I have a long list of shortcomings. Not curious about things I’m not already passionate about, I’m also ignorant about geography, history, and most of The Important Information people learn in school. This, despite the fact I performed well in my studies in excellent schools through 19th grade. I pick at myself, the pantry, and my husband when anxious. I learn only enough about technology to get by (see: my yahoo account). I expect my children to hurry when developmentally they’re programmed to stop getting dressed at underwear and one sock, in order to play with a delivery-pizza plastic center hubcap “sensei” dictating a multi-level journey to his plastic hubcap protégé. In Wolof.
Then comes the problem of music. It rarely occurs to me to put any on, unless I’m in the car. If you only think of music when you’re in the car, your choices become naturally selected: radio with a crappy signal, two scratched “Music Together” children’s music class companion CDs known to impair your driving more than texting (what with the all the triangle and wood block), and whatever decent music your husband left in the car during the past decade. Right now it’s Dylan. See how I said “Dylan” instead of “Bob Dylan” like I meant serious in-group musical business? I nearly spelled him Bob Dillan, honest to God.
When someone else turns on music in my company I think Wow. Music... I should play that! A year ago I discovered Pandora and felt musically Roto-rooted for an invigorating three weeks. Then I lost the password. Password loss indifference falls just below musical constipation in my catalog of shortcomings.
My iPod is so busy updating free NPR podcasts it wouldn’t recognize a riff if Terri Gross shredded it herself. Riff! Shred! Serious in-group musical business.
Worse even, Husband now suffers musical-constipation-by proxy. He played drums in shows all over Chicago in the 1990s: The Double Door, The Metro, The House of Blues—Billy Corgan even spent a day recording his band! (Name dropping comes after password loss indifference, but above repeating things I’ve said that made one person laugh once in my catalog of shortcomings). When we met, he lived out west and still loved Phish. In Chicago we both traveled a Rufus Wainwright phase together, and then he got really into Jazz on Vinyl. “Vinyl!” Serious. In group. Musical Business.
I love music. I Swear. I sing along with most every song that comes on our crappy car radio—at least the chorus, with the wrong lyrics, and in perfect harmony which would be a lot less embarrassing if I were being ironic. I love to get on a dance floor and get DOWN. But I am musically constipated and I blame showtunes. I recently heard that the music we most remember/identify with is that which we listened to at age 14. Did I read that on your blog Nancy Davis Kho? Well at age 14 I basically wanted to be the next Disney Ingénue more than I wanted a cruise to Acapulco AND a real boyfriend to give me a Black Hills Gold heart-shaped garnet ring. But instead of a ravishing Jewish Ingénue, Disney gave us Fievel, and I listened to Somewhere Out There on repeat and ruined my musical motivation forever.
I need a musical enema. Things have become so dismal I’ve found myself humming along to the Super Mario Galaxy Official Soundtrack by Mario Galaxy Orchestra. I know sometimes drunk drivers or frail elders have a hard time handing over the keys, but I’m begging you. I have good taste, I just lack initiative. Someone take our iPods. Take over my Spotify account, because I don’t want to learn to use it. If you’ll re-constitute our musical stylings, I swear I’ll take better note of the passwords. I’m serious this time. “Stop picking” and “grow learned” are already among my New Year’s Resolutions.