Hitting Repeat

We were at our friends’ house for a weekend visit.  It was late.  A lot of wine and craft beers had been consumed.  Our girls were bedded down for the night-their three and our two.  We had finished playing a rousing game of Risk in which Phil, my husband’s college room mate, and I, battled for final victory, our spouses having long since thrown in the towel, and our competitive spirits showing themselves, unsurprisingly for Phil, a lawyer, surprisingly for me, a housewife.

We moved into the living room and Phil put on a mix tape.  In the middle of it there was this one song. You know the song.  It might be a different song for you, but it is the song that makes you stop what you are doing and ask, “Who is this?”.

They finally decided that it must be Barbara Keith singing Detroit or Buffalo.  Long story short, Phil gifted us the mix tape, which also included several favorite Van Morrison songs.

We listened to that tape on the drive home, through the pouring rain, and then I appropriated it for the yellow Plymouth I drove most often. I hit reverse on the one song over and over again.

What I didn’t realize at the time was that my marriage was on a decline, heading toward a canyon, and perhaps this song resonated with me for that reason.

When you divorce someone you  break your childrens’ hearts and split all your possessions.  It’s never pleasant, regardless of how civil you both try to be, but you prepare yourself for it.  What hits you by surprise sometimes is the splitting of friendships. They were his friends first. Naturally, he got them in the divorce.  I wouldn’t have expected any less, but I missed them. I missed her, with her tree-hugging goodness and nurturing spirit.  I missed him, with his killer wit and sharp mind. I missed them together and I missed us together, with our girls, just hanging out over a weekend, living large in a small frame.  When one of my girls told me they had divorced years later, I was sad.  I, maybe you, have those couples that stand for marriage in my mind. They are the ones you know will never break the bond; you don’t even think of that happening with them.  In my life, I’ve had two. One couple is still together, one is not.  Fifty percent of my role models stayed together.

Tonight, when I typed in Barbara Keith on YouTube, I wasn’t really expecting anything to come up, but there it was.  The magic of music is amazing to me. It will take you back in an instant. I’m listening and hitting repeat.  I’m missing those friends of mine.

I won’t insist you listen, but if you are interested, here it is:

Who do you miss?

Chicken out

  10 comments for “Hitting Repeat

  1. November 2, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    When you first wrote “tape” I actually pictured the old reel kind. My roomie had one in college. Van you imagine trying to play it in the car?


  2. November 2, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    Hi AV, yes, I drive around just playing my reels. No, it' not distracting at all. I can drive and play my reels just fine, thank you very much:-)


  3. November 2, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    Every single time I hear the song, “Aubrey” by Bread (and it is rare, I admit!) I think about the time when I was in my late 30's and right next door to addiction. I met a woman on an online message board, not a dating sight, a literary one, and after several hilarious emails she finally called me up from Utah and we talked for hours. She somehow talked me into a road trip across four states to see crazy things: the biggest ball of twine, a town in Tennessee called Bucksnort….and we just Thelma and Louised for ten days. She and I somehow ended up in a lesbian bar in Kansas where someone sold us weed and we took it back to the hotel and got high as kites and sat side by side on the bed, backs against the head board singing, “And Aubrey was her name, I never knew her but I loved her just the same…” Now it is 17 years later and she is still in Utah but with a daughter and an ex and I am cleaned up and sober, with a partner and a daughter here on the prairie. We still e-mail and she still cracks me up and makes me laugh. She once sent me the song, “You Can Sleep While I Drive” by Melissa Manchester and told me that it would always remind her of me.


  4. November 2, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    Whoops meant….Melissa Ethridge. My age is showing….


  5. November 2, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Hi Maria, I knew who you meant. I love me some Melissa. Sounds like this is a “fated” friendship. Meant to be and would have happened somehow. I have one like that, too. Speaking of Bread, any Bread song takes me back to my college days. My room mate and I played “Best of Bread” and a Cat Stevens album over and over and over again. Good times. Thanks for visiting and commenting.


  6. November 2, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    I had never heard Detroit or Buffalo and I really enjoyed it.

    We have lost so many friends to divorce. So often it's not even about picking sides as much as they move on to new single friends or new interests. More like they need a new start and old friends inhibit that.

    I think divorce is sad but often needs to happen. I have never been divorced but was a product of divorced parents that fought for years and years. I admire when people handle their divorce with some consideration for their kids. Still it's always sad.


  7. November 3, 2013 at 1:12 am

    Isn't it something how a song can do that? I try to avoid the ones that take me to a sad place, and just use the magic for good.


  8. November 3, 2013 at 1:13 am

    I am a wuss.


  9. November 3, 2013 at 1:55 am

    Hi Jenny, you are not a wuss. you are wise! I play music when I stay up too late and drink wine. I love all that emotion pouring through me. in small doses.


  10. November 3, 2013 at 2:00 am

    Hi Cheryl, O am so glad you liked it. Divorce is really sad, for friends, too. I know what you mean. My parents were divorced when I was really young. I never knew any different and they were so kind with each other, I never thought of it as a very big deal, which was stupid of me in retrospect.


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