We had been at the beach almost all day together, with the mish-mash group of friends that had somehow brought us together. He was quiet, wearing a thrifted Sunkist t-shirt, & ear buds hadn't left his ears all day. Barely acquaintances, we had walked together for a few blocks as part of a small delegation that had been sent to buy smoothies, but we didn't talk. I had just broken up with a boyfriend not a month before "because college (COLLEGE!) was three months away", & I was surprised to find myself excited to walk just a couple of feet away from him as we wandered. A new boy was very much not part of the plan for what I was hoping to be my final months in Hampton Roads. I was even more surprised when I found myself wandering over to where he was standing alone in the middle of the beach. He was singing, & how does a girl like me not walk over to a boy like him singing on the beach?
"The Music Man?"
"Till There Was You. The Music Man, right?"
No, it wasn't The Music Man. It was, in fact, the Beatles crooning in his ear about birds & hills & bells & sweet, fragrant meadows of dawn & dew. He smiled, pulling the other ear bud out from behind his shaggy dark hair (speaking of the Beatles...), intrigued that I was standing in front of him, asking about a movie from the 1960s. He couldn't help but quiz me about the movie, & I couldn't help but show off the moves I remembered from "Shipoopi." I like to think that it was those moves that really sealed our fate, & that's what the grandchildren will be told, by gum, but he says it was something about my eyes & some other smooshy stuff.
I had never heard the Beatles' version of this song, & even worse (according to Jared), I had never really listened to the Beatles'. Not on purpose, anyway. So, two months (& 5 whole weeks of dating) later, I received my first Jared Bethune playlist, teeming with Beatles' glory. I was partial to "When I'm Sixty-Four," but Till There Was You was already our song. I had never had an "our song" before, but as far as meet cutes go, it was the perfect soundtrack.
It was also the perfect soundtrack when we walked back down the aisle as husband & wife & when our sweet friend Kelli sang it for our first dance. It's even earned a spot on the wall of our family room. & I can bet you our future babes will hear it more than a few times. If you had told Summer 2006 Kelsey any of those things, she would probably tell you, "Well, thank GOD he wasn't listening to Outkast."
& she'd have an excellent point. Thank-you, Meredith Willson & Paul McCartney.