Groupies or Boobies?

Either way, it’s a personal choice that can make your day

Have you heard that song by the Pussycat Dolls?

When I grow up I wanna be famous, I wanna be a star, I wanna be in movies When I grow up I wanna see the world, drive nice cars, I wanna have groupies (or ‘boobies’ depending on who you talk to)
But be careful what you wish for cause you just might get it

Um, why didn’t I aspire to be a Pussycat Doll when I was young?! One of the common threads that ran through what I wanted from ages 3 to 30 was I wanted to have babies. Oh, careful what you wish for!

Thank God for my music.

No matter what kind of music rings your bell, if you’re into it, muzak can provide a soundtrack to the best times of your life or hold your hand and feed your tissues during the worst.

One of my good friends recently got engaged a few short months after meeting her man. She told me she knew he was The One when they went on a road trip and she didn’t have to embarrassingly skip past The Carpenters songs on a mixed CD she had compiled. (If I had been in the car, she would have skipped past those puppies or We’ve Only Just Begun would have become We Are So Freakin Over). So, maybe she was right; he’s a keeper!

Another of my friends recounted how she discovered her nephew had never been taught, ‘Round and Round the Garden’. “Tantamount to child abuse!” she proclaimed. (Personally, I think the Josh Groban CDs she plays in the confined space of her car in close range of her children is much more worthy of a discreet call to the Department of Community Services ... but again, that’s just me).

Now, I don’t mean to get all Noel Gallagher on your ass, and some might see my intolerance for my friends’ choice in music as narrow-minded but I like to think of it as simply knowing better!

At least I rule the sounds at home. I make no secret of my endeavours to brainwash my children with the music I like in the hope that in years to come they will not make my ears bleed with death metal or something equally as hideous (to me at least).

My brainwashing strategy is as rudimentary as repeatedly telling the babes when a song on the radio is a good song, and then asking if they think it is a good song. Thus far, no electric shock therapy required.

Don’t feel too sorry for them though; the brainwashing sometimes works in reverse. Despite refusing to let them play their music in the lounge room or car, I often spontaneously find myself belting out ‘I like to Sing’ or any number of Wiggles ditties.

I do try to be a little bit responsible with the music I thrust on the kids. Gone are the days when I would listen to Eminem in the car on the way to work. I’m not sure whether it was coincidental that that phase coincided with the most cranky, scary period of my career. I was constantly pissed off with my clients, bosses and life in general.

There is nothing like music to evoke feelings of great intensity – good and bad. There’s a reason why professional sportspeople have music playing right before a game or race. A song you love has the power to make you feel better; perform better; love better!

On the flipside, your selection also has the potential to rouse feelings of concentrated hatred.

Last week I was on a train and there was a small cluster of school girls playing some R&B sounds from some sort of MP3 player with speakers. They weren’t blasting it, but it was impossible for anyone else on that carriage to ignore - resulting in some loathing stares by some unwitting listeners. It didn’t really bother me that much; the songs weren’t causing me any aural discomfort. But I do wonder whether it would have been a different matter had I disliked the genre?

I will NEVER forget the time when I was living in London and I was on the chamber of silence that is the Tube minding my own business when a man started heckling … nay, HATING me from across the carriage.

I was listening to dance music on my discman and I think it might have been a particularly acute strain of hard house. Admittedly, today I can understand why it would not be a brand of choice of most– if not, all – other people in that sardine tin of commuters. However, I’ve never been a blarer of music when I am in close proximity of others. I love it at home on my own, but baulk at high stereo volume from my balcony and even when I run with my iPod (totally necessary because it distracts me from my pain), I always turn it down when approaching others.

Anyway, the intensity and volume of this guy’s abuse rose in direct proportion to how much I decreased the volume of the discman. In the end, I could hear and feel nothing but his vitriol. But it continued as did my humiliation.

Music is so provocative and personal because it can give you the will to go on and endure and - dare I say - even enjoy the humdrum of every day. It is a passport to any land of your imagination and can put you in touch with the purest of human emotions.

Music is utterly personal and should not be forced upon anyone else and other people’s choices should always be respected. Unless they are your kids. Or random people making bad choices. According to me.

Which is probably exactly what my parents said and hoped when I was young.

And then came hard house.

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