I adore Eva, my fitness guru, but this time, she may be going too far.
Over the past several weeks, I have watched carefully as Eva, an October Bride-to-Be, has slowly slipped into her own personal and unique Bridal vortex.
These days, she is focussed on "The First Dance," and she can think or talk of very little else. At first, I enjoyed the game I played with myself of guessing the precise moment when Eva would slip into the vortex.
I'd wait, count to ten slowly as I watched her eyes glazing over, then, bang! She was in. Then, just as quickly, the music in the gym--which Eva controls from her desktop computer--would suddenly shift. Sometimes, she would do this with such abruptness, that I would nearly trip as I ran and sweated on my treadmill.
"I like this one," Eva would say, shouting over the blaring muzak, "it is Enya." "Lovely!" I panted back at her, still trying to run. "Yes, but you see, the problem is in Poland, no one can understand what it is Enya is saying." "Eva," I say flatly, giving up on the treadmill altogether, "It's Enya. No one can understand what she's saying. If you like, use it."
Sometimes, I have even joined Eva in her "First Dance" vortex. One day, I brought in my iPod and shared my first dance song ideas with her. She wasn't overly impressed with my choices, but that's okay. She likes Enya.
At moment, this is my "First Dance" shortlist:
1.) "At Last" by Etta James
(I know everyone likes/uses this one, i.e., "the Monica and Chandler song," but trust me, I've earned this song this hard way.)
2.) "Just the Way You Are" - Billy Joel, but better still, the Diana Krall version.
(Back story: One day, while I was still living in NYC, I was out shopping in Soho, The D.E.B. phoned me, just as I passed Anthropologie. Five hour time difference, it was very late for him, he grabbed his guitar and sang this tune down the phone to me. I was crying in the streets of Soho, missing him like there was no tomorrow.)
3.) "Save the Best for Last" - Vanessa Williams
(It is so unfortunate that for most Brits this song is the theme tune for the "Bisto Gravy" advert...Why?...Who'd want people thinking about gravy while you're trying to have a moment?)
4.) "Sweet Love" - Anita Baker
(An oldie, but a goodie.)
5.) "Vision of Love" - Mariah Carey
(So twee, and yet, so fabulous.)
6.) "O Mio Babbino Caro" - Maria Callas, Renee Fleming, whomever.
(The theme from "Room with a View"...hello!)
7.) "My Heart Will Go On" - Celine Dion
(I'm blaming Eva for this one. And, yes, I do realize that "Titanic" doesn't end well.)
8.) "Right Here Waiting" - Richard Marx
(Another Eva suggestion. The lyrics are pretty perfect in terms of "our story," i.e., "Oceans apart, day after day, and I slowly go insane/I hear your voice on the line, but it doesn't stop the pain...")
9.) "I've Got You Under My Skin" - Diana Krall
(Cole Porter. Period.)
10.) "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off"- Ella Fitzgerald
(Unfortunate title, great lyrics: "You say tomato, I say to-mah-to". Very apt, of course. Gershwin, of course.)
At the moment, Eva is all about Celine Dion. Non-stop Celine Dion. (Last week, it was non-stop Shania Twain.) Have you ever tried to run to Celine Dion? I mean, okay, she's great and all, but it's far from the most fitness motivating music in the world! We are all being very patient and supportive, but I think by the end of the week somebody's gonna crack.
All this has me thinking. What is it about the "First Dance" as wedding ritual? What does it symbolize, what does it mean? And what's the best song to choose? What are we, the couple, meant to be trying to convey in that moment? Who we are? Who we were? Who we hope to become? All of the above?
The D.E.B. and I have decided to have two songs, a sort of his and hers, Bride's Choice, Groom's Choice First Dance songs. That way, we each get to have the "soundtrack moment" we both want. He has chosen: "True Companion" by Marc Cohn. Very nice.
The D.E.B.'s choice has me leaning heavily toward Etta James for mine, as it is a short and punchy tune, comparatively speaking, with my other choices.
As Shakespeare wrote, "If music be the food of love, play on!"