Driving home from the night shift this morning, I caught the tail end of Springsteen’s “Glory Days” on the radio. Suddenly, spinning some LP’s and drinking tea and writing sounded like a perfect way to spend Saturday morning.
When I got home, I booted up the old Acer and dug the well-loved record out of my collection. I paused a moment to appreciate the aesthetics of the cover. Bruce had a great ass. But, I nearly dropped the 26 year old artifact when I saw what was inside it. Sergent Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band? In the Springsteen case? Dad’s going to kill me! Instantly, I was 16 again. I had mixed up my dad’s records – caught red handed breaking the 11th Commandment: Thou shall not touch Dad’s records. NO MATTER WHAT. eek.
Luckily, this record in particular is so well-loved, that I have a duplicate copy! Actually, my ex gave it to me a few years ago and it’s one of the three things I did not mail back to him after Epic Breakup. So, I placed the misfiled records on the dinning table to deal with L-A-T-E-R (told you I was 16 all over again). I throw the record down *ahem, gingerly place it on the player.* Hit Phono. Hit other Button. Red light goes on. Things Are in Motion. Needle touches vinyl and Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz speakers sound bad. Really bad.
Surprisingly enough, I didn’t tweak. Sure, it was a crisis. But, I was on a mission, focused. No panicking. I turned the volume down and began troubleshooting. I physically moved the speakers. Thinking – move them away from the wall. It worked! Yesssssssssss.
I jumped up in celebration.
Note to self: No more jumping in front of really old *ahem, vintage* record player.
I tried various other speaker movements and pattings of the system. (Think chimpanzee attempts to fix stereo system)
I moved the stereo further away from the wall, unplugged everything, and got a closer look:
Houston, we have a problem. Luckily, this one made sense to me.
Enter pair of scissors stage right.
Click – Click – Click – Click.
Volume up – and ladies and gentlemen, we have music!
Now, on to why I thought this would be a good blog post….finally
As I said before, I expect that there is much for me to learn about myself through Spinning My Father’s Records.
Today, I learned that my instinct was right on for fixing the stereo: 1. Gut instinct turns to ON/OFF button, 2. When that fails, move around physical parts, 3. Check connections, and finally, 4. Start taking apart and putting things back together. It’s my tried and true method; Ref: Babysitting disaster of ’96 when my brother shoved a banana into the VCR. I was 12. Fixed the VCR before Dad got home.
Truthfully, my techie skills (or lack-thereof) closely mirror my father’s: I still have a SNES (*Super Nintendo Entertainment System) because I know how to set it up without directions. If I can’t fix it with duct tape, WD40 or a hammer, it’s not going to get fixed. I can jiggle a toilet handle like a pro, but don’t expect me to actually play plumber without flooding the basement; Ref: Drain-O down the toilet incident of ’92. I was 8 and my 6-year-old-demon-child-sister flushed my Barbie’s head down the toilet. Dad used Drain-O to take care of the clog. NEVER USE DRAIN-O IN A TOILET!
Glory Days is playing right now. At first, it makes me sad to wonder if I’ve had my own “Glory Days” yet. I sure hope not.
I had a friend was a big baseball player
back in high school
He could throw that speedball by you
Make you look like a fool boy
Saw him the other night at this roadside bar
I was walking in, he was walking out
We went back inside sat down had a few drinks
but all he kept talking about was
I mean, high school? Really? It wasn’t bad. But I would hate for that to have been my “Glory Days.” Sure, I had a good time. I had good friends (mostly). Even college. I had a pretty good time (mostly). But I wouldn’t consider it glorious…..oh please let there be Glory in store for me.
Key the chorus:
Glory days well they’ll pass you by
Glory days in the wink of a young girl’s eye
Glory days, glory days
Train of thought:
Glory days, in the wink of a young girl’s eye links to Chronology of my Dating Tactics –
High school – I played the dumb girl. I flaked out and tried desperately to just be silly and ditzy and loveable to guys that I didn’t want to be intimidated by my (obvious) superior intellect. Yeah, that didn’t work. Turns out, EVERYONE hates dumb girl. Even I couldn’t stand her usually.
College – I played it smarter. Sorta.
I tried being “Friendly and Outgoing Girl.” Hm – that didn’t get me anywhere romantically. Guys wanted some mystique.
I tried being mysterious. I couldn’t pull it off.
I tried being smart and sporty and artsy and independent. I was loving my smart/sporty/artsy/independent life, but still missing a boyfriend. So, I thought I’d try adding flirting into the mix.
I started “winking.”
Yeah, I went through a phase where I tried winking at boys to tell them I was interested.
It didn’t work.
I tried to express myself with the written word. LONG-ASS LOVE LETTERS and POETRY.
I don’t need to tell you that I was better off winking.
I tried graduating and getting the hell out of there.
That worked. But didn’t get me any closer to this dating goal I had.
Unfortunately, I can’t remember which tactic I employed that ACTUALLY worked in attracting the opposite sex. Kyle came out of nowhere. It was like I was living my singleton life (very Mary Tyler Moore) and all of a sudden *SMACK* someone had bashed me over the head with a club, dragged me away by my hair and I woke up in the back of a dank cave wearing someone’s loin cloth and not knowing how I got there, but understanding that Tarzan was bringing home the bacon (or, in our case, usually General Tso’s Chicken) and I had better set the table and get him a beer. It was very sudden. And romantic.
I didn’t get the chance to tell Dad before he died that I had a boyfriend. Well, I sorta had the chance, but I put it off because Kyle was a really bad boyfriend at the start and I didn’t want Dad to hate him. It’s probably better that way. Dad would have hated him. Especially after he broke off our engagement and traded me in for a newer model fiance.
But that’s just how Dad was – loyal. Like, this man grew up loving, idolizing and faithfully cheering for the University Notre Dame. Go Fighting Irish! My first baby pictures were taken in a navy and gold cheerleader outfit – GO IRISH! When I was 16, Dad took me to “tour” the campus and see ND play Stamford. The following year, I did not get accepted. Sure as hell couldn’t have afforded it anyway. That was when Dad stopped cheering for Notre Dame.
I was eight years old and running with a dime in my hand
Into the bus stop to pick up a paper for my old man
I’d sit on his lap in that big old Buick and steer as we drove through town
When we were really little, Dad used to let us sit on his lap and help him drive (just the last three blocks to our house). I see now that this is highly illegal. Three-year-olds belong in car seats, not hanging off the steering wheel. Mom hated it. I loved it.