Sunday, September 11, 2005


When I was a kid, I hated country music. It's all I heard coming out of my dad's radio, and for the most part, it sucked ass. And the country music of today, well, it definitely sucks beyond ass. But the old stuff, the Patsy Cline and the Johnny Cash, I've always respected. Lately, late at night, after Conan O'Brien ends and the infomercials begin, there's been a thirty-minute ad that keeps airing. Tammy Wynette singing "D-I-V-O-R-C-E" in the thickest of southern accents, looking absolutely heartbroken. Donna Fargo singing "Funny Face" even though she herself isn't really a classic beauty or anything. A young, heavily madeup and false eyelashed Dolly Parton singing "Coat of Many Colors" and making one realize that by God, if there's one person in the world who's completely good through and through and doesn't have an evil bone in her body, it's probably that Dolly Parton.

And all of this has made me reaize something: Country music is awesome. It's just not the sort of thing you can appreciate as a kid. It comes with age. There's an old Kids in the Hall sketch where a just-dumped Bruce McCulloch says that country music all makes sense to him now. It's played for laughs, but that's the thing about old-school country music. It wasn't this current adult-contemporary-in-hats thing. It was straight from the heart, direct from people who'd loved and lost. It was as real and raw as the blues used to be and as rap is today. And it's maybe not something anyone can really understand until he or she has had his or her heart broken.

All of this is introductory to the fact that I was talking today to an old friend I haven't seen in a long, long time, and I asked how his girlfriend was, only to find out that they broke up. Ouch. It was kind of like the conversation I once had that went "How's your grandma? / Oh, she died." (This was followed by my digging a hole, crawling into it, and dying.) I'm no expert on interpersonal relationships, but I've had my share of country-music experiences, so here's my advice for what it's worth:

If you're in such a situation such as mine, after you collect yourself from under the table where you've surely slid into cringing, foot-in-mouth mortification, the thing to say is not how you never really liked or approved of his girlfriend all along. He doesn't really want to hear that. Part of him probably still loves her, and it's like telling him he was an idiot for ever loving her. Just tell him how much you like him, that you're on his side.

That's it. Final thought. Be good to yourselves, and each other. That's Jerry Springer. Close enough to country music.


Blogger Sofi said...

I totally asked him about Andrea before you even got there. I win!

9/11/2005 02:15:00 PM  
Blogger Peter Lynn said...

Apparently I was the third person to bring it up. So I think I win for being the dolt who just won't let the subject rest.

9/11/2005 03:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, jerks!

9/19/2005 02:48:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Listed on BlogShares