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Our Song

April 24, 2009


I’m not a big fan of Taylor Swift and the other “tweeny-pop” flavored music that my daughter adores, but I find myself suffering it for the sake of Her Coolness. Jonas Brothers. Demi Lovato. Hilary Duff. Miley Cyrus. There are others, whose names I hesitate to allow past the barrier of my fingertips. It’s just insulting.


This morning, though, I found myself listening to the lyrics of the one Swift song that I can actually stand, “Our Song,” and sort of maybe singing along. I think it’s because it actually resonates with me a tiny little bit, possibly because once upon a time, long, long ago, in a distant galaxy, the song she sings of was sort of our song, with a few minor adjustments.


Our song is a slammin’ screen door,

Sneakin’ out late, tappin’ on your window,

When we’re on the phone, and you talk real slow,

‘Cause it’s late, and your mama don’t know.


Our song is the way you laugh,

The first date, man, I didn’t kiss her and I should have

And when I got home, ‘fore I said “amen,”

Asking God if he could play it again…


As I drove down a country road this morning, listening and yes, singing along to this song, I found myself reflecting on how “our song” had changed and adapted and sweetened over the years.


Duane and I met when we were eighteen years old, a couple of months before our high school graduation. People still laugh when we explain that we both worked at Kroger, Duane as a stocker and whatever else they needed and I as a cashier until I was “promoted” up to (!) salad bar attendant. Our relationship was so new that Duane actually sent me to my high school prom with another guy, and I had to drag him to my graduation ceremonies.


That summer, though, after graduation, was everything a new romance between eighteen year-olds should be. We played basketball together on the old courts at Boonsboro Elementary School, where Duane accidentally broke my nose. (In his defense, I was probably a little busy looking down admiring his abs when he body face checked me.) I faithfully attended all of his softball game practices, where I met his older brother. We devoured soft serve at the Dairy Queen, Duane’s favorite place, I learned, to pick up pretty blondes. I sneaked out faithfully several nights a week around 2:30 a.m. when Duane was moved to night shift at Kroger, just so I could visit him on his thirty-minute break and share his Combos and soda. I learned to like fishing and wildlife, since that was pretty much who Duane was, while Duane learned to accept that while I’d be out there with him, I’d be out there with a book and tanning oil.


So I guess you can say our song was the rev of an Isuzu pup on an old dirt road, the crack of a bat, and the whirr of fishing line cast over a quiet lake. It was the hum of insects on a summer’s night, [real] country music, and the flip of pages turning.


Our song now has aged a bit with the addition of a couple of rugrats and the passing of sixteen years. The whirr of that fishing line is still there, but it’s coupled now with the quiet purr of a bass boat, and a “Daddy, if I jump out now, how cold’s that water?” There’s the omnipresent click of a Canon 30D, a six year-old boy’s unending repertoire of random noise…and his ten year-old sister’s unending response to it. There’s the ever-present sound of the washer and dryer, the slam of a door that won’t stay shut because YES, I-do-want-to-air-condition-the-great-outdoors, and just beyond it all, that background hum of [real] country music. There’s still the smack of ball to bat, only it’s Lawson’s smack nowadays. We’ve added the raw, powerful melody of feet pounding down a rod floor and beating out a series of flips, tucks, and twists to triumph. And then, at the end of the day, there’s the sweet music of our song with Lawson’s noisy, smacking kiss goodnight and the easy slide of Duane’s arm around my shoulders.

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 26, 2009 1:29 am

    What a beautiful post. Here’s to many more verses!

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