Music and Grey Hair

...and tired and needs to get the oil changed in the minivan.

          Music sets the mood to life. We have become accustomed to creating our own score and punctuating everyday with a rhythm that suits the agenda. Our children open us to new styles but it’s the one’s that marked our transformational moments that stick with us. But as parents, we subject our kids to our tunes regardless of their likes and dislikes. Is this a good thing or should we be like the robomoms and listen to Disney 24/7?


          Lee says: I use to be cool. Not like Fonzie cool but I was a hip chick back in the early 80s. The day after I graduated from high school (Catholic) I shaved my head to a nice cropped 1 inch and dyed it a couple of shades, popped a few holes in my ears and was ready to join the punks in the fight for anarchy. It was a giddy time. I grew up in L.A. where the music was loud and significant. The last thought in my mind was that I would be shuttling 3 kids to school in a silver minivan.


          So the other morning, our 16 year old forgot to get up and missed the bus (it picks her up at 5:45!). We rushed around and were able to get Bobby ready for kindergarten and Jeannie dragged her angst ridden bones to the car (she’s such a cute junior). I brought Ricky with me so Paul could get a little extra sleep.


          The first part of the ride was punctuated by a breathless monologue from Bobby about something or nothing at all. After the required ‘Shut up and eat your breakfast!’, I reached down and turned on the radio. Just to be clear, we have XM satellite radio in the car. We stopped listening to regular radio years ago and I would prefer to be without toothpaste before going back to FM.


          The music started and I immediately recognized the Clash ‘Rock the Casbah’ as I made my way through Miami traffic. Jeannie said, ‘I’ve heard this before’ because she’s cool like that and then she follows this with ‘this stuff is really old, right?’ I simply looked at her and slowly turned back to pay attention to the traffic. ‘Yes. Yes, it is,’ was all I could say.


          I was listening to the 70s channel. I had no argument that would convince her that this wasn’t old. It is! Then to add insult to injury, I looked in the rearview mirror and caught a glimpse of my hair. Yes it was multi colored like back in my glory days but back then one of the colors was not GREY, which, by the way, is making serious claims to the entirety of my head. Thank God it was the rear view mirror and I couldn’t see the dark circles under my eyes or I would be writing this now as I held a razor to my wrist.


          So my music is old and my hair makes me look old (a quick call to my Mom and I can take care of this but that would also involve me having to listen to my Mother tell me how much grey I have and I just don’t have the positive esteem I need to deal with that). However, I do listen to Jeannie’s music and have enjoyed sharing those things with her. What I won’t do is listen to or purchase the crap and pap that they serve our little ones. It’s like they have taken the concept of music, slapped an electronic beat and written insipid little lyrics to it. Sure they have cute messages to it like ‘Don’t bite your friends’ from ‘Yo Gabba Gabba’. But really, don’t you think the message to that show should be ‘Don’t do drugs or you’ll end up seeing a skinny black guy in an orange jumpsuit’?’ And while we are on the subject, Kid’s Pop. WTF! Even my kids say no to that. 


          Paul and I taught Jeannie our music. He regaled her with ELO and I introduced her to The Smiths. Her Ipod has music ranging from the 70s to yesterday and I’m good with that. I can keep pretending that I’m cool and down (do they still say that?), but I’ll never say that I’m phat. I prefer chubby or pleasantly plump.


          Paul says: Since I was never cool, hip, groovy or phat, I have nothing to offer here. I liked ELO and Leo Sayer. ‘Nuff said. I do want to say for the record though, I like the music in Blue’s Clues.

It’s funky with a soulful riff.

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