Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Why I Hate Country, 1: Pocahontas

I've hardly made it a secret that I seriously dislike country 'music'; I've been trying to get a post together to codify my reasoning, but today I realized that there's the one big reason and a few smaller ones.

Where I work, there are two radios, both tuned to the same horrendous country station, both turned up so that there's no escape from Carrie Underpants, Travis Trite, or the hideous nasal yowlings of the Sugarland Beast unless one goes outside (which I get to do for most of the day!). But they're not the big reason.

Let's call her "Pocahontas." She was my first girlfriend, my first love...my first a lot of things. We met at a Halloween party in 1994 and quickly got into a long-distance relationship: me in Pensacola, she in Tallahassee, barely 200 miles away. Lots of letters, a few breathless phone calls (the first one cost me about a hundred bucks...after that we kept them short), and a total of two weeks in actual physical proximity, spread out over five and a half months. I didn't care. She was everything I'd ever dreamed of or wanted, and all that.

I didn't know enough to keep a hand on the brakes, never knew what being "in over my head" really meant, and was unprepared for what was coming.

She's not "the one who got away." She's the one who walked away, right into the arms of Mr. Perfect, her on-and-off-and-on-and-off high-school sweetheart who conveniently returned to town, fresh from a Moron--er, Mormon--soul-saving mission.

I got The Letter and The Phone Call in April of 1995. I didn't have enough sense to just make a clean break--"good bye, don't call." Nope. I bought into the "still be friends" horseshit and proceeded to make myself miserable and near-suicidal for another two years. She's going to get tired of him and come back...she's not REALLY going to marry him...she dumped him! but who's this other guy?...now she's mad at both of them....

I finally got some backbone and told her to either come back or stay away. Well, it was an email, but for me that's pretty direct.

So where does that noxious country racket come into this?

Think about it: the wailing pedal steel, the crying-in-your-beer love songs, the burning-your-ex's-pictures break-up songs, the freaking mood it sets just puts me right back into that time, whether I want to be there or not. That one at the link is one I heard a lot in 1995. Bad, bad year.

I don't want to be reminded of her or Number Two all the time. I've finally reached a point--after more than a decade--where neither of them occupies my thoughts the way they used to. Yeah, every now and then I'll pop a name into Google to see if something shows up, or make a note for a Blog topic, or whatever, but those events are under my own control.

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