So, I live in Kansas. I was born and raised in Kansas. I have heard ALL of the Dorothy jokes. I like the movie, so what? I have been teased about the Wizard of Oz in every other state that I’ve lived in. And I still get teased whenever we travel. I’m okay with all of it…really, but it wasn’t until today that I realized that maybe, just maybe, I might be as naive as the girl in the ruby-red slippers.
Where do I begin? I grew up in a small town. I’m pretty trusting, but I never considered myself gullible. I dreamed of living in a big city and most of my wardrobe is black, the standard “big city uniform.” I enjoy wearing oversized, Hollywood-style sunglasses. I was under the impression that I talked a pretty good game. I thought that I could reasonably hang in any city, look the part and everything. But apparently, you can’t cover naiveté with a trench coat. Because over the last few months I have been slowly finding out that all of my favorite things aren’t what they seem and it’s starting to take the wind out of my sails. BTW, Google and metrolyrics are no longer my friends.
First, my husband tells me that “Hotel California” by the Eagles is a song about Satanism. What????? I thought it was about an old hotel on the West Coast. I could picture it in my mind’s eye. Some weary traveler happens across what he/she thinks is an oasis hotel right on the beach…and sure it isn’t picture perfect (I sort of thought the service there sounded kinda bad), but the person checked in any way and wrote a song about their stay. Right? Wrong. Song ruined. How can I listen to it without thinking that a horrible evil is slowly penetrating my soul with each guitar chord. Uuuggghhh! There’s a whole section of my mp3 player that is no longer usable.
Oh, the bubble-busting didn’t end there. Next, I find out that one of my favorite songs from the nineties is about being addicted to meth. What?????? Semi-Charmed Kind of Life (Third Eye Blind) is about drugs! I let my kids listen to that song!!!! That was “my song” the year it came out. I practically wore that single out when I moved two states away to start a new job right after college graduation. That’s supposed to be a “coming of age” song. That’s supposed to be an upbeat, positive song about life. But, no–it’s not. It’s about drugs and drug addiction. How is a girl who once yelled at a guy for offering her pot at a party (I believe my exact words were, “Do I look like someone who does drugs to you?”) end up liking a song like that? Answers, I want answers.
My mother used to tell me to listen carefully to songs that I liked…especially if I planned to sing them aloud at some point. I thought I had learned my lesson when she about drove our car off the road after I started singing Bel Biv DeVoe’s “Do Me” (I was in high school at the time.) In fact, I so thought that I had learned that lesson that I frequently read my kid’s the riot act over some of their favorite songs. So now on top of having all my fun ruined, I’m a hypocrite, too. Thank you, Pop Culture for making me out to be a complete dork.
My trusting nature isn’t limited to just music. I couldn’t be that lucky. Apparently, I am naive in the television and movie arena as well. One of my all-time favorite movies is Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Yep, I thought it was a sweet, little love story, with a hilarious upstairs neighbor and a super-cool party scene…but, turns out it’s the story of a high-price escort in New York who hooks up with a “kept” man. I can’t write that under my list of favorite movies at the next church mixer, can I? Nor can I tell you how often I have come to adore some actor/actress on TV only to find out that they’re VERY good at their job and their real life personas will quickly make your jaw drop.
This morning I read that the Ukraine is banning SpongeBob SquarePants and the Teletubbies. According to them, SpongeBob is gay (aren’t sponges supposed to be asexual?) and the Teletubbies model a “loser” mentality. I was beside myself. I’m a SpongeBob fan. “Pizza Delivery” is my favorite episode. Besides, I thought that Sandy Cheeks was SpongeBob’s girlfriend! To top it all off, my daughter LOVES the Teletubbies…now I have to deal with the guilt of exposing her to “loserness.” Great.
So this is me, admitting it. Struggling to become one with my obvious simplemindedness. I am naive…and no amount of red shoe clicking is going to undo what I now know. The great and powerful Oz has been revealed. Look for my picture in the dictionary under