cha cha now y'all
When my husband and I got married 134 years ago, we had a pretty simple affair. Afternoon wedding complete with a minister who knew nothing about us, vows, kissing, and my friend singing a truly horrific interpretation of "Have I Told You Lately".
We didn't go for the big reception following the ceremony because, quite honestly, we are a quiet breed of people. We don't dig the fancy. We aren't super comfortable taking in the admiration of family members we've never met before.
Instead, our plan was to get married, chow on kick ass Italian creme wedding cake, make nice with the guests, and then bust it to the Cheddar's Casual Cafe for some Americanized version of ethnic cuisine (MMMM! Baked spasanga! That's Italian, right? Remember - not a fancy people). Upon completion of that, we booked ourselves in as officially married folks at the Embassy Suites (which was unlike the previous non-covenant time when we just booked a room) and commenced with the actual important part of the day. You know what I'm sayin'.
Clearly, our day didn't include a dance where my husband and I were compelled to get up and wobble like flaky zombies to the romantic strains of My Love, and honestly, it's for that reason I believe we've been able to sustain our marriage for 134 years.
However, I will admit a fascination for wedding dances. I can't completely understand why I'm compelled by them. Perhaps it's the hypnotic temptation of an open bar on wedding guests who suddenly fancy themselves hot shit on the dance floor because they've enjoyed your free keg and have watched three episodes of "Dancing With The Stars". Eighteen cups of Bud Light are bound to make anyone think they can get up there and swing dance when the DJ blows out a little Cherry Poppin' Daddies.
Actually, I think the credit for my wedding dance fascination does rest with the DJ. A bad DJ and your night is a bust. A good DJ and your party goes all night. Screw the deposit on the Masonic Lodge, baby! You came to get your groove on, Grandma! Get out there when that musical master puts on some Pussycat Dolls. You know you want to! Everyone loves seeing their mom lip synching to Buttons (including me, who can probably officially die now).
Then there is the mediocre DJ. Perhaps they are a friend of a friend of the groom's college roommate and you're basically tossing him a bone because you've nearly tapped out your reception budget on that open bar. A mediocre DJ is basically the person you pay at the end of the night for giving the kids at the reception the opportunity to run off the wedding cake high on the dance floor by flipping their pretty dresses up over their head. All while the adults stand around the side, waiting for the first guests to leave so they can then make their exits.
It was mediocre DJ I got to experience this weekend when I attended my cousin's wedding. I knew they weren't getting their monies worth when he approached his mic like a virgin on prom night. Slow, a little shaky, a trace hint of nerves in his voice. Strain your ears, friends, to hear him, because you're so going to want to be clued in when he tells you it's time to kick things up before clicking "play" on the Grease Mega Mix (Seriously! OK. I mean, I did get excited about that!).
"And now we're going to take it back a few years," he whispered after that and cued Glenn Miller. Crickets were the only thing moving on the dance floor. A couple tumbleweeds blew through. It was quite a party. Thinking that would be a cue to bring us back to at least the last 10 years, I waited anxiously for whatever opportunity might arise for me to get on the dance floor. I was rewarded with the Brian Setzer Orchestra. Umm. OK. My sister and I glanced at each other, rolled our eyes, then raised our glasses. "To good times and funeral music," we toasted.
The bravery of one older couple who humored the DJ and stayed on the dance floor while he cued in "Stray Cat Strut" after Brian Setzer's solo work gave him a bit of confidence. Thus, the patented DJ banter began!
"OK, everyone! We're here to celebrate! That's what this is! That's what a party is! A party is a celebration! Whose ready to celebrate with a little Kool and the Gang? Kool and the Gang wants you to celebrate and so do I! Let's all have a good time!"
That was when my four year old niece decided to take the D's advice and started dancing with the pole at the side of the dance floor. A few pictures later (because it's key to capture the embarrassing moments of your children in this digital age) we figured it was time to join her when, yes "We Are Family" was the next song selection.
"They picked these songs, you know," my sister said as we screamed over the dulcet tones of Ice, Ice Baby and the drunken karaoke sing along from one of the bridesmaids.
"If that's the case, then remind me to go slip the groom a twenty during the dollar dance for having the good foresight to be sure Baby Got Back was on the play list," I replied, then went for another beer when, yes, My Love came on. My own love, you might ask? He was still seated at the table, eyes closed, probably praying for an end. So of course he wasn't going to dance with me when The Cha Cha Slide came on. Along with mediocre DJ singing along! Courage had reached him!
"This is why I didn't have a DJ and dance at my wedding," I yelled to my sister as we corraled our kids off the dance floor when Butterfly Kisses came up next. Even four year olds don't want to slow dance, after all.
But secretly, given my fascination with wedding dances and DJ, I seriously was considering dusting off my college social dance class lessons and doing the swing when the Cherry Poppin' Daddies made their return to the set. But I'd only had three glasses of Bud Light at that point, and I think I'm the kind of girl who requires a shot of something harder to bust the dancing out beyond the living room.
No matter how many times you tell me this is a celebration. And you will tell me. You will tell me that a lot. Because that is what a mediocre DJ does best. Right before he then plays the Macarena. Bet me.