Saturday, April 5, 2008

Why I Hate Country Music

How to Make a Man's Man Bawl like a Baby

A Shoutout to my Father-In-Law

Why There should be Gun Control by 2020

If you have been following my posts, you know that I just got back from a trip to Statesboro, GA. If not, maybe you've saved yourself some valuable time. I told my wife that a trip to south Georgia would definitely yield some post fodder. This is the one you've been waiting on.

I forgot my iPod. The only disks in my car are Veggie Tales. I won't get XM radio until they take the commercials off. (Wasn't that the whole idea, you pay for no commercials?) AM reception, aka Talk Radio, is non-existent south of Macon. I was left with 1 sleepy gospel station, 1 head bangers ball, and half a dozen country stations.

I'm sure the country stations were different formats. But don't ask me to tell one from another. I'm doing well when I can tell the difference between Hip-hop and Rap.

All I know is every time I'm driving by myself in south Georgia, listening to the country music, some song will come on that tears my heart out and stomps it flat by the side of the road.

Last time it was Tim McGraw's Don't Take the Girl.

This time it was Chuck Wicks' Stealing Cinderella

Maybe it's just where I am in life right now. Maybe Chuck Wicks is a country music pop star genius and wrote the song to specifically elicit a response from a certain demographic. What I do know is that it started with a choke and then my eyes welled up and I let a single tear fall. I mean what the heck, I was by myself. If you can't be real with yourself, who are you?

But it doesn't stop there. The song was long over and the images kept flooding my thoughts. Here is a song about someone looking back to where I am now. Those memories that he has are what I am living every day. The thought of them being just memories... (Hold on, I need a minute.)

(I'm back) Is it bragging to say that I wouldn't trade places with anyone in the world? I have two Cinderellas, one sweet little boy who is healthy and laughs all the time and another little girl on the way.

We joke about how tough parenting is and about needing a break from our kids but the reality is I'd trade all the wealth in the world for one of them and not have to think about it 1 second. Any of you DINKY couples considering a childless existence, I beg you, forget anything your have heard me say about the difficulties of parenthood, forget about seeing my children melt down at 9PM after a full day and a 2 hour meal at some stuffy restaurant.

Instead, peek in on my morning routine as one of my daughters rises early and snuggles with me in the quiet of the morning for a Bible reading. Ride home with me after work and see my reception. Arms up in the air, everyone screaming "Daddy's home, Daddy's home!" Watch as I put my children to bed and they pray for others and then ask as I'm leaving their bedroom, "Daddy, will you always be my daddy?"

I might be a mediocre business man at best. As a Christian, thank God Jesus is a friend of sinners. But to these children, I'm the greatest dad in the world and they make me feel that way. I'd do anything for them.

Which brings me to my final two points.
1. Thanks John Borg for giving me your blessing to marry your daughter. These past 10 years have been the best ones of my life and I know that they were at your expense. You had to give up your princess and I hope I have done right by her.
2. Any young punk who comes snooping around my house in about 10-15 years better have the best and purest intentions because you have no idea what you just have no idea.

And speaking of sleepy gospel music, this one says it all.


Angela said...

This is pure gold.

Erin said...

Ren you have a blog! About crying. But I still like you.

This is really Wes, not Erin. I'm just using her computer.

Also, drop everything and move to Austin. We're living the slow life here and it rules.

Plus there are no state taxes.

Erin said...

Although there is a lot of country music here in Austin. So maybe you'd be crying too much.

Wes again.

Ren said...

You do what you have to do in the blogosphere for readers. Welcome aboard!

Davis said...

Several things:
1) My honest first impression was that I really respect realness in a blog.
2) I was shocked to hear that satellite radio has commercials.
3) I have a strong dislike for the "Christmas Shoes" factor in a lot of country music.
4) Given the choice, I'd take Bob and Larry every single time.
5) Dave Ramsey's radio show and even the CDs from the class have brought about a strong emotional response for me when I'm driving down the road by myself. Not that I don't love my kids...

Anonymous said...

I really like this song. I heard it on the radio just today, for probably the 20th time. I also like, "Cinderella Dance" by Stephen Curtis Chapman.
I lost my dear father when I was 11; he was 52. I used to think that was pretty old, but now I'm almost 45, and just hoping to make it to the fifties!
I miss my father SO much. He was always the one I could talk to. I don't know how different things might have been if he had been there during my teenage and young adult years, but I know I made a LOT of mistakes I might not have made if he had been there to talk to.
Sound like an excuse, but sometimes I wonder. He always told me he was proud of me, when I tried my best. Even if I didn't come in first in the spelling bee; even if I didn't make all straight A's, or missed hitting a home run by 2 inches. He always encouraged me to try my best, and to keep trying, to never give up on myself.
I pretty much did give up on myself after he was gone. I got into drinking and drugs the first year I was a teenager. You can imagine how downhill things went from there.
But life is too short to regret everything. I still have memories of him and the things he said to me. One thing he said, shortly before he died, was that, "You'll NEVER be too old to give your father a hug."
Even if he's not here for me to physically hug, I can still acknowledge all the love he gave me, and try to give a little of it back by loving myself.
Sometimes I wonder if he would still love me as much now as he did then.
Then I hear songs like this and it helps me believe that maybe he would. I just wish I knew... for sure.
I guess you just have to have faith.
Like having faith in God.
I have to believe that God will forgive me and still love me if I am truly sorry for my sins and try to repent and not make the same decisions I made before.
What verse is it that asks, "If a child asks their father for something to eat, would he give her a stone?. No, he would give her something to eat. In the same way, our Father in heaven will give us what we need if we humbly ask Him." (para-phrased)

Ren said...

“You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? Or if they ask for an egg, do sure you give them a scorpion? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.” Luke 11:11-13 NLT

Thanks for you comments. I sure I will love my children regardless of what they do. It is who they are that compells me to love them. I'm sure they will cause me some heartache and pain at some point, but you are right, God is our example. He loves us no matter what. When we are at our worst, He sent His son to die on the cross for us. How can I respond any differently to my children. My guess is that your father probably felt the same.

And no, they better not think they are ever too old to hug their father!

Erin said...

I'm just reading this and I teared up. Kids are the BEST. Everyday I think: I don't deserve this - I don't deserve to be this happy and have all the joy my girls bring. It is amazing.

shannon said...

Ren- we miss you! I went to the beach with the kids for spring break and it was not the same without arriving at the beach with you already there (and nobody to set up the umbrellas and such!).
Okay, at the beach, I was sipping the only drink I had there -weird, huh?- a marguerita that was not like Jamie Oiver's- at a restaurant with my friend and our children. A country cover of Gillian Welch's song about Elvis came on and I was so confused! I finally figured out it was a cover of her song and told my friend, yikes! Gillian does this better. My friend doesn't even like country but got defensive and said it's probably a matter of taste. . . no, this one is hands down Gillian. So, thank God I had my ipod and let her listen to Gillian when we got back to our room. When can I go to the beach with the Bucklands again??

holly said...

shannon, that elvis song is good, i hate to hear there's a country cover! weird!!
no beach trip is complete without ren's wave mastery, umbrella skillz that killz, angela's attractive yet modest floral swimsuit, merbabies isabel and jojo, and oliver's beach tent(aka sand hamster ball)....
when indeed???!!!