OA: Samantha Stiles Column January 16, 2009

I’m always listening for the perfect love song

By the time you read this Friday morning, I’ll be on a plane to Texas.

One of my very best friends is getting married, we’ve known each other since we were 7.

In a coincidental twist, I went to see “Bride Wars” last weekend, and the main characters have been friends since about 7.

Anyway, Karen and I weren’t the kind of girls who spent our childhood fantasizing about our weddings as the characters in the movie did. We never cut out pictures of dresses from magazines or talked about diamonds or place settings.

When Karen was picking out music for her wedding I sent her an instant message with just one sentence: “Play ‘Butterfly Kisses’ or the chicken dance and you’re dead to me.”

That’s right, I’d throw away a 17-year friendship over the chicken dance. Who wouldn’t?

Because you see, music means more to me than the food at the reception, the invitations, the groom’s tuxedo or even the venue.

Being madly and deeply in love is the No. 1 priority, and No. 2 is the music at the reception.

Music plays a very real and purposeful role in my life. I connect with songs like I connect with people. I associate different times in my life with different bands or different albums.

I may not be able to remember what my hair looked like in any given year, but chances are I can remember what I was listening to.

I’m always on a quest for the perfect love song. Something general enough to apply to all the kinds of love in this world. Nothing too heartsick — no “I love you ... but,” and no
“missing you” songs.

An Australian wedding Web site posted a list of the top 20 classic love songs. Some I get —
“You Are So Beautiful” by Joe Cocker, that’s OK. “The Way You Look Tonight” by Tony Bennett is all right. But “This I Promise You” by ’N Sync? Really.

Another friend of mine danced to Ingrid Michaelson’s “The Way I Am” with her new husband at their reception, and it was a perfect moment.

“The Way I Am” doesn’t appear on any classic love song lists or CDs advertised on late night paid TV programming. It’s a good song and a little less obvious than “I Will Always Love You,” sung by Whitney Houston.

But back to Karen’s wedding. She replied to my chicken dance request with, “I wouldn’t dare.”

•  Valentine’s Day falls on a Saturday this year, and it is less than a month away. Keep checking Out & About for a list of events taking place on Feb. 14.

•  GJSentinel.com is launching a new Video Valentine Project. Anyone can come to The Daily Sentinel from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and film a shout out to someone they love for free. We’ll post the videos on our Web site from Feb. 1-14.


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