It took Eric and I a while to decide on the song for our first dance at our wedding reception. For a long time we thought it was going to be Alison Krauss, and then we thought it would be Ray LaMontagne, but then I heard this song, and it was all over. It’s “The Luckiest” by Ben Folds Five (you can listen to it here), and I had never even heard it before, but even the first time I heard it, it gave me chills. It is such a strange song, really, and I love that it talks about love in ways I’ve never heard, ways that are far beyond the cliches we all rely upon to describe the ineffable. My favorite lines are, “Where was I before the day when I first saw your lovely face? Now I see it every day.” Maybe that doesn’t sound like much, but it makes my mind reel. Where was I before Eric was part of my life? Somewhere definitely not as good as where I am right now, that’s for sure. But what I really love about these lines is that they can actually be taken literally–they make me think about what I was doing the day before I met Eric. I was probably working on PhD exam prep, answering emails, washing the dishes, trudging through the rain on my way to class, having no idea that my life would change so magically the very next day. The juxtaposition of that everyday life with the the life that I share with him now–the fact that now I cannot imagine my life without him–that’s what’s magic here. I love thinking about those moments in time because they illustrate so clearly what an incredible gift I was given, which I had no way of anticipating or deserving, but, nonetheless, here it was. There are probably just a few things that change our lives forever, and I love that this song tries to capture the feeling of one of those moments, that inexpressible gratitude for the person who is now as much a part of you as your right hand.
Eric and I listen to our wedding music all the time, especially when we’re cooking or driving somewhere. We play the dinner music when we want to talk and the dancing music when we feel like singing along. But our program music (first dances, entrance songs, etc.) are on another, much shorter playlist, and we hardly ever play it, maybe for that reason. But this past weekend, when we were driving home from Palomar, I turned on that little playlist. “The Luckiest” came on, and there I was, just sobbing my heart out in the car. Because it’s so true. I am the luckiest. And I am reminded of that every single day, not always in big romantic moments, but in the little things: when we cook dinner together, when Eric is scrubbing a stain out of my favorite shirt, when we’re talking over the decisions of the day at the dinner table, when I’m doubled over laughing at something he’s said, when he tells me, every single night, to sleep well. These things are so precious and so priceless. When I think about how many of them there are every day, I feel overwhelmed by grace, really, just hit by a tidal wave of blessedness. I am sure that a lot of us feel that our partners are the greatest gift we’ve ever been given. The crazy thing is that they are gifts that keep giving themselves to you, that keep flooding you with love, that keep making you a better person every day, just by being who they are. I know I am not the only one, but I am the luckiest.