Saturday, July 25, 2009

When Life Makes You Happy, Make Blueberry Lemonade.

Last time I clicked, the so-called viral video, JK Wedding Entrance had racked up an astounding five million hits. Not bad, considering that, basically, it's a wedding video -- covering one of the 2.3 million U.S. weddings to be celebrated this year.

This one's special, though. JK Wedding Entrance (and really, you've got to see it -- features the atypically exuberant wedding processional of Minnesota couple Jill and Kevin, who, along with their attendants, boogied, strutted, hip-hopped, hustled, jived and, in one instance hand-walked, down the aisle to the infectious “Forever,” as recorded by Chris Brown.

I’ll be honest. Here at home, Darling Daughter (DD) and I can’t stop watching it.

Neither, apparently, can the rest of America. The darling -- and daring -- newlyweds appeared on The Today Show and Good Morning America yesterday, and then, the entire dance -- complete with attendants -- was recreated this morning on The Today Show (you've got to see this one, too -- There is some disagreement between DD and me as to which is more watchable.) Not surprisingly, the compulsively danceable, but year-old recording of “Forever” catapulted into the iTunes Top 10 today.

Within the very first few seconds, this simple home video brings a smile to the face, a tear to the eye, and then, an extra beat or two to the heart.

It didn’t take long, of course, for cynics to voice their critical opinions. In their minds, the video is self-indulgent, disrespectful, unoriginal, overwrought and destined to be imitated (not in a good way).

To them, I’ve got four words: Don’t be a hater.

C’mon. Really – how can you not be inspired and uplifted watching these folks?

And here's what I love -- the joy and the willingness of all the participants, regardless of ability. I can't see any evidence that anyone evoked the "I can't dance" mantra. They all dance. They dance as if no one is watching. They dance as if everyone is watching. What a generous wedding gift.
Just look at the unabashed joy and uninhibited spirit of the ushers, groomsmen and bridesmaids. Look at the cool confidence of the groom. Try to peel your eyes off the bride, nearly overcome with giddiness and delight.

How can you feel anything other than happy for them?

Indeed, maybe more of life’s celebrations should veer from the expected path. Imagine what would happen if more of us departed from the pre-ordained, what-we're-supposed-to-do scripts and etiquette books.

Why not cha-cha to Pomp and Circumstance? Why not accept a job offer with a salsa?

Why not do The Cupid Shuffle across the threshold of that first apartment? Why not do The Electric Slide after the birth of a child? (I don’t dare suggest a “conception” dance. I suspect it’s already been done. More than once.)

Why should we be afraid to show – and share – our joy?

Yesterday, DD was inspired to make strawberry lemonade – a recipe she perfected last summer, despite my ongoing complaints about sticky countertops and stained hardwoods. This time, though, there were no strawberries in the fridge. Just blueberries.

Since DD's 12, though, and not entirely tainted by the cynicism of teen and adult years, the solution was simple: blueberries we had, and blueberries would work.

So she came up with something new. And unexpected. And joyful.

Kind of like JK Wedding Entrance -- a lesson to all of us.


DD’s Blueberry Lemonade
(serves two)

2 large lemons, juiced
1/ 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup sugar
a dozen blueberries, pressed through a fine sieve
additional blueberries for garnish

Pour the lemon juice, water and sugar into a pitcher. Stir, vigorously, until sugar is dissolved. Stir in strained blueberries. Pour over ice. Garnish with whole blueberries. Drink while dancing.
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