I recently had an epiphany. 1> I’m definitely getting older, and 2> being a parent really restricts your enjoyment of popular music. You start to see stalkers where you once saw admirers. You see pushy potential abusers where you once saw ardent and determined wooers.
Here’s an example of what I mean:
I was listening to “Rude”, a pop/reggae fusion song by Magic! It has a cool beat and a “I love her no matter what” theme. I could groove to it except for one thing.
I find the message majorly annoying. The main character gets dressed in his Sunday best, spruces himself up and gets ready to ask his girl’s father for her hand in marriage. Okay, good so far.
Things don’t go according to plan. The father doesn’t just say No. He says Hell no. Admittedly, he was being a rude inflexible asshole, but what the main character does next may indicate the father had good instincts.
The main character decides to “marry her anyway, I don’t care what you say.” If you asked because your girl wanted it, shouldn’t you check with her first before you tell her father off?
Mind you, we don’t know if the two males had previously met. We don’t know if the previous meetings didn’t go well (though you’d think so). And we have no idea what the father is like beyond his few lines “You’ll never get my blessing till the day I die, Tough luck my friend by the answer is no.” (As I said, the father’s a bit of a jerk.)
Then the main character asks, “Why you have to be so rude? Can’t you see I’m human too?” And while part of me can sympathize with him, another understands the father realizes he’s human… he’s a human male the father doesn’t want anywhere near his daughter, and certainly not as a son-in-law. Doesn’t say why, but the usual assumptions can be put here, all leading to “you’re not good enough for my daughter.”
And when the boy says he’s “gonna marry her anyway. Don’t care what you say,” I feel compelled to ask, “Well if you didn’t care, why did you ask? Was it just a hoop you felt you had to jump through, no matter what the answer? Why not just inform him of the plans?”
And here’s where the old-fogey part comes in. When I was younger, I would have been completely on the boy’s side. Young, naive and seeing all adults as unreasonable, I would have cheered, “You tell ‘em!” As it turns out, I can also see how ignoring the father’s wishes could be seen as blatant disrespect (especially if they’d never met) and something that makes the asking look like just going through the motions without any intention of taking the father’s views into account.
Yeah, I over-analyze things like this. I have a preteen daughter; it comes with the territory.
When I was her age, I blithely roller skated to “Centerfold” and “Every Breath You Take” and didn’t pay a bit of attention to the lyrics. Now I pick apart songs, wanting to know what my daughter is being told is hip and normal. I am such a MOM! 😉