Urban Cowboy" was released It was another John Travolta-led cinematic outing, foisting another musical genre on an unsuspecting America. He'd done it before with "Saturday Night Fever" (disco) and "Grease" (50's rock-and-roll) and this time, it was country music. The movie was a huge hit and it led to a rebirth of interest in country music. It also had some unfortunate side effects. Like people who had no business dressing like cowboys deciding to do so. I was one of those people. This decision could not have been more ill-advised. Seriously.
Imagine a gawky (and, trust me, I'm being kind with that word) high school freshman who, on a good day, maybe tipped the scales at 110 lbs, suffering through a losing battle with puberty - straight hair that now looked like it had waves and over-sized tinted glasses that were supposedly cool because they got darker in the sun. They weren't. So what did I do about it? I decided to make my life exponentially worse by embracing the 'Urban Cowboy' trend that was sweeping the nation. Cowboy hat, boot cut jeans, and Justin Roper boots were purchased, as was the 'Urban Cowboy' soundtrack LP. I embraced country music and went to school all decked out in my new look. To say that this went horribly wrong would be like saying Chernobyl was just a little nuclear leak. In a few short minutes, I learned a lot about bullying and even more about the foolishness of following trends.
Fast forward more than thirty years and I can laugh now, without reverting to the fetal position and crying, about those days. If there are any lingering side effects, it would be the fact that I still have a like of country music. Most of it is the music that I listened to during the aforementioned ill-advised period of my life. One silly song still sticks with me and that's Barbara Mandrell's 'Sleeping Single In A Double Bed.' It's been in my head since I've spent the last three months doing exactly that - sleeping single. I've been living apart from my wife, the stunningly patient and mighty fine SML, because of my new job and my relocation to New England. We've have had a few days together in the course of the last few months but we've been apart way more than we've been together. Here's what I know - I was not made to be a part from her for this amount of time. To say that I've missed the companionship of this amazing woman is an epic understatement.
That is why I am so pleased that this week is here. We move this week. The best part is that we move together. I'll be back in Chicago one last time to pick up the stunningly patient and mighty fine SML, the Boy, and that nutty Shih Tzu, Beijing, and it's off to New England for us. The real fun now begins. I am just so glad that we'll be back together. This is how it was meant to be for us - to be together. I am happy.
There is a flaw, though, in Miss Mandrell's song. Have you ever heard of two people sleeping comfortably in a double bed? That would be no. We are moving into an extended stay hotel where we have a queen bed, which is going to prove interesting. The irony of all this separation is that we very shortly are going to be wishing for our California King mattress and its space. At least we will be kicking each other. I'm looking forward to it.