Wednesday, March 2, 2011

If Music Be the Food of Love, Martha is Seriously Screwed

Picture this.

It's 1996. The morning after prom. I float home, barefoot, dangling my plum slingbacks off my fingers.

My girlfriend calls, squealing, "How was it?"
I tell her it was nice.
She asks, "What was the first slow song you danced to?"

She is appalled. But I can't remember.

"But that's going to end up being your song," she insists. "Your song forever! It will always be the first song you danced to and it's the song you have to dance to at your wedding and your 50th wedding anniversary and now you don't know it!"

It was our second date, so she was being presumptuous. But still.


Fast forward fifteen years.

That boy who took me to prom?

We're married. We're still together. We still have no idea what songs we have danced to - not a one.

Not a song from Prom Night. Not a song from our wedding. (There was music there...I think.) Not a song from the time we took ballroom dancing lessons. Not a song from the surprise 30th birthday party he threw me when he rented out a small dance floor in a swanky Union Square hotel.

I wondered if there was something wrong with me. Other people seemed so affected by music, by its message and its promise. They could hear a song on the radio and be transported to another time and place. Feel the swell of emotion as fresh as the day they earned it.

Songs don't do that for me.

But I remember the corsage he bought me. How he borrowed his stepfather's truck so he wouldn't have to drive me in his piece-o-crap pickup. Ordering a tuna croissant sandwich at Red Robin (oh yeah, people, this was swank.) The Paris-themed decorations that couldn't cover the scent of chlorine at the aquatic center. How we were so tired we decided to take a nap before heading to the after party. The way ESPN kicked on like an alarm at six, making us realize we'd overslept. How nervous he looked sitting across the booth from me at Dennys. How nervous I felt as to whether he'd call me again.

There isn't a song to capture it all. It's okay that I don't remember.


L.G.C. Smith said...

Okay, what's going on here? You made me tear up! I think this is the most romantic thing I've ever read from you, and I adore it. Not that I'll expect to see anything like it for a while. That would indicate I'd slipped into an alternate universe, and that would make my brain hurt. But just this once? Awww... :)

Martha Flynn said...

WHAAAAT? Well I done effed up this post, then. *grumble* I'm pretty sure I was SUPPOSED to be bitching how about I don't get music.

Unknown said...

No you were explaining that music isn't your thing but you remember the important stuff. xoxo :)

Gigi Pandian said...

This is so lovely! And it really is so interesting how different people find different pieces of memories meaningful.

Jill said...

And your former piano teacher is somewhere twitching, not knowing why....

Rachael Herron said...

It made me tear up, too! Lovely, lovely.

Sophie Littlefield said...

ha! I was just dipping a toe in over here but i am SO glad I checked to see what you wrote, dearie, because you were just a big huge giant sloppy gushy romantic. Love it.