When I was young my parents moved around a lot (for various reasons, most of them having to do with alcoholism) and as a result I ended up attending several different elementary schools – sometimes we would show up mid-term at these new schools. No one seemed to have the same curriculum so besides having to make new friends and get used to the new surroundings I also had to figure out what the heck it was that I was supposed to have been taught already.

This became a problem for me when a teacher asked everyone to read a paragraph or two from a story. The two kids before me each read a bit, I have no idea what they read I was busy trying to figure out what the hell a paragraph was. It was my turn and I still didn’t know what one was so I just started reading.

As I read I went through the information in my mind trying to ascertain if I’d been taught this and forgotten already or if this was an entirely new word and was baffled. All this thinking in my head had me distracted so words that I knew how to pronounce tied my tongue in knots and made me feel more insecure than before. Not only did I not know what a paragraph was, but now all the other kids think I’m a moron. Great way to start a new school. As I still had no clue what a paragraph was I just kept reading and reading and reading – finally I was so embarrassed that I stopped in the middle of a particularly long (what I was to discover later) paragraph.

There was an eerie silence in the classroom then. I imagine they all wondered if I was going to keep reading, having heard me stumble through several paragraphs poorly they probably hoped not. Eventually the teacher must have nodded to the girl behind me and she picked up where I dropped the ball. I was mortified, I recognized that I screwed up, the silence and awkwardness was too much for me.

Eventually I did learn what a paragraph was, I don’t think anyone ever set me down to tell me it was just a general observation of other classes. Today when I’m in a meeting and reading out loud I flash back to that morning class and still feel a sense of calamity and chaos spread through me – but at least I know when to stop now.

Love Songs

It wouldn’t be fair to say that I don’t have any love songs in my music collection, but it sure seems that way. Most of the songs in my current rotation that have to do with love are about loves lost, taken away, unobtainable or forgotten. Other songs are usually about “self” and finding your way back to yourself… not sure what that’s about.

I do have some love songs: “Love, Love Me Do” The Beatles, “Love is a Beautiful Thing” Phil Vassar, “Let’s Make Love” Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, “Greatest Love of All” Whitney Houston… and so on.

But the majority of the love songs are about the unobtainable or lost love: “Jessie’s Girl” Rick Springfield,  “I Miss You A Little” John Michael Montgomery, “Every Time I Hear Your Name” Keith Anderson… And the rest of my songs are about life situations and dealing with them… well except for a few Modest Mouse, Queensryche, Weird Al… I do like variety.

Maybe it’s just I can’t find the right love song to match what I’m feeling, that’s possible. But then I hear a phrase in this song or a chorus in this one that almost meets what I need.  I guess I’ll just keep listening and hope to find the one song or several that put it all in the right spot for me.

Maybe no one ever finds the right love song, that’s why there are so many – we all keep looking for the one that puts it all to music.

For me today “Look At Me” on Carrie Underwood’s new CD, Play On, is pretty close. 😉 Maybe it’ll stay as the song and maybe it’ll change, I guess that’s the nature of music and love.