Letting Go

There’s this song, and it may have been out for awhile (checked, and July 2012 is in fact awhile ago) but it didn’t appear on any of my XM stations playlists so I didn’t know about it. Probably because my XM station favorites are rap, hair band, 90’s, Y2K, rap, metal, some weird metal/rap fusion, 90’s grunge and a random alternative. So no, I didn’t know about it. Enter Pandora. That crazy music box of evil. And on a FAMILY ROAD TRIP station of all things. Picture this. I’m deep cleaning my kitchen/main floor after depleting the house of Christmas decorations. I’m rocking out to the greatest selection of music these ears have ever heard. Oldies, Beatles, no-shame guilty pleasure Phillip Phillips, Journey, it was fantastic.


And this song came on, quietly. Unobtrusively. I didn’t really notice it but it sounded sweet. I glanced at the name, sort of remembered maybe hearing it elsewhere, saw it was an acoustic version and went back to cleaning. I liked it, but I didn’t listen to it. But these moody/folksy types of songs have been the kind to draw me in over the last year so I made a mental note of it. I went back to cleaning. Pandora went back to rocking. As I get close to finishing, half a room left to mop, the real version of that song comes on. And I listen. And I cry. And I have to mop up the $%!# tear drops from my freshly cleaned floor. In two lines, it became one of THOSE songs in my life. Now, it haunts me everywhere. I heard it at the gym while waiting for yoga to start a few days later and spent the first ten minutes of class fighting tears. NOW I see it on XM fairly frequently on a station at the bottom of my rotation. It even kicked me in the gut during the Superbowl but advertisers added a goddamn puppy and a goddamn horse to further my emotional turmoil. Yeah, now you know what song I’m talking about. If you don’t, there is a video at the bottom of this post. And I will fully admit I cried during a beer commercial. I have an uncanny ability to make every song about me. And for the past year, every song I hear I can turn into something about my brother. It can even essentially be a song about failed contraceptive but because I spent nights in bed, awake, remembering things, it became about me.

When the lights go out and I’m in my bed / I think of all the madness in my head / all of the things that I did back then / when I’m in my bed/I think of all the memories I’ve had / all of the things that I did back then (T.I. – Memories Back Then)

So there’s my secret. I’m exceptionally emotionally susceptible to music. I tear up every time I hear Tom Petty’s Wildflowers because it makes me think of the cat we only had for a year but died after we moved from California and he loved Tom Petty (true fact). It’s not a bad thing. It just…is. I cry at lyrics. Usually in the car. I think. I remember. I take deep breaths. I well up. Anyway, back to Passenger and the song that gets me teary after hearing three notes because now I’m wicked familiar with it. I love it. I love to hate it. I love the lyrics. It was written for me. Let’s break it down.

You only need the light when it’s burning low / Only miss the sun when it starts to snow / Only know you love her when you let her go. Only know you’ve been high when you’re feeling low / Only hate the road when you’re missing home / Only know you love her when you let her go / And you let her go.

As someone who loves snow, is forever pessimistic and has had a tiny yet consistent pang of homesickness for the past ten years, you should be able to figure this chorus out and why it hits me the way it does. It was the hate the road line that caused the first tears – I love road trips. LOVE THEM. But the road trip leaving Minnesota after Christmas every year, especially this year, is always heart-wrenching. Clearly I didn’t let a “her” go, but I did let a “he” go. I always knew I loved my brother, obviously, and I didn’t necessarily let him go, but I wasn’t thinking about him every day. I took for granted that he would always be there. And then he wasn’t. Now he’s always on my mind and everything jars a memory and it becomes hard not to feel like some time was wasted between us. Which explains why the following verse is what it is.

You see her when you close your eyes / Maybe one day you’ll understand why / Everything you touch surely dies

Because #!$!#@ shit, really. This song, truly, is the worst.

Staring at the ceiling in the dark / Same old empty feeling in your heart / ‘Cause Love comes slow and it goes so fast

It just…sums up everything so easily and perfectly and it’s like they were 75% of the way in my head. I can’t help what I feel, I’m not ashamed, but god help me if I hear it in public. I’m a mess. I try to tune it out but I LIKE IT SO MUCH that I WANT to listen to it. I LIKE that I feel the way I do when I hear it. It makes me sad in the happiest of ways. I am officially adding it to the list of Songs That Will Make Me Cry No Matter What. You know you have your list, too. I’m open to suggestions of other songs to add to mine!

**I wrote this post last night but had no intention of posting it today. But as I walked in to yoga, guess what was playing. And then ten minutes later the instructor decided to theme the class as “Letting Go”. Swear to @#!$!@ god. I took it as a sign. So there you have it.

The Surprise Ugly Cry – Part One

It can happen without warning. That’s why it’s a surprise. Duh.

Preface: I am an easy crier. I cry at everything. Always have. Movies, TV shows, a cute puppy, Hallmark commercials, when the lights go up and a theater performance or dance recital starts, whatever. I will never watch the movie Up again because I spent the first 15 minutes of it sobbing. I don’t care how good the rest of the movie was. NEVER. AGAIN. I have seen Shawshank Redemption countless times and even though I know a certain line by heart and I know it’s coming, I tear up. The end of Gran Torino made me cry for a week. YES, A WEEK. I woke up thinking about it more than once and started crying all over again. Won’t watch that one again either.

My secret is out. I cry at everything. BUT DON’T LET THAT FOOL YOU. It does not change my snarky streak. I am hardly a sap or a pushover. I just have overactive tear ducts.

I figured pregnancy would wind up being nine months of waterworks. Especially since there is also a deployment involved. And yet, I’ve done okay. A few bouts here and there over some worthwhile issues, but overall, not bad.

But there have been two significant moments of complete and utter unwarranted meltdowns. I will share one with you now, the other will make more sense after I finally publish a post that has been sitting in my draft pile since (no joke) November.

Without further ado:

Meltdown #1 – Thanks a lot, Dave Matthews

Preface (yes, another one) : I used to loathe DMB. LOATHE. In college when everyone swooned over Dave Matthews I was appalled by his popularity. I hated his music and could not understand why people were so obsessed. But at some point about six years ago, I finally got it. And Big A still won’t let me live it down. I don’t totally love it, he is not my favorite musician ever, but I can enjoy the music, appreciate the lyrics and the talents of the group members and I even learned how to play one of the songs on guitar.

I am also only watching American Idol because at some point, he is bound to jump out onstage and say “lololololol you’re voting for my kid, America!” Because Phillip Phillips is clearly a Dave Matthews lovechild and the secret is being withheld from the public until the show needs a ratings boost. If not, then you have to wonder if Dave Matthews ever watches the show and then mentally sifts through all the women he slept with in Georgia that may have spawned this kid. Because CLEARLY it has to be his offspring. The looks, the faces, the movement, the voice…it’s a DM clone if I ever $#^@! saw/heard one.


On a recent bright, sunny Friday I decided to take a break from my typical gangsta playlist and opted for some DMB. I just set the thing to shuffle and went to town. About six minutes from home and I was attacked. A song I had heard a hundred times sent me into the UGLY CRY in my car.

This started it:

Oh, and when the kids are old enough
We’re gonna teach them to fly

Followed immediately with the final non-poignant dagger:

You and me together, we can do anything, baby

And the remaining three minutes of the song became a total disaster. In my foggy emotion filled head I was all, oh my god, we CAN do anything. We CAN teach the kid to fly. We are awesomesauce mother@$%^#$^s and everything in life is going to be INCREDIBLE. And my heart filled with love and pride even though I know none of that shit was remotely true. I KNEW IT WASN’T TRUE, BUT DANG NABBIT I WANTED TO BELIEVE IN THAT MOMENT. The lyrics aren’t even all that deep. IT DIDN’T MATTER. I was in it to win it and I believed. I BELIEVED.

And I mean I was truly a serious sobbing mess, in every sense. My cardigan sleeves were soaked with tears and thank you for giant sunglasses because all of my neighbors were outside when I pulled into the driveway.

At some point in the middle of the song I started laughing at the ridiculousness of myself but then the kids line repeated and I lost my shiznit again. THIS WAS AN UNFAIR SURPRISE ATTACK. I was just trying to enjoy my 15-minute sunny happy Friday commute. WHY YOU GOTTA HATE, DMB?!

The Ugly Cry. It can happen anytime, anywhere. WATCH  YOUR BACK. And bring Kleenex.

She could make the Ugly Cry look good.