I love hanging out with my 15-year-old daughter, Haley.
She likes me, most of the time (especially after payday), which makes me feel good. We wear the same clothes. We love trash TV like “Bachelor in Paradise.” And I can make her laugh by recounting various humiliating stories from my high school days. She has even expressed interest in learning step aerobics and coming to my class!
One thing that irks me, however, is her need to instantly change my smooth jazz radio station to her ‘current hits’ radio station the minute we get in the car.
I enjoy some of the songs. I love Bruno Mars and Katy Perry. But the raunchy lyrics of some of these ‘artists’ can burn your ears off! I grimace and crinkle up my nose, as disgusting visual images are conjured up in my mind thanks to the graphic description of things that belong behind closed doors, in an X-rated movie or in prison!
Haley listens with no reaction at all, seeming to really enjoy the lyrics. This is somewhat disturbing, as the activities that are described are activities I am praying she hasn’t experienced yet and hopefully never will!
Call me a prude, but I miss the days when lyrics talked about love, not genitalia. When I reach my limit, I finally complain.
“Come on Haley, this song is gross!” I exlaimed. “It doesn’t even have a good beat! That’s just my opinion.”
“I didn’t ask you for your opinion,” she angrily replied, hiding behind her big sunglasses, which I notice are mine.
The other day, while running errands, she did what she always does. She immediately started fiddling with the radio controls, but this time she hooked up her iPhone.
“Oh great,” I thought. “She probably has even nastier music on her phone they won’t play on the radio!”
The song began. It was instantly familiar.
“It’s not in the way that you hold me … ” the song began.
What’s this? Toto? One of my favorite bands from the 80s!
“Hey, this is Toto!” I gleefully announced. “I have this album!”
I started singing along, remembering every word. Haley was singing too!
“I’m kind of into 80s music now, Mom,” she informed me. “This is my new favorite song.”
Was she kidding? Was she making fun of me? Don’t ask me why or where she had been exposed to 80s music, but I was thrilled! I couldn’t wait to hear the next song on her playlist.
“Dust in the Wind!” “Southern Nights” by Glen Campbell? It was a smorgasbord of hits that transported me back in time. Memories came flooding back, some of which I chose not to share with Haley. Hmmm, guess I wasn’t always a prude.
She also found “Do You Have” and “Place in the Sun” by Pablo Cruise. I forgot what great songs they were, until Haley played them
“80s music is so happy,” she commented. “Why don’t they make music like that anymore?”
“I’m not sure, but I miss it,” I wistfully replied.
When we got home she started whistling a Cheap Trick song – “I Want You To Want Me.” Maury popped his head out of his office.
“Hey, that’s Cheap Trick!” he exclaimed.
Haley, now suddenly the leading foremost authority on 80s music simply replied, “Duh, I know, Dad.”
Well, we are now unearthing our extensive collection of records from the garage, and by the way, according to Haley. They are not called records anymore, they’re referred to as ‘vinyls.’ Everything old is new again, and my ears are beyond happy! The best part is that Haley and I have one more thing we can enjoy together, for now.
She turns 16 next year, and we all know what happens then. Hopefully, our mutual love for 80s music will keep her a little closer to me for a little longer, and in the meantime, we intend to keep rockin’ on.