Thursday, November 07, 2013

Forget It

It is very educational working at the Big Blue Box Store, and not just in regard to tools and DIY supplies. It also affords me a course in contemporary music, thanks to the continuous feed that plays all day and probably all night over the PA system.

It's to my advantage that I'm hearing these songs with no clue to who the singers or songwriters are.  This way I can appreciate them without thinking, "Oh, yes.  That's that girl who was caught one night last week throwing her underwear to the seagulls at Venice Beach."   Or whatever.  No, it's just me and the music.

And a lot of it isn't half bad.  Pretty good, actually.  The songs are creative and varied, their singers using diverse vocal techniques (I recognize some from the exposure I got to Estill voice training in choir a couple years ago) to great effect.

Nevertheless, these songs as a group don't do a lot for me.  They run through my head when I'm not at work, but like a rat runs through cheese, mindlessly.  I have no urge to sing them, or identify with them, or in any way make them my own.

I've wondered why.  And it's seemed to me that it's because I'm just too old.  Not too old for the music, but too old for the subject of most popular songs:  romantic love.  I've lived without it for so long.  It's been the late '90s since there's been anyone I was interested in, seriously or not.  By now the whole thing seems foreign and irrelevant.  I've got my life course set, and guys and relationships have no part in it.  Even if I had time to date anyone, I doubt I could be bothered to gin up the requisite feelings for him.  I doubt I could if I tried.

At least, that's how I thought about it until recently.  Recently, however, I discovered the old nerve endings are not dead after all.  How I learned that is not important, since I also discovered that the situation was, shall we say, not eligible.  So much for that.

Nevertheless, here I am, having to admit that on my side, at least, the popular songs could provide a soundtrack for me, should an appropriate man come along.  Nice to know that part of me isn't dead after all.

Still, maybe I'm back where I started after all.   A few weeks ago I was waiting on a customer at the store.  He had a lot of explaining to do regarding his home improvement project, and as I stood patiently listening to him, it hit me:  This man, were he single, would be an example of someone of suitable age for me to date.  And I rebelled:  Impossible!  He's old enough to be my father!  He looks old enough to be my grandfather!

And me, I probably look old enough to be my grandmother, too.

So, forget it.  It's not happening.  So  for me the contemporary popular songs, while musically interesting, will have to remain emotionally opaque.