December 5, 2012

Me Vs. Music

Sob story

A new syndrome has developed in my home. It involves gross sentimentality and the uncontrollable urge to cry at the simplest inkling of a cute baby or a sweet moment between a TV parent and child. The Boy and I have named it “Weepy Bitch Syndrome.”

Now, this would be a nonsexist use of the word, because it is something that affects both sexes in our home equally. The Boy blames it on growing older, and now, with the most major event that either of us has faced becoming more real, this syndrome has grown more strident.

I first noticed it while spending a relaxing summer afternoon watching YouTube birth videos. Word to the wise: Don’t do it. I watched my first water birth and found myself swimming in a river of tears. I am not sentimental — or, at least, I thought I wasn’t. Apparently I am changing as rapidly as my figure these days.

Fast-forward to mid-November: The radio stations have begun their annual switch to Christmas music. Normally, I am opposed to the pushing of holidays too far in advance, but this year, sick of listening to my Concrete Blonde CD on repeat (yes, so ’90s), I have allowed myself to turn on terrestrial radio and be absorbed into the magic of the Christmas season. I found myself weeping to “The Little Drummer Boy.” Dammit, WBS strikes again.

I’m not a Christian by practice. I despise sitting in church. However, having grown up in a Christian family, there are teachings and stories I have taken with me, and I will pass these on to The Baby, set to arrive in a few months. “The Little Drummer Boy” is one such story.

Regardless of the baby in the song being an infant Jesus, the idea of a poor child sharing his drum with another poor baby because that is all he has to share is weep-worthy. Sometimes we forget that it isn’t how much money we can spend on a gift or how much sparkle we can put in a season. Sometimes it is most magical to make someone smile.

It hasn’t stopped with “The Little Drummer Boy.” A few months ago, I wrote about cleaning the house to Nat King Cole. Well, with Christmas, Nat King Cole comes back. WBS has taken hold several times upon hearing his smooth yet smoky voice. I cry. I dream of cocoa, warm blankets and evenings spent curled on the couch with The Boy. All of the things I can have on any evening, but hearing them come from the throat of Mr. Cole makes them that much more desirable.

More than anything, I want a season spent with people I love. I want you, dear readers, to do the same. If that someone you love is your pet rat, I wish for you this season to spend the most enjoyable moments of the year with that rat in a place that is safe, warm and filled with music — even the music of your heart.

I guess I am sentimental. Oy vey. This should pain me, but I’m drunk enough with the beauty of life and love right now, so much so that I can only manage to share these feelings. There is so much in life that is still beautiful. I’ve had a rough transition from the girl who started writing these musical observations, embittered by having my livelihood stolen, and uneasy with beginning to write new stories to share.

I thought I had discovered enough about myself and music to tell my old stories forever. There are so many old stories yet to tell … from the horribly insensitive “B.B. Ching” to “Tammy Faye Baker” to meeting Dimebag Darrell at the end of a pool cue. Now I see that I am not only still able to be transformed by music, even old Christmas songs, but that I am still able to be transformed by life.

Thankfully, that means I will have new stories to tell. Some will, I’m positive, involve maternal stories of my “genius” child and his first musical inclinations, or maybe something more awesome like finding the funds to finish the “Terrastock VII” documentary.

Erica Rucker is a freelance weirdo, writer and professional wedding/portrait photographer at eElaine Photography.