Monday, March 29, 2010

Enough About Me. What Do YOU Think About Me?

So, I was on my way to dinner Saturday night with our friends Ashley and David, when I received a voicemail from my dad. He says that he's in his car flipping through radio stations in search of the LSU baseball game, when he gets stuck on a station playing a song that reminds him of me. That statement right there may be a metaphor for our entire relationship...

I ponder for a brief moment what song may make my father think of me. I immediately think of songs with my name in the lyrics, like "Callin' Baton Rouge." Or songs that are about dancing, like "Tiny Dancer." Of course there are the favorite songs from my childhood we used to rock out to together...pretty much anything by The Bangles, Cyndi Lauper, Lionel Richie, Culture Club, Huey Lewis and the News (only because when I was little I used to call him "Hoowey Woowis"). Possibly Sheryl Crow's "All I Wanna Do", because we used to mock how ridiculous we thought the lyrics were. Seriously, the woman wasn't even singing. She was just speaking nonsense about Billy and peeling labels from his bottles of Bud. You call that a song? But no, this is not the song on the radio Saturday. The song that reminded him of me, prompting him to pick up the phone and tell me about it was...

Redneck Woman by Gretchen Wilson

For those of you who were in a coma in 2004, here is a verse of the song:

Well, I ain't never been the Barbie doll type
No, I can't swig that sweet Champagne, I'd rather drink beer all night
In a tavern or in a honky tonk or on a four-wheel drive tailgate
I've got posters on my wall of Skynyrd, Kid and Strait
Some people look down on me, but I don't give a rip
I'll stand barefooted in my own front yard with a baby on my hip

'cause I'm a redneck woman
I ain't no high class broad
I'm just a product of my raising
I say, 'hey y'all' and 'yee-haw'
And I keep my Christmas lights on
On my front porch all year long
And I know all the words to every Charlie Daniels song
So here's to all my sisters out there keeping it country
Let me get a big 'hell yeah' from the redneck girls like me, hell yeah

I found this all startling, but comical. I only know the words to one Charlie Daniels song. And I adore champagne. Is this how my father sees me? I am so confused! It always shakes me to my core when I discover that someone perceives me in a way that is completely unlike the way I perceive myself. In order to gain perspective (or validation) I instant messaged my mom and my brother and posed this question: "Dad called to say he heard a song that reminded him of me. Name that song."

Jarred: "Callin' Baton Rouge"
Mom: "Tiny Dancer"

Ok, so they know me. Or, more importantly, they know the version of me with whom my dad will most identify. So, how to react to the news that my dad hears a song about a woman with a "glorious absense of sophistication" (Jeff Foxworthy's definition of "redneck") and is immediately reminded of me?

Mom: "Uh, wasn't that song your ringtone about five years ago?

Eureka! Mom is on top of her game today. Thanks to my old pal Shena, "Redneck Woman" was the song that my phone played when a select group of girlfriends called or texted me during the fall of 2004 and winter of 2005 (approximately). Jeez, my dad is like a time capsule. I had forgotten all about that. Either way, I'm glad that's settled, so I can stop tripping over it.

I've had a couple of other conversations recently where my public perception came into play. Once was with my friends at dinner last Saturday, David and Ashley. David said there was a family member he thought I would hit it off with at his upcoming wedding, because she's "like me." He described her as "just very out there, just like, 'This is who I am!'" and as he's saying this he gestures his arms outward like he's about to give a hug or flash "jazz hands".

Then there was happy hour a few weeks ago with my pal Jenny. She described an event she attended recently where she "pulled a Samantha." I listened, intrigued to hear what "pulling a Samantha" would involve. It's sounds so interesting. Apparantly, it only involves wearing a low-cut top.

I sound very bawdy. I had no idea! I always thought self-awareness was one of my better qualities, and it seems I'm a bit off. I am sure my image will continue to evolve as I take on motherhood, but until then, is there a song that reminds you of me? If you were to "pull a Samantha", what would that involve?

1 comment:

  1. i believe "pulling a samantha" would equate to spending 45 minutes to an hour and half to get dressed in a stylish outfit complete with make up and big hair. all just to go to Kroger and buy a $8 bottle of wine, and to openly mock someone walking through the snowy parking lot in their bright plaid pj pants.