July 1, 2014

Why My Groom Won't Dance to Beyonce at Our Wedding Reception

Today I saw a video making its way around the Internet world. It brought a big smile to my face and a warm feeling inside my heart. But even as I watched it, I knew I would never experience anything like it. And that's okay. Let me explain.

The video captured a lip-sync and dancing performance of a groom at his wedding reception. He and his groomsmen took the dance floor and performed smooth dance moves for the bride, while songs by Beyonce and the Backstreet Boys played on. I immediately tried to picture my own soon-to-be groom at our upcoming wedding. I cannot on any level imagine him putting together a choreographed routine to perform. But there's a reason for this. Dancing just isn't his thing.

In fact, I can count on one hand the number of times we've danced together in public during our ten years as a couple. One was a week into our relationship when he accompanied me to my last sorority formal in my senior year of college. Another was at a gala fundraiser for the arts and then there was our infamous dance lesson.

We're not even having dancing at our wedding. When I shared this factoid with our wedding videographer, there was an uncomfortable silence on the other end of the phone.

He couldn't fathom this. Apparently dancing at weddings is sort of commonplace. Sort of the norm. The expected thing.

It's not that I'm against dancing. Quite the opposite. I dance all the time. And I love to do it. But my would-be groom on the other hand...dancing isn't really his thing.

However, there are plenty of other things that are 'his thing.'

Like filling ice cube trays. And taking out the garbage. Listening to talk radio. Reading scary books. Helping people. Taking pieces of scrap metal and crafting them into fully functional (and beautiful) tools. Driving down country roads to explore places we've never been. Making up magical stories and telling them to me over the phone when I can't fall asleep. Listening to me and really hearing what I say. Fixing things. Telling me it's going to be okay even when a situation feels otherwise.

My beau is good and brave and true. And if he doesn't want to jump around at our wedding reception, dancing to Beyonce and acting silly, that's okay. I'm marrying him for who he is...not who I might try to make him become.

The online world isn't inherently evil. But when we let it speak to us about things we think our lives are missing, it can be a slippery slope. If you didn't have "the perfect marriage proposal" you can spend hours feeling bad about yourself while watching tear-jerker, awe-inspiring proposals on YouTube. If your child is behind in school, the online child prodigy who can recite the preamble to the Constitution heaps shame on your head. And if you didn't have a great relationship with your dad, the countless dad and daughter videos of touching shared moments can leave you feeling pea green with envy.

When are we going to realize the beauty of what's right in front of us? What is it going to take for us to stop looking outside and wishing for something different....but instead find joy and contentment in the wonderful things we already have?

I couldn't care less if my groom doesn't burst into song or set up a flash mob situation at our wedding. I know that the wedding is only the first step in the rest of our life together. And I feel like that's going to be pretty great.

The next time you see something online that makes you feel less than, give yourself a break. And remember that there's really no such thing as more or less. Just different folks who enjoy different things and have different talents and gifts.