Archive | music monday RSS feed for this section

Sometimes, even I need a reminder

24 Apr

I am a tolerant woman. I can ignore a lot. A LOT.

But some teen in this house showed Maura YouTube on the Xbox. And now, Maura is going through YouTube, clip by bloody clip, trying to pick out songs from movies. Except she can’t read really, so she goes by movie titles or pictures, press play, decide it’s not what she’s looking for ten seconds in, and stops it to go trolling some more.

Click…click….click…music…click click…music….click…click…

She’s doing this right now.

I’m going a bit mad.

It’s actually way more fun when one of the siblings get on her case. “Maura! Just stick with one thing!” Which of course, she doesn’t.

Good times.

We lost the Blue Pad – aka, a Kindle Fire that she was using – so we can’t just plug her into her own device with headphones.

To add to this fun, she’s gotten into repeating things several times to you. “See? See? See?”

“Yes, I see…I see….YES I SEE!”

Geez Mom, why are you yelling?

<headthunk>

I had this idea that I could just put a tv in her room. But then we’d never see her again, and she’d definitely never sleep. But that’s how desperate it’s all getting.

And then, just now, she turns to me. “See? A party! Woo! Let’s party!”

And I laugh.

Because the girl is just trying to enjoy her music and watch music videos. And she’s navigating YouTube the best she can – just like she navigates life.

There will always be obstacles for Maura. Always. The world isn’t designed for those with disabilities, so those with disabilities have to find a way to make things work. Meanwhile, there are those perfectly abled who get royally put out because OMG they had to park at the far end of the parking lot, and bitch about it. Or bitch about the shortage of unicorn Frappuccino’s. Or bitch about something that isn’t a big deal, and talk about how hard it was.

You know who doesn’t bitch about life being hard?

The girl currently navigating YouTube to find a video with her barely kindergarten level reading skills.

Sheesh, even I could learn from her.

This is one of her favs – thanks to one of the Jennifers who insisted Maura had to have the movie – we’re gonna need the soundtrack now, please and thank you.

Advertisements

Closer to Fine

31 Mar

The other day, as I ran errands, the song “Closer to Fine” by the Indigo Girls came on the radio.

I of course, sang along, doing the higher harmony part.

But my mind wandered back to a time in the early 90’s at my small Catholic college, where one of the campus bands decided, for moral reasons, not to play their songs anymore. Because they were lesbians, and playing their music would be seen as condoning their lifestyle choices.

I remember being disappointed by the campus band’s choice, because I liked those songs, liked singing along with those songs. But my college was all about making “statements” and this was their statement to make. So my friends and I went back to singing along with “Closer to Fine” playing on cassette tapes in common rooms.

As I thought about that moment in the car, “Closer to Fine” playing in the background, I realized this was the only group that one campus band refused to play because of “moral reasons”. They were okay with playing Crosby, Stills, and Nash (a group comprised of men whose lifestyles included drugs and divorce), Bob Dylan (who had multiple relationships with women), Eric Clapton (who had a hit with the song “Cocaine”), and other such musicians whose “lifestyle choices” did not mesh with the Catholic Church.

But their songs, they could be sung.

Was it because they were all male? Was it because, while the multiple relationships were a bit frowned upon, were at least heterosexual? Was it because they were so established in society it was okay, but the Indigo Girls, they were new, and so had to be made an example of?

Who knows what their logic was for what they chose was morally okay and what was not. It was a strange place, my college campus, a place where I made lifelong friends and my husband, yet a place where I was also judged and shamed by people who didn’t get to know me for everything from musical choices to clothing choices (which I ignored – peer pressure has the opposite wanted affect on me – instead of bending to wills of others, I dug in my heels, and stayed true to me.)

Ironically, when I got home that day, thinking about these, a college friend published a story of judgment and shame she endured by roommates over a dress that was deemed immoral.

Have a seat.” One roommate called the meeting to order. “I found this in your closet.”

That’s when I noticed it. My dress. Laid across the table. Did they think I had stolen it? I had never stolen anything in my life, save a duck eraser from the prize box in fifth grade, but clearly that had riddled me with enough guilt that I was never one to foray into shoplifting. Between my guilt and the fear of getting caught, I had long since marked theft off of my list of must-tries.

“We know now. You were obviously sleeping with him.”

My heart started beating really fast. The room appeared to be spinning, and I saw spots. From what I could piece together, my concerned roommates had decided that my new, immodest dress was proof positive that I had been having sex with my now-ex-boyfriend. (I hadn’t been.) They had previously suspected as much because I had been so emotionally invested, but now this was their tangible proof that I was no longer a virgin. –  The Dress That Ended My Modesty Obsession, by Jenn Morson

I had no idea she had written this, and yet, the timing of it coinciding with my wondering why music by lesbians was banished, but music by men who had several marriages and did drugs was okay, well, it was a bit of a coincidence, was it not? Is it because now, we’re so far away from those days back at our conservative college, now that we’re raising children of our own, that we can look back and see what was maybe not the healthiest of atmospheres for a very young woman?

Because her incident with being confronted with her scandalous clothing choices wasn’t a singular tale. I vividly recall the day I wore a mini skirt (over leggings) and listened to a trail of “Wow, look at her skirt!” all day until a “friend” stopped me to say snidely “Isn’t your skirt a bit short?”

“Yeah, well so am I.” I snapped back, carting my tray of crappy cafeteria food to my table of friends.

Because flipping people the middle finger in the middle of the cafeteria was possibly frowned upon more than music by lesbians.

Ironically, if I want to flash back to my freshman year of college, it’s not one of the Christian artists that tips me off – frankly because I rarely if ever listened to them.

No, it’s “Closer to Fine” that puts me back there, with friends who are still friends of mine today, laughing, being too loud, too secular, and our own selves.

I spent five* years prostrate to the higher mind, got my paper, and I was free…


*yes, I know, the original lyric is “four years” not five – but it took me five years to get that paper, and that’s how I sing it

“Don’t you forget about me…”

25 Jan

I drove my 16 yr old to school this morning. I don’t usually drive her as we’re close enough for walking, but sometimes she asks and I’ll grab my keys and we get in the car. It’s a few extra minutes with the rapidly-approaching-college age daughter. I’ll take what I can get.

As we drove to the high school, Simple Mind’s “Don’t You Forget About Me” came on, and I was allowed a surreal moment where I was driving to a high school with my high schooler singing a song I sang when I was in high school.

Yeah, it’s one of those weird moments in life. We both sang along to the very last “la la la la” and then she went off into her school.

I thought about the movie for a bit as I drove home via Starbuck’s – how it was five teens from different backgrounds, who end up finding their common ground and resisting being molded into compliant students. They refused to let the authoritarian break their spirits. Instead, they came together and realized they were more alike than not. They resisted and they found themselves in doing so.
 
And I wonder now, looking around at everyone – I was the teenager John Hughes was making this film for. My friends were those teens as well. We’re all adults now, skipping into middle age, and I wonder – when did we all give up and become so compliant? When did we realize it was easier to just blend? Is it because it’s just easier and we’re all tired?
 
I’m not saying rebelling and rejecting everything is cool. Bills still need to be paid, children fed, laundry washed. It’s more the little things, the things we feel make us “bad parents” or “trying to hard”.
Case in point – my hair.
I still have the ends colored. The teal has faded to more of a green. I get lots of compliments from women in their 20’s about my hair. But women closer to my age, when they do compliment it, do so almost wistfully, and add “But I could never do that.”
Why not? Well, I know why not. Because somehow, you’re credibility falters when you’re a 44 year old suburban mom with blue hair – not among those who matter, but those pre-disposed to judge you. It’s like we’ve all hit Labor Day and put away our white shoes.
I’m sure there are some who take it too far. The ones who put their dreams before their children’s needs. The ones who burn bridges and barns and everything else as they go along. I’m not saying be that.
But maybe…have you forgotten to be yourself? That person who loved bright lipstick, who loved to dance, who dreamed big? The one who saw something wrong and went “Hey, that’s wrong!”? Were you ever that person? Remember when growing up to be just like your parents seemed like the most tragic thing ever, and now you’re living in a house with all beige walls thinking that you’re too old for some things?
Is the teenager you once were saying “Don’t you forget about me?”
Would that teen recognize you now?
Will you walk on by all those things you feel you can’t do anymore?
…or will they call your name?

%d bloggers like this: