Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Ending the Night with Piano Man

I initially was going to start this post off with “One of my favorite memories from our wedding day…” but then I realized that there were no less than 26 moments before then that were also favorites and at least 3 moments afterwards too and saying one of my favorite made it seem like there were only maybe 3 favorite moments, when basically the entire day was completely baller.  And so I decided to start this post with a nice little rambling paragraph and then proceed to tell you about a moment during the wedding day that was utterly fantastic. 

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The First Dance

It wasn’t the first dance, but rather the last.  A slightly imbibed sort-of quickstep to the Billy Joel’s infallible classic.  Like many college bars around the nation, there was a bar near the Notre Dame campus that followed the unwritten, drunken collegiate statute that the last song to be played before the lights go on and the crowd gets kicked out is Piano Man.  I don’t know why and it doesn’t quite make sense to me, but it is a law that is strictly adhered too.  Understandably, when our DJ asked what we wanted our last song to be, we knew we’d be ending the night with Piano Man.  It looked nothing like the classy picture above.  Classy could be the last adjective on earth, and it still couldn’t be used to describe the spin Ben and I took around the dance floor to the last song.  To paint a picture for you:

 The bottom half inch of my dress was dirty and the bustle was basically completely torn out by that point.  I was barefoot and bounding as much as my fluffy, white skirt would let me as Ben swung me around the circle of singing, swaying party goers.  Everyone was singing.  My feet were barely able to find the actual dance floor, but were instead slipping on layer after layer of tulle, even though it felt as though I had half of my poofy skirt gathered in the crook of my left arm.  My right hand was desperately clutching at Ben’s hand, letting him know that he was the only thing keeping us both upright and not in a sad heap on the dance floor.  It was exhilarating and terrifying, mostly the latter.  And I’m pretty sure I was giggling manically.  Ultimately, even though I felt like Belle, spinning around the grand ballroom in Beauty and the Beast, I’m sure it looked more like the failure montage from Save the Last Dance.

Fritsch Wedding-Liz and Ben Reception Part 1-0460
This is what fear looks like in a wedding dress
It felt like it lasted 10 minutes, but when Ben and I finally paused to catch our breath and help me find my feet, Billy Joel was only just singing about the waitresses practicing their politics.  We finished the song off in a less-frenzied mannered, everyone coming together and belting the final “we’re all in the mood for a melody” with the gusto only capable of the truly elated (or for some, the truly inebriated).  And then it was over all too soon.

I cherish this moment so much, simply because while I was being whirled around and fearing for my life (ok, I’ll be honest, fearing for my dress…), I was able to sneak in a few glances and have those thoughts I am told everyone has at least once on their wedding day.

I looked at my now husband, whom at that very moment I was entrusting with my terrified life, the man who I had had a crush on since the moment I meet him in the hallway our Freshman year.  I saw his happiness and his joy, twirling me around and showing off one of the best things about us as a couple, our ability to be silly with one another (you didn’t think I was going to say our dancing ability, did you?).  I felt my complete and utter trust in him, to not let me fall no matter what, even if all we were doing at the moment was true acrobatic dancing.

I looked at our family and friends.  Between all 160 of them, thousands and thousands of frequent flyer points, many highway miles and quite a few hotel rooms, all there to celebrate with us and what our relationship had become.  I’m sure the warm weather encouraged a few to make the trip, but they were there through it all.  From the hectic rehearsal dinner to the sparkler send off the next night, they were there: happy, excited, present.

I know that the next time I hear the iconic harmony of piano and harmonica, I will happily remind myself of these lucky few facts.  A strong, supportive (literally) husband with whom I can be my silly self and our friends and family who want nothing but to see these two silly kids happy.  And with any luck, I’ll be at the dive Notre Dame bar surrounded by the world’s best singers of Piano Man.

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