A reader (THE reader, perhaps?) recently requested some posts of a more personal nature. In response, I thought about an incident that brought me to the subject of music. The soundtrack of my childhood was equal parts hippie, W.A.S.P., and Stuff White People Like. We listened to Enya, Crobsy Stills & Nash (plus Young when we were older), Debussy accompanied by a quietly sobbing insane piano teacher (R.I.P Marilyn), Fleetwood Mac, Vivaldi, early Van Morrison (Astral Weeks was on repeat for months), the soundtrack to Out of Africa (also played on piano with said sobbing teacher), and I recall a particular Yanni song that my best friend and I would play on cue each time we drove over the Golden Gate Bridge (fingers crossed that a ray of sunlight would pierce the heavy fog on cue, as well). Said friend would also make me "scat sing" on cue, a la Basia. I'll do it for you, if you ask. I've always been open to humiliation.
Our lives were a little strange; WE were a little strange. We spent our allowances at ethnic food restaurants. We biked long distances to buy French pastries and eat them under trees. We snuck out of the house at night to buy hot chocolate and look at the stars. We poured vegetable oil into our baths believing it to be an excellent moisturizer. Someone's mother nearly suffered a concussion the next morning.
BUT, of all our strange and beautiful habits, our long and moody love affair with pianist George Winston might be the strangest. I know every bizarre note by heart. So when the friend's parents had a big anniversary not long ago and Winston was in concert, it was natural to buy tickets as a nod to our history. I'll admit he was weirder and more obtuse than I remembered. My husband didn't like it. I'm not sure I even liked it. But when another companion criticized my choice of concerts, my husband defended it. Later I asked him why he had done that, since he didn't even like the music. He answered, "I don't have to like everything, but I tried something new and I feel like a better person for having seen him."
And that's what I love about you, my dear.