Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Everything I Need to Know, I Learned From Huey Lewis and the News

First, Huey let us know that it was hip to be square.  This was good news for a chickadee who has always been decidedly more L7 than not.

He reminded us that the best drug would be 'one that makes me feel like I feel when I'm with you".  Why, being with you is legal (in most states) and has no known side effects.  Once again, rockin' good news.

He informed us that there wasn't much you couldn't accomplish through the power of love.

Good lessons, all.  We don't always give Mr. Lewis his philosophical props.

Recently my family took a giant step and cancelled our landline.  I realize that this brings us pretty firmly up to date.  As long as the date is 2006.  There is probably a Back to the Future reference there, somewhere, but I'll let you figure it out for yourself.


I'd balked at this decision more than the rest of the family had.  I knew it made sense.  I knew it was the reasonable thing to do.  I knew I - we - needed to step into the 21st century.  I knew it - but I didn't love it - and I couldn't quite figure out why.

Then Huey Lewis and the News, in their infinite wisdom, figured it out for me.

I was in a store and they were playing Stuck With You on the canned music.  The answer - as I might have known it would be - was right there.  When they got to the lyric, "We are bound, like all the rest - by the same phone number....." I stopped listening because I was busy experiencing a eureka moment of divine revelation.  That was what had been bothering me.  That was the source of my reluctance.  We - Tom and I - Tom and the girls and I - were no longer bound by the same phone number.

We had been divided.

I think this struck me as particularly sad because my girls are certainly at an age where they are testing their wings.  I had always prided myself on the fact that family dinners were much more the norm than the exception.  Now they are rare.  "I'll just grab something on my way to ___________" is much more common.  Two of us are there - or three - in various configurations - but rarely all four.

The girls would much rather be in their rooms - on the rare occasions when they are home - than in our shared living space.

This is normal.  This is reasonable.  This is even - probably - desirable - at least on some hypothetical level.

Knowing that it's normal and reasonable and psychologically desirable doesn't make it any less sad.

The rest of that lyric goes, "We are bound, like all the rest - by the same phone number, all the same friends, and the same address..."  Soon, we won't all share the same address, either.

Oh, Huey, you are a fount of deep and profound knowledge!  Where is the song about living through letting my baby birds leave the nest?  It may be normal, reasonable and desirable - but it's also just damn sad!

Help me, Huey Lewis.  You're my only hope.


Unknown said...

Very perceptive of you to recognize your reluctance. I can't get my hubby to give up our land line. He worries about problems with 911.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Love Huey Lewis-- always have :-)

I still can't bring myself to drop the land line yet. It kinda bugs me when my adult step children call their father's cell phone or my siblings call mine-- it sorta implies they don't want to talk to the other person. But I'm sure reason will eventually come into play and I'll get with the program.

xoxoxo jj