November 23, 2011

Grocery Store Songs

As Thanksgiving approaches, I've already had to make two unexpected trips to the grocery store. Which means every walk through the aisles of a grocery store can become more of a stroll down memory lane. In an instant, a song can have the power to zap me back into an emotional state of the past. While comparing the unit prices of brand named laundry detergent with generic, the radio version of Donna Lewis' "I Love You Always Forever" interrupts my thoughts overhead. I bite my lip, trying to hide my smile, embarrassed that I not only know the song but LOVED it. The words, the song - both stereotypical cheesy chick-loves-boy song of the 90s. The song itself is about a woman's flashback, thinking of past love and promises of forever.
I'll push the cart a little, singing softly enough for my body to feel my breath brush past my vocal chords, but not loud enough so that the nearby mom grabbing a 32 ounce bottle of Tide could hear me. Sometimes I sing the Alto line in the chorus, as if I'm singing backup in a studio - a very large studio with flourescent lights, people bustling with their shopping carts, and kids begging their mothers for Fruit Roll-Ups. I imagine myself during my college days, driving along the highway in my black Jett with the radio blaring as I shout along to the music.

I love you, always forever
Near or far, closer together
Everywhere, I will be with you
Everything, I will do for you

Back then I would sing it theatrically, as if declaring my love to an invisible, perfect boyfriend. I never knew the words that well, but I sang whatever words my soul felt appropriate at the time. Whichever words sounded right, fit the moment, fit the rhythm.

Say you'll love and love me forever
Never stop, never whatever
Near and far and always everywhere and everything

I used to feel the passion and promise of those words, wondering what they really felt like: forever, always, everywhere, everything. I remember thinking/hoping/praying that every boyfriend would be my last. For four minutes in the grocery store, I forget about the wobbly wheel on my cart and feel a tinge of longing for the soft clutch of my car, zipping into fifth gear, and longing for love and all that came with it. The music descrescendos with distancing repetition of the chorus. I shake my head thinking about how devoted I was to my imaginary love, push my wobbly cart a little faster, and hope that U2 comes on next.

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