Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The Best Thing

When I got engaged, my parents were totally unfamiliar with the engagement and wedding customs of the United States. In Argentina, people don't get diamond rings, or plan long engagements, or have engagement parties. A wedding would be a civil union in front of a judge, and maybe, for some people, a church (or other religious) service too. But you would wear a suit or a nice dress (not necessarily white) to either the civil union or church service, and then a party dress to a party you might have with friends and family (likely not white).

My parents got married on the steps of San Francisco City Hall, my dad in this striped blue suit, my mom in a cream suit with a big white floppy hat. How I loved that hat as a child- it was so chic!

All of the 'nonsense' of bridesmaids, bouquets, several different parties, structured dances, and all the rest were completely novel to them. I think my parents worried that they wouldn't enjoy the wedding as much because it was so different, although they had the time of their lives (their own words) and danced the night away. We had a Jewish wedding, outdoor in a garden with a rabbi, and danced the traditional hava nagila, went up on chairs, the whole shebang. It was fabulous.

Josh (the hubs) and I surprised everyone by learning the Tango for our first dance. One of my sweetest memories is when the music started and there was a stunned silence as we began the choreographed moves. We pretended to be courting each other and while Josh would grab my hand I'd walk away from him glancing back seductively. I can still hear my friends' whoops and hollers, and I can see my father's tears of surprise and pride.

My father-in-law said that our dance was his favorite moment from the whole wedding. He told us later that he had never seen such guts and flair in his children.

I wasn't the only one with a surprise, though. My parents kept the song for the father-daughter dance a secret from me. They loved the idea of that tradition and they both spent months selecting the perfect song. As the music started, these were the words I heard:

I've had my share of life's ups and downs
But fate's been kind- the downs have been few
I guess you could say that I've been lucky
I guess you could say that its all because of you
If anyone should ever write my life story
For whatever reason there might be
You'd be there - between each line of pain and glory
Because you're the best thing that ever happened to me
You're the best thing that ever happened to me
There have been times, when times were hard
But always somehow I made it - I made it through
'Cause for every moment that I've spent hurting
There was a moment that I've spent just loving you
If anyone should ever write my life story
For whatever reason, there might be
You'd be there, between each line of pain and glory
Because you're the best thing that ever happened to me
That ever happened to me
I know that you're the best thing that ever happened to

Now seriously, is this something that you should sneak up on an already tearful bride on her wedding day?

I guess so.

** The song is by Gladys Knight and the Pips, it is called The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me


SpookyRach said...

That sounds like a hellaciously good wedding! Outstanding!

Ninotchka said...

I forgot to tell you how much I enjoyed this entry. Truly beautiful!

z said...

geez. that makes me teary just thinking about it.

Angry Pregnant Lawyer said...

Aw, I love that song! My mom used to sing it to me when I was a kid. So sweet.

jiri said...

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I have a halloween sites. They pretty much covers costumes and masks related stuff.

Thanks again and I'll be sure to bookmark you.