“Everyone thinks they have good taste and a sense of humor, but we can’t all possibly have good taste!” –Nora Ephron
Nora wrote gems like that. Some were used in movies while others were part of her column or books that she penned later in life. She was an absolute truth-teller. At her own expense and even when we didn’t want to hear the truth, she entertained us all with her words. I adore her and cried when I heard of her passing.
But I don’t want to talk about that, I bring her up to tell you that I am one of those people who thinks they have great taste AND a sense of humor. No. I don’t think it. I know it to be a certainty. I have great taste in decorating, fashion, friends, food, and music to name a few. I take great pride in it, especially my taste in music. Hell, I even majored in Music in college! From classical to bluegrass and everything in between, why I can bore you with details about it all. I can play “name that composer” on NPR with shocking accuracy. I also do my best to stay current with local Nashville area bands and folk and indie artists of today. Like all hipsters who denounce being classified as a hipster, I elevate myself among others whose taste in music is “beneath” my own. This time of year, however, I morph into a crappy music lover.
I blame Christmas in all its fucking glory! Christmas has me “fa la la la la’ing” through the house like an elf on home-cooked meth! If the song has bells, a celesta, a slap stick, and Richard Carpenter’s vocals dubbed over 12 times, I’ll be singing right along—loudly. Please do not judge me when you see me wiping away a tear through that last verse of “Christmas Shoes.” (You just judged me, didn’t you?) Don’t get all high and mighty in your skinny jeans and infinity scarf should you see me dancing in my car to “Feliz Navidad.” One of my many guilty pleasures is a local station that plays all Christmas music this time of year. Their primary goal inevitably must be to pick out and play the crappiest and cheesiest of Christmas songs. Case in point, they’re currently giving away tickets to see John Tesh in concert.
Yes. I know. I should be embarrassed, and I used to be!
I used to hide that I listen to this particular station—quickly changing the dial to the “cool music station” whenever someone got in the car. I used to blush when I began to pop in the Carpenter’s Christmas Portrait and sing. (the entire thing, top to bottom, I have memorized. I can sing all of Karen and Richard’s voice parts.) I used to feel that my love for all things Christmas music related couldn’t possibly coexist with the great taste in music that I take elitist pride in. I mean, in what brain is there a mutual respect for John Lennon and The Chipmunks?
I’d still like my hula-hoop, dammit.
I’ve since reconciled my bi-polar musical taste by doing what most parents do, blaming it on my children. I listen to the craptasic tunes to make their Christmas a “Holly-Jolly” one—by gosh, by golly. I’m leading Christmas sing-a-longs in the car in an effort to boost Christmas cheer!
“Take it away, Russ!”
“Fa la la la la la la la la!”
I’m the picture of Christmas Spirit for my kids. I’m a good parent! That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it; even though it’s completely laughable. After all, I have great taste AND a sense of humor.