Monday, January 14, 2008

on mondays i never go to work

If you know me more than a little, you probably know that our household is still smitten, all these years later with that matchless John duo, They Might Be Giants. The first thing my husband gave me after we met was a TMBG mix tape (ah, remember young love and mix tapes? one step clicking on the itunes can't possibly compare to the all day effort of tape to tape dubbing, no.) and warbled though it is, I still have it in my car (so long as i've owned my cranky beast of a car, she's never had a working cd player, so yes, i still listen to cassette tapes). He wrote some smart ass label on it like, "this is the only labeled tape in your car" because I had a rampant tendency to have scads of unmarked cassette tapes in my little escort, which beget the tradition of having to listen to several before finding the one I really wanted. Anyhow, I started listening to that one more than any others and it became the soundtrack to what was a really wonderful time in my life. I think it might have been the music that won me over to the man, maybe. Among other things. So then we embarked upon our whirlwind courtship and ill-advised marriage and always, always there was They Might Be Giants. And then the daughter came along and what else does a new and inexperienced papa default to for calming a fussy babe? But of course. So she grew up on the same tunes, too. Her first real concert (all ages venue, no smoking allowed) at age three and a half was for. . . who else? She zonked out for the opening act, but woke up for TMBG. It was one of those Really Good times, just the best of everything right in that moment, one of those moments that make me wish I understood String Theory or Quantum Physics so I could believe that the moment still exists out there, somewhere.


Consider that a very long introduction for this song I can't get out my head and I'm going to share it with you so you can sing it, too. They Might Be Giants is releasing another kid-centric collection soon and they've sent out several teasing forerunners on ahead recently. I get podcast updates to my ipod, and they're probably available elsewhere, too, but with the magic of youtube, you can hear what I'm talking about right now. I don't expect everybody to embrace the Johns as enthusiastically as we do. But I dare anyone who listens to this song to try to keep from humming it. . .

I love it because it's catchy but also because it's true. I never go to work. I don't work for pay. And I'm okay with that. I'm not just okay with it, but I actually really dig it. This won't be a soapbox-y diatribe justifying my lifestyle choices: what works for me might not for you and I don't expect everybody to have the same way of doing stuff. But the cultural expectation is that if I'm not working, I'm miserable and biding my time until I rejoin the workforce. I bake too many blueberry muffins and build too many block towers and read too many books to consider any of it the makings of being miserable. I don't get bored. I get frustrated that I have to cram things like toilet scrubbing and laundry folding into my day, but working wouldn't eliminate those drudgeries, just take time away from the stuff I really want to do. So the current set-up suits me. I don't speak for the future. Sometimes when someone hears that our girl is homeschooled, I'm asked, "but what about advanced math?" as if I'm so unabashedly attached to some No School ideal that I'd purposefully stick her in a corner without any resources to anything beyond that which is already living in my own head. And I don't make bold declarations about other choices, because anything could change at any time. But on Mondays, I never go to work. On Tuesdays I stay at home. I'm adopting the chorus as my current little theme song, because it clinks comfortably into the space in my head where I've been thinking about this subject lately. I'd love to have a sudden increase in household income and I'd sure appreciate more opportunities to exchange repartee with similar-minded folks with simpatico senses of humor, but I expect any work situation of my feasible reality would fall short on both accounts. I like it well enough to keep it this way.


Angelina said...

That was a great song.

I share so much of this sentiment, which i think you already know.

ivy/lynnie said...

What a great song!

When we were going through a particularly difficult time with my son- when I was filled with fear for him and his future- I must have listened to this song and video about a million times

We all loved it and M. would put it on over and over again and get us to dance around to cheer-up. I think part of the reason it was our theme song during that time was because, at one point in the video this happy plant spells out my son's name. I've often thought I should those guys a thank you for helping us through such a painful time in our lives.

april. said...

angelina, yes! i think having our conversation so fresh in my head made this song sound like own little theme song when i heard it.

ivy- it's really hard to go wrong with a tmbg/homestar combo. we sure love them both, but tmbg holds a very special place in our little family's history. our family's house band! you should email them. if just for the satisfaction of sharing something glad.