I am sitting alone in my apartment on a Friday night, writing this and blaring, with no apology, Fleetwood Mac’s, “Don’t Stop Thinkin’ About Tomorrow.”
I was just driving home from a dinner and I caught this gem on a classic rock station. Even though someone had just cut me off in traffic and even though before I was cut off, the woman in front of me, couldn’t get the hell out of the way because she had to dig in her purse to find money for the valet and even though during those moments I wondered why isn’t it in any religious or spiritual folklore that it’s okay to hurt and wish ill on people just every once in a while…I suddenly found myself driving with the windows down feeling like I was in the happy ending of my own movie. I really feel like people who saw me drive by thought, “Wow. Credits roll wherever she goes.”
I still associate that song with Bill Clinton’s awesome 1992 victory. The first election that I ever voted in. I was a total, leftie, liberal kid who had gone through a slight one-month identity crisis in high school, where I identified with Bush I, just to be a contrarian to what people’s impression of me was.
I ran up and down the hallways of my dorm yelling and almost crying, “Clinton won!” Knocking on doors. I don’t even know what I was excited about but I knew here was this middle-aged guy who was earnestly playing “Don’t Stop” by Fleetwood Mac as his victory song. And I knew that he didn’t assign some intern to pick the song, or defer to an image consultant. I knew that this cheeseball man, truly loved this song, had his own moments of cruising the highways with the windows down and “Oooh, don’t ya look back” blaring making him feel like he was headed into something good, even if it was just an offramp.
I loved how corny this song is and cringe-worthy and how I had to admit that I saw through the 18 levels of irony and crappy teenage hatred of anything her parents generation did. My parents were from the ’50’s. They’d already stopped listening to radio by the time Fleets Macs (the cool way to say it) came around.
I feel bad for people who are not my age. I really do. I met someone recently who was born in 1990. I didn’t know it was possible. That means that she did not drive around in her parents car when Smells Like Teen Spirit came out, just knowing that she was in a historical teenaged moment. Sorry, no other song can be substituted. It’s there for us in the title.
Wow. And someone born in 1990 only knows the aftermath of some President named Clinton. They don’t know that awesome feeling that as a teenager becoming an adult that maybe the future wouldn’t suck. That maybe you were getting a cool new step-parent and your war mongering dad George Bush had a restraining order put on him. Maybe people would start recycling! No one knows his truly sincere and stiff waving to Fleetwood Mac, truly believing that, “If you wake up and don’t want to smile, if it takes just a little while, open your eyes, look at the day, you’ll see things in a different way…”
I have to play this song again. But this time I have to dance around in my slippers. Good night you guys.