Snow Patrol: I Love You, but My Family Doesn’t

The atmosphere in the car crackled with hostility. (How is that for a cheesy, spy novel introduction?)

I had just taken over the wheel, prepared to drive the mind-numbingly boring section. The Norwegian Artist, who, per our long understood agreement does the metro stuff and winding mountainous roads, settled in the passenger seat with a pillow.

Windy mountain roads. Those are the specialty of the Norwegian Artist. By the way, Blue Ribbon earned honorable mention in the 6th Annual Paint the Parks Competition; three other works — Eyrie, Last Light in Zion, and Descent into Bryce — won acceptance.

Tired of Being Youngest and the Son and Heir were sprawled in the back, luggage between them ensuring that no one’s breathing space interfered with another’s. Chips, fruit and cookies abounded so peace should have reigned.

“Nooooooo,” they groaned in unison as I reached for the car stereo. “Not Snow Patrol.”

Not Snow Patrol? It’s all I listen to.

“We know that.”

Did I speak aloud?

While I am the first to admit that I have the amazing ability to listen to the same song, over and over without break, for hours — say, while I’m driving somewhere — I generally do not subject others to this gift, reserving infinite repetition for times when I am alone in the car.

(By the way, not only is this gift highly unusual, it’s also cost effective, because once I find a CD that I like, it stays in the car stereo slot for six months, nine months, a year, meaning that an outlay of some $15 amortizes out to a little over a dollar a month. That’s impressive.)

When I am with others, I am careful to rotate the repertoire, incorporating at least six songs — okay, the same six songs — from the 1-mile mark to the 90. In this 1 1/2 hour segment, this means that the captive passengers in the car will hear each separate song three or four times. I certainly don’t have a problem with that, but apparently they do.

I find listening to the same beloved songs to be peaceful, reflective, calming. Queen Anne’s Lace by Steve Henderson.

And now, not only do they not want to hear my customized selection of six songs, they don’t want to hear my music at all.

“I wish I had never introduced you to this group,” Tired sighs.

Too late, kid.

“Isn’t there somebody, anybody, anybody else at all, that you like?” the Norwegian asks.

Um . . . no.

“I hear this group in my sleep,” he adds.

This is, literally, true, because generally the Norwegian Artist falls asleep when I drive.

“How about not listening to anything at all?” the Heir rumbles. (It’s hard to believe that, years ago when he was two, he squeaked.)

Look. At. The landscape.

It’s not so much that it resembles a place where you would test the atomic bomb as that it exudes the results of many such tests. The occasional sagebrush shouts out, “Here! Over here! Evidence of life!”

It’s hard to get through mile after mile of this without someone mournfully crooning how much he loves you, how much he misses you, how horrible life is without you, how it’s hard to get up and even put on his socks in the morning.

“This song is depressing,” Tired’s voice emanates from behind a pillow.

Flexible, nubile, I dance through life. I am remarkably adaptable when I’m not focused on being stubborn. Magenta by Steve Henderson.

No, it’s sensitive, like one out of four members in this car, and because I’m sensitive I’m willing to accommodate my needs and wishes to the whims of others, and for the sake of peace I forego my beloved Snow Patrol for another musical artist. I am, after all, flexible.

“Fine. No Snow Patrol.”

Sighs, groans, whooshes of relief, happy faces all around.

“We’ll listen to Neil Diamond.”

Was it something that I said?


About This Woman Writes

Carolyn Henderson is the marketing manager of Steve Henderson Fine Art. She writes about life, art, and the art of life.
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6 Responses to Snow Patrol: I Love You, but My Family Doesn’t

  1. I will be seventy-five in a few days, and must admit that I never heard of “Snow Patrol”. However, I went online and checked out a couple of their pieces. I really liked them, but I also suspect that they may not be for “Mixed Generations”. How about any of “John Denver’s songs?

    • I would not have heard of the group were it not for my daughter, who now infinitely regrets the introduction. I keep up with the various music through the progeny — sometimes I like it, sometimes I don’t, but as I can’t stand listening to the radio (too many ads), I keep up.

      Ah yes, John Denver. He did some good ones.

  2. Joyce Durkin says:

    OMG! And I thought I was the only one who listened to the same CD for months on end! My current favorite is Elton John’s “Captain Fantatic”. I take it inside the studio when I’m working on a commission painting and play “Bitter Fingers” over and over.

    • Joyce: Inside myself I give a little sigh of relief to know that, in this entire world, I am not alone in this amazing gift.

      One of these days, I’ll learn how to use the “repeat” button on the stereo . . .

  3. Isn’t it weird, Robert Walker, when people start talking about music everyone knows and it makes no sense at all to you? There is ZERO recognition of any title of any song and worse, of any artist?? I’ll be 75 in four months. And my cd will likely be lost somewhere…it’s one I bought from the most elegant Ecuadorian flute player whose booth I was next to at the fair. I would choose La Traviata, probably, or Segovia’s collection, if I could hear in the car.

    My choice for the road is silence — or as close as one can get to it with the road noise. My hearing is acute in some ranges and terrible in others, so I cannot hear ANYTHING well without dedicated, isolated conditions. I sing instead. (aren’t you all glad you are not passengers?) Sometimes having your partner be a dog or a cat has its wonderful perks. Pets think everything is wonderful, no matter what it is, if they get to go with you.

    Happy listening, Carolyn!

  4. OMG … My family resembles this road trip. I’ll take Neil Diamond, (or John Denver for that matter), anytime.

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