Friday, October 13, 2017

Country Songs

     As much as my mother liked to believe that I sprang from her thigh with no influence from my father, there is unfortunately, more of him in me than I care to admit most days. I can enjoy the hell out of an adult beverage when the kids are all in bed, although unlike him I know when to stop. I have a dark temper, but I have learned how to choke it back or at least kick things in private. But when I'm in a funk, and if we're being honest the funk is strong, every sappy, morose, shitty love song was written for me.
     My father tended to mix the alcohol with the music -- country being his preferred avenue of self-flagellation -- for a one, two punch for why we all sucked as wife and children. When in his cups with that radio on, the temper wasn't far behind, so you best be out of reach of his hands. On a side note, I think that's why I hold my anger in, because I imagine I know what I'm capable of so best to just direct it to my spleen.  Anywho ...
     He could transplant himself into any country song and take on their indignation or sadness. It was suddenly his pickup truck, his dog and his cheated heart. This may be why I've never really cared for country music. Oh sure, there's a song or two that's quite catchy, and I know a ton of the older stuff by default, but it's just not my jam. Tonight we grabbed dinner at the Texas Roadhouse, which for those of you who aren't familiar with that chain, is all about the yummy food, country themed decor, servers who line dance in the aisles during certain songs, a birthday saddle that you are serenaded to whilst sitting on it, and very loud country music. We haven't been in some, and usually I can ignore the other stuff and focus on the food, but as I mentioned earlier, I'm in a funk so that music needled its way into my brain.
     Nothing destroys the sweet joy of a loaded baked potato like thinking about all the boys that don't love you anymore. Like I'm sitting there trying to keep a jovial look on my face while the image of being dumped in the sixth grade is going through my head. Boys are my kryptonite, and I can fall in like/love with you at the drop of a hat. Craig Fuller of Pure Prairie League singing "Amie" ... check. Voguing to Madonna during the high school talent show ... check. Diving into the third base stands to catch a Trot Nixon pop-up in the 12th inning ... check. Multiple mix tapes filled with an interesting array of songs that oddly all fit together ... I'll probably marry you.
     We left the restaurant, saying goodbye to the stuffed armadillo on the way out, and once in the car I hoped to turn on some sweet loud rock to drown out those dumping images. Instead we talked about how the world was falling apart, that the people of Puerto Rico are dying and how different and safer everything felt just 11 months ago. Suddenly, thinking about all the boys who might have adored me a million years ago didn't seem so dreary. I'm still in a funk though. Maybe, I'll go kick something.