Below is a picture from the first time my wife and I ever hung out.
She was new in town. I was unemployed and making a mess of my life. So I invited her to a party, and we…hit it off.
So WTF does this have to do with Ben Folds? “The Luckiest.”
The song is pretty much my life up until the point that I met my wife, and afterward.
From the song:
I don’t get many things right the first time
In fact, I am told that a lot
Now I know all the wrong turns, the stumbles and falls
Brought me here
And where was I before the day
That I first saw your lovely face?
Now I see it everyday
And I know
That I am
I’d seen all the bullshit of the dating world so many times that I sort of (not even a little) knew the bad paths to avoid. And yet, those same bad paths that I always managed to wonder down again, and again, and again…made me the kind of guy I was when I met Alisia. It’s a pretty beautiful juxtaposition, if you ask me. “The Luckiest” is our song. We’ve sung it on road trips. Had a few romantic moments set to its sound. My friend Ian even played it on guitar as Alisia walked down the aisle. So we dig it.
And it’s an especially cool track since the other night (October 21) Ben Folds played the song for us. There were hundreds of other people in the Wilma, but he played it for us.
Sitting with our friends Adam, Malia and Tom Fite of Tomfite.com, Pabst in one hand and Cold Smoke in the other, I got a little bored wondering what Ben Folds would play. Will he play “Army”? Yeah, probably. “Rockin’ the Suburbs” is probably going to happen. But what else? I decided to take a chance and see if I could make a request.
First off, Twitter rocks. I love it. I tweet too much (as evidence to your right). I saw Tom texting to Twitter while we waited and I got an idea: Send a tweet to Ben Folds.
From my Twitter feed: “@benjaminfolds We have some requests, ‘Song for the dumped,’ and ‘The luckiest.’ We like dichotomy down here in the 2nd row.” Actually, the first time I spelled his name wrong and had Adam not seen my “@benjamingfolds” gaff, he would not have got my requests.
Luckily (or maybe due to boredom) Ben Folds was checking Twitter and saw this.
I of course was unaware.
So, remember those two beers? Beer runs through me like a river through “it.” After the first few songs of the set I leaned over and told my wife, “I’ve got to pee. I’ll take some balcony photos.” She nodded and handed me her point-and-shoot.
a bit later, upstairs in the Wilma’s bathroom I finished up and headed over to wash my hands. As soon as the water hit my fingers I heard what sounded like “otomy” and “second row.” I reached for the soap and then I heard it…the opening chords. Shit, I think, I’m up here with wet hands while my wife is down there listening to our song. Must get there before our song becomes D-I-V-O-R-C-E.
I take off running, wiping my hands on my shirt as I go, jumping down the stairs and pushing folks aside like I’m at some punk rock show. Alisia and everyone breathes a sigh of relief when I hit the second row. I grab hold of the wife and she starts to cry a little against my shoulder. It’s all very moving. One of our favorite musicians is playing our song, live, for us.
But how the hell did we know it was played for us?
Mr. Folds introduced the song by saying that he’d received a few requests, but that one stood out because “the fans in the second row like dichotomy. Dichotomy is a nice word; it’s got four syllables. But I don’t know if I can play their requests though because it’s not two-for-Tuesdays. I don’t know. I guess we can call it ‘Wet-tshirt-Wednesday” so we’ve got some reason.”
Then he jumped into it.
Sadly this footage from that night starts after his dedication.
When he finished up he told us how he hadn’t played “Song for the Dumped” in years and would make plenty of mistakes. And he did. He made four. But the audience was really into it and we all kept singing and laughing, and having a generally good time. The best part is that the five of us now have this story of Ben Folds dedicating songs to us, which is special–especially for Alisia and I.
Since then I’ve been sick, which is a bummer. And that’s why it’s taken long for this post.