My boyfriend and I watch The Voice together every Monday night. And Tuesday nights. And Wednesday nights if it’s one of their extra special shows.
He’s become quite the music aficionado. This is coming from the man who didn’t know who Joni Mitchell was when we were first dating. Yes, I judged. And yes, my boyfriend corrected me, when I thought that Joe Scarborough was the NBC newscaster. He’s not, that’s Chuck Scarborough. My point is, we are learning from one another and that’s a beautiful thing.
When we’re watching the singers, he talks about their pitch, melodies and which one of the performers has the most commanding stage presence. I do believe that he’s even uttered the word “Diva” once or twice. My being a musical theater and anything singing and dancing, FAME inspired, dork (and sometime singer myself), it turns me on.
All of this is to say that music is a universal language. How interesting it is when two people come together, bringing with them two entirely different skill sets, tool boxes and cultural references.
In the past, it has sometimes shocked me all of the crap that my boyfriend doesn’t know. And in return, I sling my crap at him, which often leaves me scratching my head and wishing that I paid more attention in school, instead of practicing my autograph on the cover of my social studies book. (Cover courtesy of my mother and her adeptness with a brown paper bag)
Naively perhaps, I thought that everyone knew who Joni Mitchell was. Sorry, last time I’ll bring that up I promise. I am sure, although I’d have to ask him, which I’m not about to do because I’m too lazy, that he would’ve assumed that I knew what a “put” option was, as well as how hedge funds work. But alas, he would’ve made an ass out of the both of us.
I spent my entire life living with, and surrounded by, people that were in the creative arts; writers, actors, musicians, dancers, performers, onstage, offstage, on camera or behind the camera. Living in Los Angeles for as long as I did, cut me off from the outside world. It is not only possible, but it is almost a foregone conclusion that living in the city of angels stunts one’s growth and limits one’s peripheral view. It did with me.
It was all that I knew. As short sighted as it may have been, I had no reason to look outside the compound. When I met my boyfriend and his kids, I thought, “What the hell is this? Don’t you guys have headshots? A resume? Who’s your agent?”
It has taken me a long time to adjust, transition, and accept the fact that not everyone is in the entertainment business and that everyone does not know what I know. When I moved back to New York, it all hit me square in the face.
At times, it takes a lot of restriction on my part not to yell at boyfriend, “How can you not know that Streisand dated Don Johnson and that they made a record together?” (enjoy) Sometimes it’s as if we speak two entirely different languages. I’ll say, “It’s a writing gig. (beat) No, I’m not getting paid but it’s great exposure.” My boyfriend will cock his head. “I don’t understand. Why would you do anything for free?” Other times, he’ll explain that he has to, “Do the due diligence first, and see what my return will be on the 1039. It’s in the pro-forma.” My eyes will roll back into my head.
It’s about patience, tolerance and non-judgement, which no human being is an expert at. I’m not always on my best Kabbalah behavior, so when my boyfriend doesn’t know what a Movie of the Week is, I want to open a can of, “what rock have you been living under” on his tight Portuguese ass.
This is what I’ve learned. We do not know the same shit and it is a blessing. I keep my mind and heart wide open, and I learn. And just because my boyfriend doesn’t know how debilitating it can be when your muse doesn’t show up for her appointment when you’re trying to write, it does not make him any less of a person.
I’m choosing to focus on what we do have in common. The Voice. There’s also sex. We have that in common as well, which is also a universal language, but that’s another post for another time.