Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Every Heart Sings a Song

Every heart sings a song, incomplete, until another heart whispers back. Those who wish to sing always find a song. At the touch of a lover, everyone becomes a poet.


I should have seen the signs.  They were subtle ones, but they were unmistakable, especially in hindsight.

I was thrilled when Brett showed romantic interest in me. I couldn't believe he wanted to date me.

It had been so long since a smart, relatively successful and normal man had shown me attention of that sort, so it was easy to overlook those little signs, the red flags.

To be honest, I didn't want to see them, because they proved that he didn't really care about me, not really. And that thought was unbearable.

Throughout the months we dated, he said and did things that subtly demonstrated he didn't accept me for who I was.  He mentioned that he would fully support any weight loss efforts I chose to pursue.  He gave me disapproving glances when I played with his kids and encouraged them to get dirty.  He refused to spend time with my friends, always with a valid excuse.  For so many reasons, I never felt cool enough for him.

This was especially true when it came to music.  Brett loved music, especially 80s tunes, so we listened to many, many albums.  In the car, he would sometimes quiz me on band and album names, even going so far as to ask me what year a particular U2 album had been released.

Though I like music, I never remember band or song names, let alone dates.  Also, my taste in music is shall we say....eclectic.  I like stuff that should probably embarrass me.  Other music I have never even heard of.
I knew Brett had very definite opinions on music; I also knew my opinions were often diametrically opposed to his, but I didn't make a big deal of that.  Because of my silence, B assumed I shared his tastes completely.

One day, he asked me what my favorite song was.  By this point in our relationship, I had realized that I was bending too much to be the kind of person he wanted me to be.  So, I answered honestly, even though my choice of song is very unusual and probably not considered cool by anyone at all.

My favorite song is one I have loved since grade school.  It's the love song to "St. Elmo's Fire."  I remember listening to this song , even dancing to it in the privacy of my bedroom, reveling in the swell of the saxophones.  This song never fails to make me smile.

Brett wasn't at all impressed and he dropped the subject.  I felt his disapproval, but didn't retract my statement.

It wasn't long after that he broke up with me.  While I know my taste in music had very little to do with the demise of our relationship, it always felt symbolic to me.  After dealing with the heartbreak of rejection, I realized that Brett had never accepted me for who I was, and I was partly to blame. I had spent a great deal of time trying to be the person I thought he wanted.  

After the breakup, I promised myself that I would never make that same mistake again.  I would be myself and assert my opinions, no matter how much I might want a guy to like me. 

When I met Bil, I liked him immediately.  He was kind and funny, and he never mocked people.  I was so nervous when he finally asked me out.  What if I said something really stupid?  What if he thought I wasn't very cool?  After all, he had led such an interesting life; a musician, he had belonged to bands and had even run his own record label. How could someone like that think I was interesting?  I decided, though, that no matter how much I wanted Bil to like me, I would be myself.  

So, I was honest with  him when he asked me my opinions on subjects such as movies, books, and of course, music.

One day, predictably, he asked me what my favorites were.  I got out my old cassette soundtrack of "St. Elmo's Fire" and I played it for him.  He listened intently, with nary a frown or sign of disapproval, and he liked it.

Over the year of our courtship, Bil introduced me to many new bands and songs, and I found myself enjoying conversing about music with him.  Never once did he sigh at my lack of knowledge or roll his eyes at my pedestrian taste in music.

It was that lack of disapproval that proved to me how fully Bil accepted me.  He showed me over and over again that he liked me for exactly for who I was.  We dated and laughed and took walks in the rain.  We discussed Ayn Rand and watched old movies together, and over time, I grew to trust him, to believe that he really, truly cared about me, not who he thought I should be.

On our honeymoon, Bil presented me with a small gift.  It was a mixed cd, one of many I would receive from him over the years.  I popped it into our rental car's cd player and the first song was his cover of the love song from "St. Elmo's Fire."   Hearing that song moved me to tears.

Thankfully, this time around I saw the signs.  They were unmistakable.


For more posts on Songs, visit  the Spin Cycle at Second Blooming.

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