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That Girl: An Engagement Story in Four Songs

The bride-to-be and her best man.
The bride-to-be and her best man.

One recent Sunday, I watched my best friend propose to his longtime girlfriend of more than a year.

I know how much weight that particular statement makes, but considering all the factors here, this was a big damn deal for all parties involved. Never in our natural lives did we completely think the marriage bug would creep upon us so fast, but it happened to him.

You can start tossing a bunch of your own thoughts into the moment, like, "God I hope I don't mess this up for them," but then you reel yourself back in and tell yourself, "Holy shit, this is happening for my friend and I get to watch it. This isn't about me. I can calmly sit back and watch this unfold without even saying a word."

But I said something, while he somewhat froze up and got nervous. Because that's what friends do. He eventually finished, the giant crowd inside of the Woodlands Marriott Conference Room went ballistic as if Case Keenum walked around kissing every baby around and the bride to be eventually said yes.

Now, I can't tell the entirety of their romance but I know their eventual road towards taking their first dance as Mr. & Mrs. involves a near-car accident. They'd seen each other on the University of Houston campus for years and then it just didn't happen. Then a chance encounter while the soon-to-be bride was on a date with someone else happened, and the two wound up exchanging numbers. I'm pretty certain that guy is cursing the heavens on the girl he lost, but whatevs.

Love is strange like that, and in particular, so is the music that probably shaped their relationship.

Daft Punk, "Get Lucky" The moment Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" debuted this year, my friend immediately soaked it up. On the same night he, my other best friend who is more like a giant version of me, only far more handsome and funny went out, this played. On constant loop. So much so thanks to a few drinks the bride-to-be was out the window down Westheimer singing the song.

Suffice to say, Daft Punk will factor somewhere into their wedding playlist.

Justin Timberlake, "That Girl" You want to know how you can perfectly cue up a song about your favorite woman in the world? It's about that moment when you kind of aren't paying attention but you notice her. And time stands still for a second and you don't even think about how you owe all this money on a bill or two or probably double-parked in a fire lane and are about to get hassled by traffic cops.

You hear the opening chords of Justin Timberlake's "That Girl" from the first 20/20 Experience and the clouds begin opening up. Its this particular moment where my friend, a man so in love with the perceived woman of his dreams, did damn near any and everything to get Justin Timberlake tickets for her. He succeeded somehow, and both of them are heading to that show next month.

Story continues on the next page.

 

Prince, "Let's Go Crazy" The fun thing about being friends with someone who has random moments of discovery is that they wind up taking you back to conversations you've already had before. Case in point, my best friend just realized how great Purple Rain was. Well, a lot of the '80s in general, but Purple Rain especially.

Not just the movie. The soundtrack too.

So obviously, just for giggle purposes, "Let's Go Crazy" has to be the theme song to a random night of drinking and footloose partying somewhere on Washington Ave (both his and her favorite section of the city to unwind at night) and have one silly-ass montage in the process.

OVERWERK, "Odyssey" When you're a cheerleader coach, you're going to be subjected to tons of EDM. It can be shitty, you can probably make more Bring It On jokes than your older brother who never truly grew up and found 1999 Kirsten Dunst to be the end-all, be-all in terms of young Hollywood eye candy. How Overwerk's "Odyssey" turned two people who had basically been drawing a circle back to one another for the better part of six years into a near-married couple is beyond me.

"Odyssey" rumbles along as a collection of synths and hand-clapped drums that ride up and down the scale for about four minutes. There's a pulse there, and after watching my best friend get crushed in his last relationship, he needed something to move him. It's clear "Daybreak" is the biggest OVERWERK song in existence right now, but I put it like this, as taught to me by John Cusack's performance in High Fidelity.

You don't fall in love with somebody over the radio tracks, because they're always out there. You do it for the album cuts, because they really tell you what you're about to be in store for.

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