Within minutes of getting engaged, a message is beamed to all merchandisers on the planet alerting them to your new status so that they may begin the year-long process of clogging every media-receiving receptacle over which you preside. The most common pitch is the online advertisement encouraging me to get off my venti derriere and get in shape for my wedding day. Now, to my knowledge, the good people at Facebook, The Knot, etc. have no actual idea what size my rear is, but they seem to take the buckshot approach with all engaged ladies: you’re female and you’re getting married, you most certainly think you weigh too much right now. Many of these marketers tout “The Perfect Bridal Diet” or some variation thereof.
I don’t even bother clicking, because lately I’ve been tinkering with my own bridal diet. It consists of a little something I like to call gut-churning anxiety and exercise. As for the former, well it is what it is. I go through phases where I can’t eat very much and suffice it to say, I’m in one right now. The latter I can actually control, so in advance of the never-ending round of dress fittings that begin next month, I’m trying to be up in the gym just workin’ on my fitness, as the kidsthe Fergie says. Since literally one reader inquired recently about what I’ve got blaring in the old iPod when I’m at the gym in an effort to update her own work-out mix, I thought I’d share. Especially as I’m sure yesterday’s Coldplay fandom admission has you all clamoring to download the entire Bridal Bird’s Workout Essentials mix from iTunes. These are not my greatest workout songs of all time. Just what I’m listening to now.
1. Violet Hill, Coldplay — Yep, that’s how you still know I’m gay.
2. List of Demands, Saul Williams — There’s nothing like a white girl trying to burn off her mochaccino listening to some dude rapping angrily about reparations. To further boost my street cred, I remove my sorority-logo-emblazoned ribbon from around my ponytail when this comes on.
3. Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On), Robert Plant and Alison Krauss — I instantly have to knock the treadmill speed up a couple notches when this comes on because of the tempo. Also, this unlikely duo makes “Go f*** yourself,” sound so down-home plucky.
The Pop Crap Portion of the List (Look, when The Decemberists or whomever else it is that they’re peeing themselves over these days down at the Rock & Roll Hotel start writing songs I can run to, I’ll add them, but for now, pop songs are going on the list.)
4. No Air, Jordin Sparks with Chris Brown — I like a touch of the literal when I’m running and gasping for air.
5. Pocketful of Sunshine, Natasha Bedingfield — If I were on The Hills this would be playing as I drive around the city and look pensive. But I’m not on The Hills, so it’s playing as I do crunches and try to remember whether I locked the front door.
6. I Will Possess Your Heart, Death Cab for Cutie (hell yeah, the 8:35 version) — The four minutes of instrumental build-up is perfect. And then the rest makes for good stalker-evasion training runs.
7. Mercy, Duffy — Confession: I went around for several weeks calling her “Dusty.” I consider this a Freudian slip because she sounds a lot like Dusty Springfield.
8. Just Can’t Seem to Get it Right Today, Joe Purdy — Yes, this makes this the second song used in a commercial that’s on my list. But in my defense I knew both of those songs before they were used for the commercials. (Of course I’m lying. Everyone is lying when they make this claim.) Also, lately, if it’s a day ending in a ‘y’, I’m in agreement with Purdy.
9. Blood, Editors — I jumped around like a fiend when I saw them perform this live so it seemed like a natural fit for the list. Nine out of 10 times, I’m a lot less trashed when I’m listening to it at the gym.
10. Sinner Man, Nina Simone — This song has a permanent spot on all Bridal Bird Jock Jams volumes. Every. Last. One.
11. Weird Fishes/Arpeggio, Radiohead — Sure, there’s the song’s orchestral swell to keep me going, but there’s also the realization that I couldn’t fit an arm into one of Thom Yorke’s trouser legs. There’s nothing like a twee British alt.rocker’s size 0-frame to compel me to hit the ground for another set of prison push-ups.
12. Natural’s Not in It, Gang of Four — “The problem of leisure/what to do for pleasure,” is especially apt on the occasions when I’m working out while off during a workday. It’s the ultimate ladies who lunch anthem, if ladies who lunched also did a lot of blow.
So that’s my list. What am I missing? Bridal Bird readers want to know.