...for a different kind of girl

silent surburban girl releasing her voice, not yet knowing what all she wants to say about her life and the things that make it spin. do you have to be 18 to be here? you'll know when i know.

Monday, August 06, 2007

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.



Blogger Nanette said...

"Remember, it is better to play in a band then with yourself." Just trying to bring a Grease quote into all my comments sweets! ;) I like to throw bones! I'm good like that! :D


Monday, August 06, 2007 5:17:00 AM  
Blogger FTN said...

Hmm. I did a karaoke sing along to "Ice Ice Baby" at my OWN wedding, because I light up the stage and wax the chump like a candle.

So don't be hatin'.

Would you still love me if I told you our bridal party dance was to "MmmBop"? And that most of my groomsmen and I got in a line and did the "Beavis Dance"?

Monday, August 06, 2007 8:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At my nephew's recent wedding I popped my public dancing cherry but ended up being totally outclassed by my 11 years olds rendition of the worm that became the talk of the party. I did manage to humiliate my daughter and all without a drop of alcohol.

Monday, August 06, 2007 9:41:00 AM  
Blogger Nature Girl said...

I felt like I was there. We attended a wedding a couple of weeks ago and DH practically DRAGGED me out to dance with him a couple of times. I DO NOT dance. EVER. Next time there's a wedding, I say we double date, I'll sit at the table with your DH and you can dance with mine.

Monday, August 06, 2007 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

Nan - "When I hear music, I just can't make my feet behave..."

Oh, I gots your bone right her, ll. Take it!

FTN - Perhaps my sarcasm masked the delight I actually felt when "Ice, Ice Baby" and "Baby Got Back" were played.

And you know I love you. In fact, I love you so much, had I been at your wedding when "MMMBop" came on, I'd have gone all stalker weird and demanded you divorce your brand new wife and claim me as the one true love of your life.

Or not. Either way, though, I'd have probably stood up in the back and cheered "Hell yeah!" when that first hint of Taylor Hanson and the bros came on.

FL - No matter what kind of dancer you are, I find that every kid in attendance will trump you simply by laying down on the dance floor and moving something.

Stacie - Mostly, I living room dance. My husband doesn't even move an errant body part at these types of events lest he think I will sieze every slow song opportunity to make him sway back and forth with me in front of other people. So your double dating wedding idea has some merit.

Monday, August 06, 2007 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger cat said...

As the hubby and I hate weddings, we didn't go for the conventional crap. However, we did do the reception and with his 84 IMMEDIATE yokel family members, it was more of a family reunion/hoedown kind of a party - no fancy pants type food. Just chicken, fish or.. um... pasta? (I can't even remember!)

We did do the first dance thing though, to Sarah McLachlan's "Push". Fitting as I have loved her since forever and I was engaged in the front row of one of her concerts. But no worries about wobbling as I was wearing Puma boxing-runner-type shoes for the entire wedding (until I changed into my Berks...). No heels for me, yo! I fall over in flat-footed attire, I wasn't about to tempt fate and my ankles with heels. My mother-in-law was NOT impressed. But who cares, it was MY feet, not hers.

Monday, August 06, 2007 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger kimmyk said...

I soo love dancing at/on well...anywhere. Tables, weddings, been known to tap a toe or two during a funeral service. Just depends on if the music moves my soul or not.

I do this dance and you can borrow it if you like-people seem to dig it I'm told. Okay so like I got this butt and it's kinda big and I like to take my hands and rub it all over my big girl junk like I'm smearing frosting on a cinnamon roll. Ya kinda gotta bend over a bit like you're saying "You want some of this dontcha?" while smearing the frosting.

You can thank me later when your husband can't keep his hands off of ya.

Monday, August 06, 2007 4:29:00 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

We had a good DJ. He was given instructions NOT to play Macarena, The Chicken Dance Song, Electric Slide, and Hokey Pokey. He didn't play any of them, so we were happy.

Our first dance was U2's All I Want Is You. But the first song the DJ played after that was The Sex Pistols' My Way (per my request).

Monday, August 06, 2007 9:15:00 PM  
Blogger Rug's Bug said...

No big wedding for us either. We barely told anyone we were getting hitched.

But I too secretly wish for the 15 or 20 year Re-Enactment Of The Big Day with me and my beloved wowing the audience with our wicked swing moves. I guess I've got 5 to 10 to learn some.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007 12:22:00 AM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

Girl With Many A Name - You're a wordy little bird, ain't ya? You little minx, you! Who loves ya?

Cat - I forget what kind of shoes I wore at my wedding! However, I bet they are still somewhere in my mom's basement, where my wedding dress actually hangs like an effigy from the rafters. Had we had a dance, I would have fought my husband's wishes for a Sheena Easton song (sigh...) for something by U2. No questions. It would have been what would have indicated how well our marriage could survive!

kimmyk - I believe I'll be doing me some of this dance! I hope you don't mind if I toss in a little improv, though? A dance like that pretty much demands ass slapping, and I'm willing to be the one who throws a move like that into the mix! You can't help but want to do that to the big girl junk, afterall.

I thank you now for my husband's inability to keep his hands off me. I'm sure it will happen after he's recovered from smirking and rolling his eyes!

Chag - Your song choice would have been my song choice had there been a dance ivolved. No question. Well, it then would have been followed by some rendition of Bono singing "Can't Help Falling In Love." Basically, it would have been a lot of U2, per my request. I'm pretty sure you can justify "40" at a wedding reception!

Yours sounds like it rocked!

Rug's - I harbor the same ideas as you. I still have the dress and all, and I'm sure somewhere the bouquet is still around. I'd totally redo the ceremony and have a grander party with all the people who have come into our life since we were married 134 years ago!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007 9:50:00 AM  
Blogger Summer Rose said...

I and Ch didn't have a big wedding either, we got married in Reno. Had a cabin lent to us for 7 days, would like to redue the wedding some day, if a new wedding dress are under $500.00. At the time that I was looking a new dress was that much, and then some.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007 6:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

are you saying your wedding anniversary is one day before mine? also are you saying you danced to the macarena? just wondering.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007 8:00:00 PM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

Summer - My sister got engaged less than a week after I did, and set her wedding for six months to the day after my own. Therefore, we had rigid budgets laid out to us by our parents. I don't even think I got near my limit. I'd probably do much of it the same way if I had to repeat it.

Well, I'd have someone else sing. Seriously. My friend, though good, sucked it that day!

Youdamom - Indeed I am saying that. Well, I'm not saying I danced the macarena. I must have been outside getting air during that. And somehow, the dude went the entire night without the siren call of the chicken dance.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007 9:59:00 AM  
Blogger Desmond Jones said...

We had an actual live band for our reception. When I was in college, I played in a band, and we'd do wedding gigs for pizza money. So I hired my own band for our wedding; except they had to find a fill-in keyboard player, 'cuz I was otherwise occupied (they did let me sit in for 'Georgia On My Mind', tho).

I honestly don't remember our bridal dance, but it could have been '(I Can't Help) Falling In Love With You'. Or not.

I was actually at a wedding once, at which the DJ played 'Your Cheatin' Heart' for the bridal dance. THE FLIPPIN' BRIDAL DANCE!! And one of Molly's brothers insisted that the DJ play 'Cocaine' at his wedding. No idea what that was about. . .

And don't go hatin' on Sir Macca. Molly melts every time I softly croon 'My Love' in her ear. . .

Wednesday, August 08, 2007 11:38:00 AM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

Desmond - Oh, no hate for Sir Macca. I mean, if some people want to fill the world with silly love songs, who am I to ask what's wrong with that?

Wednesday, August 08, 2007 3:45:00 PM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

Besides - Band on The Run never fails to make me happy. Ever.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007 3:45:00 PM  
Blogger That girl from Shallotte said...

I'm squealing with delight! I have been to the reception you so perfectly described many, many times!

Around here, the DJ always throws in a beach music song and hams it up with a bad Austin Powers accent and worse pun about shagging.

I would totally do the YMCA with you any day! Off to try to get "Macarena" out of my head.

Monday, June 29, 2009 10:41:00 PM  

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