's "All I Want Is You." Yes, I know...it's another U2 song - I told you they were an important band in our house. About a year ago at this time of the year, Craig was working like a dog all through the week and through the weekend to produce these basketball tournaments. I hated the fact that these tournaments took time away from me even though the payout was pretty fantastic. I finally sat him down and told him that I didn't care about the money the tourneys brought in. I would easily give up the trips, the dinners, the presents and the lifestyle that came with the time and effort he spent organizing and running these tournaments if it meant I would be able to be with him. At the end of the day, all that monetary stuff meant nothing to me...all I wanted was him by my side. So...one night last summer, I was driving in my car listening to U2's greatest hits of the 1980s and number 14 on the disc was "All I Want Is You." When I really listened to the lyrics, I nearly had a wreck. Bono was able to put every emotion I had for Craig into simple verses accompanied by gut-wrenchingly emotional guitar riffs courtesy of The Edge. Upon moving into our house, I reiterated my feelings to Craig and shortly thereafter, gave him the lyrics framed with pictures of us for Christmas. It now hangs in our bedroom.
- The Last Dance: During those angsty years of singledom, I would always listen to David Gray's "This Year's Love" on the way home from another purposeless night at the bar, trolling for guys. I longed for the love that the lyrics professed and I would pray that someday I would have not only "this year's love" but the love that would last the rest of my life. At that point in my life, I was very lost, lonely and cynical. I didn't think it would ever happen...and then Craig came along and showed me everything I always thought I didn't deserve. He's been the best thing to happen in my life and I know that his love isn't just for this year, but for every year of my life.
And let me clarify something...I have not and do not anticipate me being a "bridezilla" about much having to do with this wedding. Not about my dress, the colors, the date, the sight, the photographer, the flowers, the cake - NONE of it! But the music! Oh the music is going to be perfect...because when I look back at my wedding pictures I will have that soundtrack playing in my head and I will want to remember those wonderful emotions on the day I married Craig.

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