Saturday, July 31, 2010

My Love/Hate Relationship with Country Music

A relationship with music? Sounds a little dramatic right? But what else would you call something that can make you cry one minute and do a dorky dance the next minute? Manipulative, that's what! 
Here comes another post about feelings (blech!) One I've meant to post, and changed my mind, then changed it again.

The truth is I love all kinds of music. Well, not really rap, if that counts. Otherwise I can enjoy pretty much anything. But there is no kind of music like country music that I can relate to. (And when I say country, I'm not talking about Carrie Underwood!) That's not always a good thing, though. Nothing like a rowdy country song can put me in a great optimistic mood. But nothing like a sad heartbreak country song can put me into a downward spiral of despair. 

I like The Postal Service as much as the next gal, but nobody has (and I imagine nobody ever will) kiss me "in a style Clark Gable would have admired." While I enjoy that kind of music too, that's all it is to me- Music. Now when Keith Anderson sings, "I've changed the presets in my truck so those old songs don't sneak up, they still find me and remind me..." I feel a stab in my tummy and a lump in my throat. My own feelings and everything I've never been able to express with words are right there.

This is a dangerous predicament.
I can be stitching along happy as a clam, (And by the way, where on earth did that expression come from? Why are clams happy??) listening to a cheerful song about pickup trucks, horses, and cowboy boots, when suddenly one of those songs comes on. The ones that seemed to have come straight from my own life, and I'm tearing up and feeling sorry for myself. Or even worse, a song that paralyzes me in a memory of where I was the last time I heard it. All-night fishing trips. Holding hands strolling through an antiques market. Making our secret-recipe burgers. I haven't been able to do any of those things, and I haven't been able to listen to country music. It's just too painful.

For three years I've struggled to completely forget that person I was. I've fought to avoid any recollection that might possibly cause any pain, but it's impossible. I'm going to try something new- Acceptance. I feel like the only solution is to accept the fact that it's going to hurt, that it's going to be hard, and that it's never going to go away entirely. Because I miss fishing. I miss homemade burgers (the secret ingredient is a great big spoonful of sage, btw) and dadgumit I will admit, I even miss nascar. And cowboy songs. The sad ones might still hurt, but there's a strange kind of comfort being able to put it into words.

Before things fell apart, our dream was to live somewhere that required patronizing a Tractor Supply Company store. We wanted animals and land, and to grow things. Just because he stopped wanting those things doesn't mean I have. I want a farm. I want to wear cowboy boots with cut-offs. I want my little girl to ride a horse every day. I want my husband to work right there in our own fields and come back for lunch every day. The husband that won't drink and cheat and leave.

Maybe I'll never have a farm, but I can still have fishing. And flea marketing. And even nascar. And I can stop being afraid of my favorite country songs. Because just like a country lifestyle has become part of who I am, so has the consequences of my choices. (I'd like to take this opportunity to remind all you young ladies to listen to your mama when she warns you about that boy!) And I have to live with them together, and stop hiding from them.

Every week that goes by gives me another opportunity to think to myself, I can't believe I ever loved you. And I welcome them with relief. Maybe someday I'll have completely forgotten all the good memories that still cause pain. Maybe I'll never forget them, just remember them fondly. Or maybe they'll always hurt a little, but not so strongly. Whichever it is, I'm just relieved to know I'm getting there.

And to know that this little girl was worth it all:

Is there a genre of music that you can really identify with?

1 comment:

Sew Happy Jan said...

Country music is my therapy for the soul, its confronting, it reminds, but long after the last boot is scooted a little more has been healed.