Wednesday, March 30, 2005

My Embarrassing CD Collection

I grew up on alternative rock.

I own about a hundred CDs with the 80's music. You know, the Bangles, REO Speedwagon, Eagles, Steve Miller Band… I have them. That horrendous number called “Video Killed The Radio Star”? I have it. Next time you hear any song, any song at all, in a department store or at your dentist’s office, just keep in mind – I have it on one of my CDs somewhere.

Talk about backsliding. How did it happen?

Well, it’s pretty embarrassing (as is my CD collection). It all started a few months after we came into the country, when I started at my first job and promptly developed a crush on a guy in the office. Please go easy on me as I am dying of embarrassment just typing that. For future reference, I’ll call him Mr. Crush.

Mr. Crush, to me, represented everything cool and American. My marriage was falling apart. My husband didn’t speak any English and couldn’t find work. I returned to the workplace, after four years at home with the kids, as an entry-level programmer. My entry-level salary was to support a family of four. I bought my clothes at Goodwill. Mr. Crush on the other hand, was a project manager, very smart, very good-looking, and (in his estimation, anyway) hundreds of miles above my league.

The man was my role model. Let me give you an example. He drove a ten-year-old sports car. The car was falling apart from rust and leaked various fluids. I thought it was the coolest vehicle ever.

I stayed in touch with Mr. Crush for several years and two jobs. During that time, I tried to learn as much as I could from him. To draw from the well of his infinite wisdom. To emulate his American ways. I worked hard at my English comprehension skills, so I could understand his verbal jabs and retaliate in a timely manner. I worked equally hard at my professional skills, so he couldn’t say I was bad at what I did, and so I could find another job fast if the need arose. (It indeed arose, and I found it fast.) In short, a lot of my accomplishments during those years were driven by Mr. Crush. At some point, I found out that he had a large music collection. I thought it’d be a neat way for me to catch up on American music.

Mr. Crush can be a very nice guy, I’ll give him that. For several years, he let me borrow his CDs, five or six at a time. Any time I came across a CD I liked, I went out and bought myself a copy. Needless to say, I liked most of them. And that’s how I ended up with over a thousand dollars worth of CDs that I cannot listen to.

Over time, Mr. Crush started compiling his own CDs. I still approved of his musical tastes. When he came up with a CD that had both a Cristina Aguilera song and a Britney Spears song on it, I, for the first time, thought that maybe I needed to stop emulating.

So, I stopped.

These days, I listen to hip-hop, rap, R&B and punk rock. Which is very much in line with what I used to listen to in my younger days. I know Mr. Crush would hate this music. Somehow it makes me feel good about listening to it, and enjoying it, in a weirdly rebellious way. I’d be driving down the freeway, listening to 50 Cent or something, and all of a sudden a little voice in my head would go, “In your face, buddy! So you like Britney huh? Well I don’t!”

Is that weird or what?

Mr. Crush is also partly responsible for me becoming a league bowler, but that’s a story that I will save for a later time. Unless, of course, he somehow comes across this site, and then I think there will be no more stories. Which would be a bummer, because a lot of really funny stuff happened during those years.

Keep your fingers crossed.

The Goldie has spoken at 3:07 PM

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