For years, whenever my husband and our family went on a trip, I sat obediently in the passenger’s seat and did my best to keep him company by chattering on about this and that or whatever came to mind. His brow was always in a perpetual furrow as he took the wheel, and I assumed (wrongly) that his grim expression was attributed to the weight he felt concerning the monumental task ahead. He was going to be responsible for shuttling his family 600-800 miles way – depending on our destination – and he needed to have all his wits about him.
It turns out that he just hated driving.
“I wish I had known that babe!” I scolded lightly. “I thought you liked driving. I love driving! I would have taken over the wheel ages ago.”
“What made you think that?” he asked. He was genuinely puzzled.
“Well…you know. Man behind the wheel; in control of his own destiny and all that. Boys and their cars…that sort of thing.”
He snickered, and from that day on we had a new accord. I would drive us to and fro on all our long distance trips if he would tend to the kids in the back seat. I loathed passing them chips, sandwiches, toys and whatever else their insatiable little minds could conjure up within the space of eight to ten hours while we were all locked in a vehicle. And then the constant diaper changes! Every 2 hours at some rest stop or gas station…
Thank God those days are nearly over.
Now that we have our travelling duties firmly established, I am free to do whatever I want whilst driving – which mainly consists of ignoring the kids. What’s ironic is that Marshall is at liberty to do the same. He is very quick to pull out his portable DVD player and watch all 3 installments of The Lord of The Rings while I battle icy roads and obey speed limits. What gall. The kids never seem to have as many requests now that I’M behind the wheel.
This trip coming from Ohio for Christmas was a little different. My husband did not bring any gadgets to entertain himself with, and I didn’t have much to talk about. We drove in stony silence until I decided to plug in my earphones and listen to some music on Pandora. Suddenly, a familiar song came on.
‘Cause I Love You, circa 1970-something
I’ve heard this song about a handful of times. My first memory of it was as a child. I can’t tell you who was playing it or where I was when I heard it. I just remember thinking it was really slow and boring. I wished the man on the radio would stop talking and finish singing his stupid song so something better would come on. Michael Jackson perhaps.
But on that Thursday afternoon, as dusk was beginning to fall and the sky grew steadily darker, the scales were taken off my eyes and I saw (or heard, rather) for the first time something wondrous and exceedingly rare…a man so deep in the throes of desperate love that he has only one choice but to beg for the return of the affections of his loved one lest he DIE.
I listened to the words intently for the first time in my 35 years of life.
Girl, you know I love you
No matter what you do
And I hope you understand me
Every word I say is true
‘Cause I love you
Awww. That’s really sweet.
Baby, I’m thinking of you
Tryin’ to be more of a man for you
And I don’t have much riches
But we gonna see it through
‘Cause I love you
Oh chaley. I’ve never heard a man say he wanted to be more of a man for MY benefit. Usually they want to do better to show off for their homies or prove something to themselves. This is new.
Some men need lots of women
For their passions to feel
But I want only you, girl
If it’s in, if it’s in, if it’s in God’s will
‘Cause I, ‘cause I love you
By the time Lenny Williams (the singer) began wailing and oh…oh…oh’ing up until the moment when he cried out in sweet relief after you (and by that I think he meant “me”) helped me, I was undone. I felt a deep, visceral, barely controllable urge to pull the car over, remove my now very uncomfortable panties and rocket propel them into my husband’s face. I was certain if he possessed the pipes, this would also be his enduring profession of love.
I really love this song. It speaks to a time when men actually liked women, you know what I mean? Men today are so concerned about either not offending women or purposely offending women that I don’t think they’ve taken the time to learn to like women. We just need some balance! I mean, by the time we admit that the most complimentary song on the radio concerning femininity is called She’s a Sexy B**** (which I heard at work for the first time, if you can fathom that) –
*Sigh* I have nothing further to add to that. T-Pain admitted that he struggles to find the words to “describe this girl without being disrespectful.”
I wonder if the pendulum between male and female relationships will ever again swing close enough in the direction of the essence of this song in time for my girls as they reach the age of maturity? Doubt it.