When the clock struck 2 am at a Brazilian wedding I went to this weekend, I had never felt more gringa. Fighting off sleep and a general sense of shock that people were dining at the hour most Americans are snoring, I realized that we are, if anything, a modest people.
But a little after the bride threw her bouquet back behind her, I suddenly heard and felt a flash of home: the (awesome) DJ played the Red Hot Chili Peppers song Give It Away.
It was all somehow fitting: the bride was marrying to go form a new home, and all of her around-30 friends were dancing to the jams that we used to - in Brazil, Cali, or elsewhere - back when we gave away our ambition and attention with more abandon. Now, we give away our time and commitment to just one person, but certain songs still sound like home, even at two in the morning.