I walked into my in-laws’ living room to say hello to my nephew when John and I were in Maine for the Independence Day weekend and found himhttps://melissawalshe.com/blog/wp-admin/post.php?post=918&action=edit&message=10 sitting on the couch watching Scooby Doo. He had me laughing before I could even say hello because as his attention was raptly on goofy antics of the computer animated dog, the case to the DVD was popped out to form a square that was sitting jauntily atop his little head like a hat. I walked back into the kitchen shaking my head.
“John, that boy is definitely your nephew,” I said. John peeked around the corner to see what I meant and started laughing himself. He knew exactly what I meant.
The man I married, you see, has an odd habit of putting things on his head. Rubber bands, stickers, odd bits of whatever is lying around the house, my underwear…you name it. If John is bored and there’s something in front of him, he will absentmindedly start fiddling with it and almost without fail, it will end up on his head. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve had to remind him of some weird thing he has put on his head as he’s walking out the door. Left to his own devices, there’s a very good chance John would be the catalyst for bringing rubber bands into style as headbands.
Maybe I should let him walk out the door that way…
Anyway, another cute thing about John is that he is hopelessly unaware of pop music. I probably would be as well, if not for the fact that I work with kids who sing nothing but Top 40 pop all day long. Do I find anything particularly excellent about the lyrics or musicality of “Dynomite” or “Bad Romance”? No. Do I know most of the lyrics and have a strange fondness for the songs? Absolutely. Knowing the music my kids like and learning to sing it with them gives me a chance to connect with them, and it’s much easier to step into their world of music than it is to entice them into mine (though goodness knows I do my best). When I come home with “I throw my hands up in the air sometimes” running on repeat through my brain, I’m always slightly surprised that John doesn’t jump up and start dancing around the house with me.
Although I’m mostly content to allow him to continue in his blissful ignorance of some music that will admittedly not really enrich his life, sometimes I just need someone to share the burden of catchy, hummable brain sludge. Last week, I came home singing Lady Gaga, and when John commented on how grateful he was to not know the song, I just couldn’t let it rest. I pulled up Youtube and subjected him to a viewing of the official music video of “Bad Romance.” For this particular song, the visual shock value is essential to making sure someone never, ever forgets the song.
I’m hesitant about posting the link because I am fairly sure that at least half of my readers would find it offensive on one level or another. It’s a bit of modern art that doesn’t shy away from modest shock value to tell a story of destructive relationships. If you don’t mind that sort of thing, you might find it fascinating and even lovely in the way of being lovely that brutal honesty about ugly things has. Watch it or don’t–you’ve been warned.
John was silent for a minute or so after the video finished, processing what he had just seen.
“Huh,” he finally said. “You know, I think I understand Lady Gaga on a certain level.”
“Oh?” I asked, surprised. “How so?”
“We both seem to enjoy putting strange things on our head.”
That, I’m afraid, is a statement I cannot argue with.