Moving home is an emotional experience.
It's an ambiguous mix of sadness, relief, hope, and disbelief. For me it's only been about 8 weeks, but I find myself asking with unnerving regularity questions like, "Did I really move back here?" and, "How long is this going to last?" and, "If I'm not paying rent, where did all my money go?"*
For those of you who haven't moved home or aren't quite sure what I'm talking about, I'd encourage you to stop grinning smugly at your financial independence. Just wait. Your time will come.
But it's not a bad thing. I mean, the temporary retreat from mainstream society has its perks. Not long after making the trek back up north, I realized just how much of my time had been needlessly eaten up by work. Unemployment, under the right circumstances,** can be pretty sweet. It's freed up a lot of my time to do important things like plant a vegetable garden, watch the summer Olympics, and run errands. Boredom can always be remedied with a trip to Target, or an afternoon spent baking, slash, berating myself for being way too young to be acting like a suburban housewife.
All of that's fine, really. But, every silver lining has a cloud blocking it. So if trips to Target is my silver lining, then my cloud is that while I'm driving there, I've started to listen to the radio.
I know! I know! It's terrible, and I'm sorry but I have very few alternatives! I've listen to my CD collection probably twelve times in the last month, and I lack sufficient funds to update it with deep, creative, substantive music. I own zero books on tape, and whether I like it or not (which I don't) there are moments where I just can't stand the silence.
But the really sucky thing is that Sacramento radio stations are worse than stepping on a rusty nail. Sure it sounds dramatic, but I can't think of anything else that gets the point across. Sac radio is worse than... Paying off your credit cards? Drinking flat generic cola? Sitting next to a crying baby on a plane? Losing your little toe at a cock fight?
Scratch that. I'd rather listen to the radio if it meant I'd never have to hear the death-cries of a baby on a plane. Crying babies are the worst.
But I think you get my point. The radio around these here parts eats shit, so it's no small wonder I've been forced to seek creative solutions to this frequency deficiency problem.
Solutions like... listening to Country.
(Oh God, I may have just lost half my readers.)
Whatever. I'm admitting it right here, right now, out loud.
Throughout my formative years, like any kid I went in and out of various musical phases. One phase lasted for several months in which I just about worshiped Sarah McLachlan (I was eleven, sue me). Then there was another phase where I "discovered" punk and started wearing All Stars. Luckily, I survived both.
Following the McLachlan phase, I became a slave to peer acceptance, and shackled with the chains of conformity I was unable to indulge in my appreciation for country music. Unless I wanted to face inevitable public shaming and ostracizing from my already chilly classmates, I was wise to ignore the tender place in my heart for songs revering Chevy Pick-ups or those reproaching abusive boyfriends. Maybe it's all the Crystal Light I've been drinking, or the excessive lounging around that has led to the regrettable demise of my good taste, but I can't help it. I wish I could stop, but I keep finding myself tuning into the country radio station, singing along to songs like "Jesus Take The Wheel," aloud in my kitchen while I bake cobbler. I may be damn near unrecognizable to my friends, to hell with it, I live at home now and that opens the door to real life honesty even I can't fully understand. So I don't give a crap anymore.
Judge me not, friends. Moving home is a big change, and a difficult one at that. So a person is forced to find comfort in even the darkest of places. And for me, 101.9 FM "The Wolf" is that dark place. But you know what? It feels good. It's unabashedly cheesy, and it makes me proud to be an American. I actually kind of like country music, and if that bothers you I couldn't possibly care less.
So feel free to join me in my kitchen anytime.
Sing loudly enough and I might give you half of my next cobbler.
*I think it has mostly gone towards gas and frozen yogurt runs.
**Thanks Mom and Dad, for not considering me a complete failure.