Her Bad Mother

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Groove Is In The Heart

In a comment to my last post, SlouchingMom asked this: "Do I get points for thinking that your "I'm ovulating" post was unusually, umm, revealing for you?"

You know I love you, SlouchingMom, but no. Unless you consider boob-shots and engorgement chatter and actual pregnancy test results (a revelation that caused my mother-in-law to suggest to my husband that he might exercise better editorial control over my writing) and the like unusually unrevealing. I'm no Motherhood Uncensored in the no-holds-barred-no-truth-unbared blogging department, but I've been know to share a grotty detail or two about my life.

But her question got me thinking: what would I consider too revealing?

As it goes, sharing something like our decision to go ahead and upgrade the Bad Family to Bad Family XTM is not, in my books, particularly revealing. It falls into the category of things that I can't help sharing because I can't help writing about them because they're so much on my mind. So it is that I would not be able to wait until after a positive pregnancy test, let alone twelve weeks after a positive pregnancy test, to write about the emotional roller-coaster of making the decision to re-enter the world of pregnancy tests and taking those tests and waiting to see if a positive test results sticks. Couldn't do it. I'd have to stop writing entirely.

The posts that, for me, have felt most revealing have been those posts in which I confess some aspect of my bad motherness. For all that I cheekily trumpet my bloggy identity as Her Bad Mother, I am deeply sensitive about actually being a bad mother. The posts in which I reveal my fears and anxieties, in which I admit to feeling powerless or anxious about my ability to mother... those posts are difficult to publish. And the most difficult post in recent weeks - the one that caused most hesitation over publishing - was the one in which I admitted to having judged another mother, and to having missed an opportunity to reach out to another mother who might - might - have needed or wanted to be reached. That, for me, pushed the boundaries of what I was prepared to reveal of myself.

Still. I did cross those particular boundaries. I revealed.

There, has, however, been one arena of revelation into which I have long been reluctant to step. Into which I have very consciously avoided stepping.

The Music Meme.

Long has this meme circulated the blogosphere, and many are the bloggers - mommy and otherwise - who freely share their playlists and Top 20 and All-Time Favourites. Who reveal their musical tastes happily, with the same ease that they might reveal their preference for dark chocolate over milk chocolate, or peonies over tulips, or lattes over americanos. Who tell the world what voices, what melodies, whisper through the wires of their iPod earphones. Who bare the groove of their souls.

Clearly, I have issues about music. I love music. Loooove. I'm that weird chick who bursts into song on the subway, suddenly, unable to keep the lid on the melodies bubbling and frothing in my head. (This, without the iPod. With the iPod, I lip-synch, silently. But animatedly. Very animatedly. I'm not sure which is weirder - the unprovoked songburst, or the mimed aria. You tell me.)

(Also, you want evidence of this bizarre behaviour? See here, number four. Outed.)

What was I saying? Right: music, for me, is (notwithstanding my public displays of performance) a profoundly intimate thing. What's playing in my head right now? To tell you that would be to give you a snapshot of the state of my heart and soul. Perhaps it's as light-hearted as the theme to The Backyardigans, or as bouncy as old De La Soul. But it might also be as dark as Johnny Cash covering NIN's Hurt (soul heavy, eyes wet, fingers twisting worries to shred, this song tells me the story of the pain of someone that I love. Soul, heavy; heart, sore.) It might be sweetly nostalgic, swaying to an old lullaby. It might be sadly nostalgic, strumming the chords of a memory of old, lost friends.

It might be dancing.

Whatever the state of my heart, its soundtrack is an intimate thing. One that I'm reluctant share openly. Because it is so intimate, but not only for that reason (I am, after all, not one to shy away from intimacy in my writing): I'm reluctant to share because it is, potentially, a little embarassing. Revealing my playlist or what is on my DVD turntable reveals me, as a classics geek (Bach's Cello Suites in multiple recordings) and a creature of habit (Johnny Cash Children's Album) and stuck in the 80's (The Smiths) and relentlessly girl-centric in my love of jazz (Nina and Ella and Shirley) and relentlessy girl-centric, period (Imogen Heap and Feist and Madeleine Peyroux) and an uncool dappler in contemporary pop (Mika and Peter, Bjorn and John.)

That is, it would reveal me as such, if you could shovel past the stacks of Teletubbies DVDs. Mommy first, in all things. But still, revealing. Too revealing? Maybe not. My stubborn insistence that my musical tastes are more private than my underwear drawer is probably just one more weird Bad Mother glitch. (A glitch that sounds like this, no doubt.)

But then I never told you that I was normal.

(So, Bon, does that count as having done the meme?)


Blogger Redneck Mommy said...

Well done. I just embarrassed myself with my musical geekiness over at my place.

It was hard. Much harder than talking about nipple piercings, blowjobs or vomit.

But not quite as hard as writing about my Bug either.

Still, no bed of roses.

3:02 PM  
Blogger Lara said...

it's certainly an interesting take on the meme. i approve of this version. :)

3:11 PM  
Blogger Awesome Mom said...

I had a very hard time doing my seven favorite songs. It is agonizing trying to be cool but also true to yourself. I am not even sure I was all that true to myself since some of the songs have yet to be downloaded onto my shiny new iPod.

3:11 PM  
Blogger Haute Mama said...

Just think about all the fun you'll have embaressing when mutha sucka is a teenager LOL!

3:13 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

I find the posts about some of the things my children do, some of the things I allow them to do and even some of the things I encourage, to be the hardest ones to write.

It shows what kind of mom I am, and I very much want to be a good one. So for me those are definitely the hardest, because they are the very ones people will read and think.. WTF kind of mother is she?

Good post & blog HBM. I'm a first time visitor and have enjoyed reading your past entries this morning.

3:54 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I could never do a musical meme...everyone would laugh at me!

Interesting that I don't want to be laughed at for my musical tastes, but don't mind being laughed at for my questionable writing skills.

I love you HBM! Great post...again.

4:12 PM  
Blogger Mama Sarita said...

I totally get this. I have not put my musical tastes out to the blog. Nope. I'd rather a big honking breastfeeding picture...

4:42 PM  
Blogger S said...

(rubbing hands together gleefully)

Ooh, ooh, I can't wait to investigate your archives! Because I've only been in the blogosphere since January, and let me tell you, HBM, you've been fairly unrevealing from then to now!

I knew you'd be tagged in the end. And I am happy, because you like Ella. (Do you have the CD of her birthday concert in Rome? Bliss.) And Bach too! (I walked down the aisle to Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring.)

Love you too, HBM. Unrevealingly, that is.

5:22 PM  
Blogger Sandra said...

Oh how I get this. I did the meme revealing my penchant for cheesy 80s tunes and almost didn't publish it because it was so ridiculous. Then a reader who had never commented before came out of the woodwork to tell me she'd been reading for ages and had to comment out and comment because of how much she hated the music I listed but would likely still keep reading me. Ya.

5:31 PM  
Blogger Bon said...

it counts, dude.

and yeh, it's funny how revealing the intimacies of one's cd collection or download list does end up being far more personal, in many ways, than sharing about nipple itch or pregnancy test results or peonies over tulips. but it makes sense. common parenting path experiences or little personality quirks don't really open one up to being pigeon-holed - and judged - in the way that the music one loves and identifies with do. particularly if your taste is eclectic...gee, do i add the Cure to my list or will that just make me seem like some kinda poser when weighed against my Dolly Parton idolatry? y'know? sometimes better - or certainly safer - to share nothing than risk giving a partial picture from which people might presume they know the whole.

or maybe it's just me who frets about that?

i do love Johnny Cash's cover of "Hurt" though. it breaks me every time.

5:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cash's cover of hurt may just be the best cover EVER of any song.

6:14 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Lance - true that. Of any song, EVER.

6:44 PM  
Blogger Jerri Ann said...

Nothing you have said is very revealing....go to www.ovusoft.com and read about people ovulating and when they have sex and then read how they ask if anyone in cyber-land thinks they could be pg...bahahaha, they are very open over there.....

7:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude...that's way more than seven. And what I wouldn't give to hear you croon the Backyardigans theme, of which I've heard plenty this week with spring break and all. Urrgghh.

8:37 PM  
Blogger Lawyer Mama said...

C'mon, Everybody: "Hi. I'm Pablo. I'm Uniqua...." OK, I am never going to get that tune out of my head. Know and love so many of the songs you linked and Backyardigans is the one that sticks with me. AHHHHHHHHHH!

I know what you mean about music being so personal. I don't think I've even come close to revealing anything about my musical tastes. I might as well just post my address, a floor plan of my house, my ATM pin code, my mother's maiden name & my SSN on my blog! Well, maybe it's not *that* private....

9:20 PM  
Blogger Alex Elliot said...

The music thing used to bother me, but for some reason it doesn't any more. I went to an iPods and Wine night this past week through my moms group and I was totally fine with everyone hearing what I had on my iPod (maybe it's because I felt so hip and trendy!). What would be embarrassing to me is posting a log for the week of what I ate, what TV shows I watched, what crafty projects I did (or I should say didn't do), how often my kids watched TV etc.

I had a miscarriage a couple years ago (after I had my older son) and I found it hard that no one knew how excited I had been about the pregnancy because I hadn't told anyone about it. With my younger son's pregnancy I was open about it from the moment I saw the positive test. That's just me though.

11:23 PM  
Blogger Jenifer said...

My music meme is still in draft. There is no way I could do it in it's original form, I love music, but I am not very current.

I was planning to kind of do what Sunshine did, change it up a bit. My list is songs I have been obsessed about. I do need to to finish it though, I am sure Alpha Dogma (who tagged me) is keeping tabs.

I like your spin on it, it is rather personal sometimes.

11:32 PM  
Blogger Creative-Type Dad said...

The only song stuck in my head for the last 5 weeks is that crazy theme song to "Go Baby"

12:05 AM  
Blogger Lady M said...

I was just tagged too, and think I'm going to divulge the contents of the CD changer in my car. It's probably not as weird as usual, because I'm not working on a choreography right now. And just just changed out "Confessions on a Dance Floor" because Q has stopped requested "A-donna," so I don't need to own up to that one, except that I just did. Ooops.

12:43 AM  
Blogger Girlplustwo said...

brilliant, friend. and a woman who can still keep Morrissey on rotation is a woman indeed.

1:19 AM  
Blogger Laural Dawn said...

This post made me love you even more because I felt exactly the same way. I love Memes,but I could not do that.
I'm usually so capable of laughing at myself, but how do you explain that a really dorky Tiffany song is on constant replay in your head?
But, anyway, I wish I were as open as you are - but I feel constrained since a ton of work friends read my blog.

7:22 AM  
Blogger Binky said...

Your mention of JC's cover of Hurt made me think of another late, great cover of his, which I just ran to my CD player to play, again. It's Bridge Over Troubled Water (with Fiona Apple). The way he sings it makes one pay more attention to the words and message than when good ol' S&G (whom I love, don't get me wrong) do it.

1:06 PM  
Blogger Binky said...

Oh, and PS:
My all-time favorite song is a Johnny Cash/Dave Matthews duet called "For You." I heard it first on the soundtrack for "We Were Soldiers." Best song ever made in the history of the world and forever more, amen.

1:11 PM  
Blogger ms blue said...

Picking only seven is like wearing the same pair of underwear for an entire month. I think I would fear a wine meme the most because I usually completely forget what I've sipped and go for a different bottle every time.

3:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Music is personal...but sharing it only makes us love you even more...And the Muppet Show??? Classic!!!

3:57 PM  
Blogger Mimi said...

I love love love that cover of Hurt as well. Although, now that I'm a mommy, "my empire of dirt" is a little more literal than figurative. (sigh).

As for the other stuff? On my blog I seem to talk about my own damn boobs enough that I get most Google traffic on any search term that includes the word 'boobie'. I'm so proud.

9:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Weeeee're your best friends, the Back Yaaaardigans!"

Thanks, now THAT is stuck in my head. At BlogHer this summer, will you please, PLEASE sing "Shoop" for me? I'll do anything :)

11:37 PM  
Blogger JChevais said...

I agree in music. It is far too intimate. I have always hated the "what kind of music do you like?" question.

I went to a NIN concert at the end of February and it was awesome.

Hurt? Goosebumps.

5:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I steadfastly refuse to do the music meme, I'm not sure why. It just doesn't inspire me, and the things I would remember are not times I care to revisit.

12:25 PM  
Blogger karengreeners said...

I love this post. It's fascinating how we consider one subject to be taboo, and another fair game. I know I certainly have hit 'publish' and then thought, oh god, overshare! overshare!

It's a fine line, but HBM, I think you walk it with grace.

12:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I forgot all about the BlogHer boobie posts! In fact that's about the time I first started reading you, because someone linked to a photo of you (okay your boobs) in pasties!

3:32 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

Ah, but boob shots, engorgement chatter, and actual pregnancy tests are all, in my mind, at least somewhat less revealing. Because ovulation tests reveal hope, desire, and hope is the most vulnerable of places. Hmmm. What do you think?

4:13 PM  

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