Sunday, March 31, 2013

My Love Affair With Sirius

A couple of months ago, I gave up my old family truckster (a 10 year old minivan) for a new ride and will admit that I was less excited about the functionality of the car and more enthusiastic about having a stereo that actually had an input for my MP3 player.

I am a girl, after all, and we all know that the most important thing to many females is the color of the car and the stereo.  So there you have it.

But my relationship with my new auxiliary input wasn't meant to be.  Because I was enticed by a newer, flashier form of listening pleasure.

Sirius XM radio.

"Wait until you get used to it," my sister said when I told her I had gotten a free three month trial subscription.  "You'll never want to give it up."

Certain that my heart would remain with my own mix of music that I had downloaded over the years, I rolled my eyes at her.  And then it happened.

I cheated on my MP3 player.

It all started with the 80s on 8, a running commercial-free stream of songs from my youth, complete with the old MTV VJs (that's Video Jockey for those of you who are too young to remember what MTV used to be like).  Listening to Nina Blackwood announce a song by Pat Benatar in a voice that sounded like she hasn't taken a breath of clean air in 30 years was like coming home - a big haired, Aqua Netted, ripped jean home.  Every song had a memory from my childhood attached to it and I found myself saying to my kids over and over, "You should have seen the video for this song!  It was bitchin'!"

Okay, I didn't actually say the word "bitchin'" to my kids.  But I was thinking it.

But I knew I had found true love when I tuned into the 90s on 9, songs from middle school, high school, and college that I was surprised to realize I remembered all of the words to.

But not as surprised as I was at the words themselves.

I don't know if I wasn't paying attention or I was just plain naive, but I don't think I really realized what I was dancing to at all of those fraternity parties years ago.  I guess if it had a good beat, I went with it.  But nothing makes you stand up and take notice of these having your small children in the car.

"Hey!  Listen to this!"  I exclaimed when I heard the intro to Salt N Pepa's "Shoop" come on.  "I used to love this song!"

I cranked up the volume and started to sing along.  And I think it was around when I started singing
"lick him like a lollipop should be licked" that I realized that this just might not be all that appropriate for my elementary school-aged children.

Shoot.  I don't even know if I was mature enough to listen to it.

That's when I started having flashbacks.

Come Baby Come.


Just about anything by Alanis Morrisette, the poster girl for bitter females everywhere - all of the lyrics came flooding back to me in one big sex-crazed decade-long musical.  And that's when I realized that my love affair with Sirius might have to either come to an end...or we would have to keep some parts of our relationship under wraps.

This is new territory for me.  I listen to the things that my kids are tuning into...but they aren't quite to the ages where it's completely offensive.  And yes, it did take me a little longer than most to realize that that song about whistling by Flo Rida wasn't actually about whistling and so maybe I should change the channel.

But here's the thing:  I knew that at some point I would get to the age when I would say in that cranky adult voice, "What is wrong with kids today??  What is that garbage that's on the radio??"

I just had no idea that I would get so old that I would come full circle and actually say, "What is this crap I used to listen to???  It's entirely inappropriate!!"

Now that's old.

Or as EMF would's "Unbelievable."

Friday, March 1, 2013

God vs. Online Dating

I love taking my kids to the bus stop.

There is the obvious reason - that hiss and roar that indicates that my precious children will be at school and learning things that will get them into Harvard (actually, I'm starting to doubt that.  That Everyday Math is one screwy system).  And then there is, of course, that feeling of freedom that comes with seeing the wide, yellow ass of the bus round the corner, taking that beloved cargo with them and leaving me in silence for the rest of the day.

Oh, come on.  You know you all think it, too.

But I also love going to the bus stop because that's where I get the best gossip.  There is usually a pretty good crowd on Friday mornings, so I make an effort to get there.  That's when I find out who's been traveling, what current diseases are circling around my kids at school, and who wants to lock their husbands out for the weekend.

For some reason this morning, the crowd was a little thin (maybe it has to do with all of those diseases circling around) and I was standing there with one of my new neighbors who suddenly became very concerned about the fact that I am single.

"Are you seeing anyone?" she asked out of the blue.

"No," I said.  "But I'm really okay with that right now."

"Let me ask you this," she said, looking intently at my face.  "Have you told God what you want?"

Now, at that moment, I started looking for the nearest exit which was, unfortunately, my house a half a block away.  Not wanting to offend her by running screaming up the street, I put what I hope was a polite half-smile on my face and started inching my way backwards.

"  But, really...I'm okay with being single right now."

"You have to ask God for what you want!" she said emphatically.  "Make a list and tell Him!  That's what I did and that's how I got my husband!"

I didn't think that was the time to tell her that when I was working on my upcoming book, I had originally titled the dating section "Highway to Hell."  And so I kept inching my way closer and closer to my front door and when I finally closed it behind me, I breathed a sigh of relief.

But that conversation got me to thinking.  Is that what we're all doing wrong?  Turning to services like and eHarmony when what we should really be doing is sending our profiles and pictures to God? 

Dear God,

Attached is my profile where I ask for someone who makes at least minimum wage, has a valid driver's license, and does not wear platform shoes.  I know that this picture of me is a little old and I'm 10 pounds heavier now.  That doesn't count as a lie...does it?

Do those people who have their information on Christian Mingle have a leg up on the people who list with Plenty of Fish?  What about that  Do they get a better divine response than the people who are using It's Just Lunch?

I'm having visions of getting on my knees every night, folding my hands, closing my eyes, and begging God to bring me the last decent man left on Earth.  And then the heavens opening up and God (who suddenly looks a little like Joaquin Phoenix during his rapper phase) saying, "Fear not, my child.  I will bestoweth upon you a man who will bring you flowers at least twice a year and unclog your toilet when necessary.  Your prayers have been answered.

Now, leave me alone so I can deal with Congress."