There are times in my life when I realize what a lucky duck I am. Last night when the doll sat next to me and texted with her older cousin, turned out to be one of those times. I was busy watching a television show online; one I had missed the night before and she busied herself answering her cousin’s questions. When she finished, she struck up a conversation with me. Pausing the video, I turned to give her my full attention and she began to tell me all about how horrible her life is turning out to be… Well, from a thirteen-year old’s perspective, that is.
“Mom, guess what? They rearranged the seating chart at lunch again and now I literally have no one to talk to”. “Doll, surely there is one person you can talk with” I tried. “Mom, okay, twin is next to me, then two new girls and the rest are boys”. “Yeah? I dare say some of your classmates might be jealous of that” I replied. “Well, Stephanie is… But Mom, boy’s are annoying!!” She explained. “Okay, what about the two new girls?” I asked. “I’m not good at meeting new people”. She said. “Well, now is the time to break open that shell of yours…” I said. “Mom, it’s not that easy for me. Unlike you, I can’t talk to a wall and get a response”. Laughing I replied, “Doll, walls can’t speak, however, I know what you mean. And, believe it or not, there are times when I’m shy too. However, the only way you’re going to advance through life is by getting to know others around you. How about tomorrow you ask one of the girls if she listens to any of the same music as you? You might be surprised by what she says…” I offered. “I sincerely doubt that” she replied but fell silent to think.
Wondering if our conversation was over I turned my attention back to the laptop. But just before I hit the play button, she asked me another question. “Did you ever listen to that Sleeping with Siren song I asked you to?” “Sorry, I did not; I forgot,” I said and then pulled the video up on the laptop. Together we listened -well she sang along and I listened. “See, they don’t scream in every song. You keep confusing them with Peirce the Vail” She said. “Doll the lead singer’s voice is way to high for me…” I said and watched her get upset with me. “Mom, that’s just his voice!! Why do you have to pick apart my favorite bands?” She said with disgust. “Because it’s fun. I get to poke you and you always respond” I replied and smiled back at her. “I don’t like it mom,” she said.
“Doll, when I was your age, we had almost no choices for music listening, unlike today. We had CKLW which broadcast on the am frequency out of the Windsor/Detroit market. So Motown was the big thing.” “I would have died back then without the musical choices of today. I hate mainstream radio”. She proclaimed. “Well, you don’t know what you’re missing, when you don’t have anything…” I said before continuing on, “Then somewhere along the way, FM was invented which opened us up to more variety and rock and roll. My mom, by the time I started listening to music, had run the gamut of music from my older siblings. At home, my dad played old standards on the piano and I listened to music on my siblings stereo systems. I didn’t find my own likes/dislikes until I was about your age. Journey was the first band that was entirely mine…I owned all their albums, not my brothers. While I love Led Zeppelin and the like, Journey was mine and my friends. So I totally get where you’re coming from…” “Why then do you pick on my choices?” She asked again. “Asked and answered…” I replied before adding, “And calling your band Screaming Like Sirens is funny”. “It’s really not mom”. She said in reply. “Lighten up doll…in twenty years you’ll look back and either still really like them or wonder why you ever did”. “I highly doubt that” she replied, still not satisfied with my answers.
Realizing the time, she stood to leave the kitchen. When she reached the threshold she turned and said, “At least dad is willing to listen without making fun of my music”. Dramatically I grabbed my chest and said, “Oh doll, you wound me so…” which brought a smile to her face. “I know your dad told me he was listening to My Chemical Romance and you cheered him on” I replied. “Actually I was yelling out song titles to each one he played”. “Yeah, your dad hasn’t always had the best taste in music…” I said which brought the desired response from her. “Doll, go to bed,” I said, trying not to laugh at the appalled look on her face. “You’re just mean mom” she replied.
“…And this is news? How?” I said to the back her head as she turned and exited the kitchen.