I’ve been told that I’m a difficult person to keep secrets from. Part of it has to do with my natural curiosity. I don’t like not knowing something. It bugs me on a very primal level. So I end up doing a little investigation. Plus, I love a good mystery. It’s why I’m good at my job, too. I enjoy challenging problems. Secrets are a challenging problem. But if someone wants something to be a surprise, I am respectful of that. I don’t go poking around like a kid trying to find his Christmas presents. I leave it alone. The unfortunate thing is that I have built in ways to figure out secrets. I am naturally observant, which has ruined more than one surprise in my life. I have a deductive mind. If I ask for clues, don’t give them to me. These are reflexes as much as anything else. I have no choice. I’ve just got to know.
While making plans for the wedding, I ran into a bit of difficulty regarding secrets. I’ve already discussed the problems we encountered while trying to come up with the playlist, but a wedding has certain scripted moments that need music, and figuring out those pieces was more important than anything else. I came up with the first dance (Power of the Heart covered by Peter Gabriel), Heather decided on the music for the bouquet toss (Dear Future Husband by Meghan Trainor). I got my pick for the recessional (This is the Day by The The), and we decided on our entrance music to the hall together (We’re Here to Save the Day by The Constellations). But when it came to the processional, I kept getting push back on my suggestions. Heather finally revealed that she already had a plan for that, and it was a secret.
Dammit, I did not want to hear that. She followed it up by telling me she didn’t want me to try and figure it out. Awww, the double whammy! I have to live with not knowing until the day of. I considered trying to outfox her. I considered trying to figure out what song it was by figuring out what songs it wasn’t. I thought I might be able to keep making suggestions, and maybe either eliminate some possibilities off of the list or gauge a reaction to a suggestion and find that I had guessed right. But then I remembered that this was important to her. I remembered that she was excited for this to be a surprise. And so I backed off.
I don’t know how many people were in on the secret before the wedding, but I know that everyone except me knew what song she chose at the rehearsal. For my part, to keep the secret, I was sent out of the room. I went outside of the venue. I walked around the opposite side from where the music would be, putting several walls between me and the possibility of hearing any sound. I just spent time taking it all in, and trying desperately to resist the urge to sneak a listen. I was strong, though. I didn’t hear a note.
The next morning, I got up and went to the store. Heather was staying in the hotel the night before our wedding. I insisted on tradition. She had forgotten a couple of things, and I was going to drop them off at the room before I went to lunch with my groomsmen. I stopped by the store to pick up a card for Heather, another tradition that I wanted to do. I was going to go to her room while she and her bridal party were off getting their hair done. I found the perfect card (I thought), wrote a loving note in it and left it on the table in the hotel room.
When Heather got back to the room, the card did not have the desired result. She took one look at the card, and even though she was moved by my sappy, sentimental message inside, she was furious at the cover. She thought I had figured out the secret. She thought that this was my clever and snarky way of telling her I had figured it out. In fairness, I do do things like that. I am good at keeping secrets. I am good at figuring out secrets. I am rubbish at keeping it a secret that I figured out the secret. I have to let it out somehow. The truth was I had no idea, but I also had no idea that I had to convince her that I had no idea.
Hours later, when I’m standing with my best friends in matching suits and staring out at a crowd of family and friends, I heard the opening notes of the song Heather had chosen and I laughed a little to myself. I had given her a card hours before that declared in bold letters on the front that “I am the luckiest,” only to find out that she had chosen to walk down the aisle to be my wife to Ben Folds’ The Luckiest as sung by the Washington University of St. Louis Amateurs.
To this day, I can’t help but tear up hearing that song. It has become more synonymous with our wedding and with Heather than any other song. I hear it, I cry and I smile. There is some debate between us, but I still think I’m the luckiest in this situation.