Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Put On Your Red Shoes And Dance The Blues

Who'd have thunk it? For once, I am being decisive and Mr F is not.

My decision: a few weeks ago I decided I want to cross "choose first dance song" off my "To Do" list. After all, it's just blandly sitting there, taking up excess space between the jaunty "create table numbers" and demanding "select rehearsal dinner location." (Clearly, my list is not in any particular order, just massive amounts of things that need to be completed at some point prior to February 15th and/or before I lose my mind.) And given the fact that The List is more than one page long, I resolved to cross something else off. Come hell or high water. And that something to be crossed off is our first dance song. Because after a thorough review of said list, I decided that it required the least amount of leg work.

I can't help but think of the "First Dance" song as sort of like the "Prom Song." It seems to hold the same sort of overly-inflated importance prior to the event, making you believe that it must characterize your entire relationship (or all four years of high school). There's hemming and hawing (and in my high school - voting!) about the lyrics and about the mood and tons of other idiosyncratic details about the song. However, in reality, when the event itself arrives and the song begins to play, it's just not that big of a deal - the song could be just about anything slow and sweet and it would all be fine (which I'm slowly starting to feel might hold true for the whole damn wedding, but if I allow myself to continue to think that way, this whole house of cards will crumble and I'm pretty sure people will find themselves eating leftover tuna casserole and PB&J sandwiches for the rehearsal dinner and getting a mass email wedding invite).

Not to mention that I don't even remember my Prom Song and in fact, only remember that I voted for Madonna's "Crazy for You" which did not win.

Where was I?

Yes. Crossing off the first dance. I will remove it from my list - oh yes, I shall remove it.

So I did my research one night (said "research" involved reviewing my CD's, iTunes list, two glasses of white wine mixed with a dash of melancholy, and a whole lot of searches on You Tube (a great resource to hear just about any song by the way)) and found a couple of songs that I thought would work just fine. They were not songs I had heard at any other wedding, and they all seemed mildly reflective of our relationship (I say mildly, because there were some tenuous connections there, i.e., a song played in the first movie we saw together), but heck, I figured I would play the songs for Mr F and hear his typical wedding refrain of "whatever you like is fine," and we would be done.

So I put on the computer and played one of the songs for him. I yelled at him: "Listen to this! This is our wedding song!" And I tried to grab him and dance around the room with him.

He grumbled. "No, I don't like it. It's fast. First dance songs aren't fast."

Hmmm. Well that seems...judgmental.

"OK, that's fine. How about this one?! This one is slower!" And I played the second song.

"I don't like that one either. It's mushy. And weird."

Well, now - no need to be mean to the songs. And so it seemed that the guy who said he wanted a 3-minute telecast of NPR to be our first song suddenly had as many opinions about music production value as David Geffen.

It seemed that "choose first dance song" was clinging onto its place on the "To Do" list for dear life.

So for the next few weeks I would sit at my laptop in the kitchen and when Mr F would come into the room, I would launch a full-scale musical attack on his senses. I would jump out of my chair and try to waltz around the room with him, which generally led to his dismissing me by grumbling that he was tired and wanted to go to bed.

This was not going at all as I had planned. Here's the thing: like many other grooms before him, Mr F is not looking forward to the first dance. He does not enjoy dancing, let alone dancing in front of approximately 150 people (a number clearly growing by the minute) for approximately three to four minutes. And while we have already agreed that we will take dance lessons to alleviate some of his stress (although he is actually a great dancer and doesn't need lessons), he seems to be filibustering my mission to remove "choose first dance song" from The List (either consciously, or giving him the benefit of the doubt - unconsciously). Will the genteel Groom from the great State of Maryland please yield the dance floor to his Bride-to-Be?

Unfortunately, despite my decisiveness, this issue continues to be unresolved. Which is annoying me. I don't want to unilaterally select a song, so I was forced (yes, forced!) to do what every woman finds herself doing at some point: giving an ultimatum. I composed a list of ten songs and told Mr F he must pick by the end of this weekend. And if he doesn't? Well, nothing. There's nothing I can do. This is a hollow threat. Except that I will be a big pain in the ass to him and bug him incessantly about it, which as it turns out, usually ends up being enough.


E said...

I hear you on the ultimatums. We finally had to have the "just say yes and do it when I ask you to do something, instead or arguing with me about how it isn't important" fight (like when he told me to just send his fully-adult cousins invite to his aunt's house, because she will get it to them). Sometimes constant harrassment/possibly crying is the only thing that will work.

rundown said...

Can I just say that I found your blog yesterday and it is so freaking great?

It's like sweet wedding-planning manna from the heavens and I love it.

Anonymous said...

your little blog is my favorite blog. and i'm not even getting married!


Mainegal said...

after multiple dance lessons, my husband changed our first dance song to the slow practice song because he could remember the steps.... however, at our wedding last weekend, he made no effort and it was a hilarious disaster of a first dance. most guests said it was the worst first dance they'd ever seen...but that it was also memorable because we laughed all the way through.

also i love the title of the blog... i found it a few months ago while planning my own wedding (and hating most of the process). in the end it was worth the pain, tears, fights and laughs.

Autumn Witt Boyd to be said...

So, what are the songs on the list? Did you finally decide? I am going around and around this same issue with my fiance, he really wants to dance to George Strait's "Give it away", which, if you didn't know, is a song about heartbreak and sadness, although it is quite catchy. My one rule is no songs about heartbreak and sadness, and we haven't gotten anywhere...

Engaged & Enraged said...

hi autumn, just saw your question (belatedly)! i understand your plight: many guys don't even understand that songs have words. (many guys = my fiance). for us, i think it's now down to either "Crazy Love" by Van Morrison or "Times Like These" by Jack Johnson (we went to see him in concert during the first month we were dating). we'll see what wins out...or if we ever pick anything...

bonejangles13 said...

ok so i may be like forever late on reading your blog but that doesn't make it any less kick ass and you know it! i literally, in a moment of serious desparation for sanity, googled the words "i hate planning my wedding"... guess what the first thing to come up was? i've been reading from the beginning (after reading from the middle like a lazy idiot and finding myself LOST) and its making me a) not concentrate on like... wedding things and b)feel better about everything.

so as i was reading this past one i got a quiver of an inkling of some sort of inspiration that... you know how 'adult' women are really blase and all about how they KNOW it all and blah blah... i think wedding planning is the last great coming-of-age ceremony of our time... and after you've done it you can laugh at all those people who are in the midst because they know they'll either make it out or die and that's ok because that just meant they weren't strong enough to be REAL WOMEN at all...

just a thought...