I don’t usually do these kinds of things, but I was tagged for one of those Facebook things where you’re supposed to link to a song starting with a letter the tagger gives you. I was given b, and when I did a quick google of songs starting with b, I came across Madonna’s “Beautiful Stranger.” I’ve liked a number of Madonna’s songs over the years, but this one has a personal resonance for me. When my wife, Fiona, and I started seeing one another, she was finishing her dissertation at Penn State and I was living in Gardiner, NY. I used to drive down to see her on the weekend, taking my little, three-cylinder Geo Metro onto interstates where single and double tractor-trailers roared along beside me. The car had no air-conditioning, so I kept the windows rolled down and blasted the radio. That was the summer the second Austin Powers movie, The Spy Who Shagged Me, debuted, and this song was all over the airwaves. I’d hear it on my the down, when my heart was trip-hammering with anticipation, and I’d hear it on the way back, when I was already counting the days till I returned. To this day, whenever it comes on the radio, I recall those early days of the relationship that would lead to our marriage, the incredible good fortune that befell me.