May 20 2012

Music and Memory

Every time I hear Elvis’s I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You it makes me think of Kaleb’s wife.

Hold on–I know I have some ‘splainin’ to do–just give me a second.

Music has a way of embedding memories. Trisha Yearwood and Clint Black, appropriately, used music to point this out, in The Song Remembers When and State of Mind, respectively. Sometimes for me it’s a whole set of memories, if the song was playing for several months during a certain part of my life. Frequently it’s just a single memory–not otherwise significant–it just happened to be when you first heard the song, or it was an event that gave new significance to a piece of music. Sometimes the music marks the event, sometimes the event marks the music.

I was just pulling onto T highway outside of Higginsville when I first heard Alabama’s Song of the South. Every time I hear it I’m suddenly 17 years old in a bright yellow ’79 Ford van. Listening to anything from Blackhawk’s first album or Paul Simon’s Love Songs & Negotiations reminds me of my wife’s and my brief courtship.

The connotations aren’t always so sunny. Every time I hear that really annoying Hall & Oates song (which one, amirite?) I’m reminded of having a giant argument with Heather in our old Mazda in the parking lot at Walmart. Likewise REM, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam bring back memories of working at Worlds of Fun, not having worlds of fun, but making little money, sleeping in my car/in the garage/at a relative’s house/on someone’s couch. Kind of like the aversion therapy inĀ A Clockwork Orange, it’s like pre-programmed misery.

Certainly I had heard the Elvis song a long time ago, but it was at at Kaleb’s wedding that the music embedded itself on me. Mrs. Kaleb walked down the aisle to it, instead of Wagner’s traditional bridal chorus from Lohengrin.

I guess a more accurate thesis statement would have been suffixed with ‘walking down the aisle at her wedding,’ but it doesn’t have the same hook.

Kaleb walked down the aisle to Seal’s Kiss From a Rose, but it didn’t make the same imprint–that song/memory was already reserved.

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Sep 11 2011


I have long despised bananas. Maybe ‘despised’ is too harsh, but I certainly was not fond them. Before July I only ate maybe four bananas a year, just whenever I got a potassium-deficiency-induced craving. Since being diagnosed with diverticulitis, I have changed my diet significantly for the better, and eat 1-2 bananas a day.

But I may accurately state that I have always despised banana bread. And zucchini bread, squash bread, and all other heavy breads with vegetables in them. I loathe them all. Heather, being an amazing pastry chef, makes lots of other nice things anyway.

So back in the spring Kaleb brought in a dessert his wife, Mrs. Kaleb, had made. Kaleb, being a keen observer pretty much everything in a 120′ radius of his person, knew of my hatred.

KALEB: “So I got this dessert I want you to try. It’s made with banana br–.”

ME: “I don’t like banana bread.”

KALEB: “I know you don’t like banana bread, but this is so amazing.”

So I tried it. I can’t remember the exact composition, but it was made fromĀ 2 white chocolate chip banana bread cakes sandwiched with peanut butter, and frosted with a mixture of chocolate chips and cream cheese.

It was so amazing. Even so, I forgot about it.

Fast forward a month. We go to the birthday party for Kaleb’s little girl, aka, The World’s Most Adorable Baby.

It was a great party, and we had a blast, despite how sad I look in the Facebook pictures. And, we had some incredible strawberry cupcakes (I think I had like four, and they made me take two more home).

Right before we left, Kaleb mentioned something about the recipe for Mrs. Kaleb’s chocolate-cream cheese-peanut butter-banana bread sandwich.

“Oh, Daniel doesn’t like banana bread,” Heather said.

“Really? Kaleb said he loved the one I sent to work,” said Mrs. K.

Uh oh. Busted.

“Oh really?” asked Heather

It was one of those, ‘He never drinks two cups of coffee at home,’ moments, except with the implication that because I had enjoyed another woman’s desserts (in the most literal sense), I had somehow committed an infidelity, at least on a pastry level.

But, I seem to have gotten away with it.

Well, except for the marriage counseling.

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