Saturday, September 02, 2017

Conceding the Gap

It’s interesting how the generation gap makes itself evident every once in a while.

Sometimes it’s even kind of awkward.

One evening after work last week, I was unwinding with a drink, my iPad, and a Bluetooth speaker on the back deck by the pool. I have tons of old music loaded on a media server that sits in the living room, but no matter how much music I add, I never seem to find the music I am in the mood for at a given moment. I never really know what I'm in the mood to hear until I hear it.

Such was the case this evening.

So I switched the setting of my app to simply play random selections in “shuffle mode”.

One song comes up from a live Bruce Springsteen concert album. You can hear the cheers and crowd noise in the background and then the base guitar kicks in hard with a familiar repeating riff interrupted by the smash of drum and cymbals  between each. And then the Boss starts in …

I’m driving in my car …
I turn on the radio …
I start pulling you closer …

At that point my youngest daughter Ashley-Rae comes out, bored from a summer day with nothing to do, and sits down beside me.

“Ash, this is a great great tune … listen …” I said to my fifteen year old who thinks music before 2012 is too old to be bothered with.

I hit the double arrow icon on the tablet to start the song over. The crowd noise rises again as it did before, and Ashley-Rae sits patiently to humor me.

I’m driving in my car …
I turn on the radio …
I start pulling you closer …
But you just say No ….
You say you don’t like it …
But I know you’re a liar …
Because when we kiss … ohhhh …
Fire …

“Dad, is this song about rape?” asks Ashley-Rae.

“Huh? What? No …. No no no”, I stammer … shocked at this twist, not sure if she’s teasing me or seriously asking. “No this about when a man … you know … and he thinks the girl is playing hard to .. you know …”

And I stopped.

“Dad, no means no”.

“Uh yeah – yes it absolutely does … “ remembering my audience is my very pretty fifteen year old daughter that I am very proud to hear say this back to me.

“So is this song about rape?”

At that moment the neighbor lady across the corner came to the back gate announcing her arrival with “Hellloooo?”

Perfect timing. I jumped up and hurried my way to the arbor gate and let her in. She was asking to borrow a garden tool. I found it surprisingly quickly in the shed and as I was handing it to her I asked “Hey do you remember an old Springsteen song … “I’m driving in my car …”

“I turn on the radio …” she continued and she sang the next two lines as she did a little dance.

“Ashley-Rae just asked me if that song is about rape …”

The nice neighbor lady looked up at me surprised. “huh?” and she started to sing the next lines … “ohhh … gee … I don’t know … it’s such a great song … how do you handle that?”

At that moment that I realized that whether or not we thought it was a great song or not didn’t matter.

“ASH” I yelled, hoping she was still outside.

“Oh hi miss Melinda”, she said as she appeared around the corner.

“I asked miss Melinda, and she agreed that the song is about rape”, I said and the nice neighbor lady played along by nodding, accepting her new stance, understanding why.

“Okay” said Ash as she spun back around to go back in the house. “Too bad though, it’s a pretty good song”.

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