Today, as I fixed an error in my posting (somehow, the music post didn’t have “draft” selected when I wrote it, though I swore I selected it, so it posted when I meant to save it … so when I did post it, instead of posting third in the series, as I had planned it, it posted as the second), I was struck by another memory involving music.
International Falls is a very small town on the American/Canadian border in northern Minnesota. We moved up there in March 1997 so my father could be a pastor to a church up there, but then left a little less than two years later. I turned 10 years old just two months after we moved there. We had a party at the local McDonald’s because they had a pretty awesome play place.
I made a few friends there, though none I’ve kept in touch with. One in particular I used to have quite a few sleepovers with and we enjoyed playing and hanging out. She also helped introduce me to secular music. Her parents went to church, but they didn’t seem to be overly religious as they had no problems with watching TV and listening to a variety of secular music. I also know that her father smoked. I don’t know about other Christians, but in my flavour of fundamentalism, smoking was a big no no. Though, now that I think about it, I don’t remember actually seeing him at church. Perhaps only her and her mother went.
Anyway, I remember holing up in her room and listening to Backstreet Boys, N*Sync, Janet Jackson, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, and the like. These days, I don’t particularly like pop music in general, but at that time I loved it. It was so different than anything I was usually permitted to listen to. I loved the beats and the different instrumentation. It was so catchy and infectious. Unfortunately, at that time, it was more difficult to copy music than it is today, so unlike with my best friend when I was 14, I was unable to make copies for myself to listen to in private. If I could have, I definitely would have, though.
I had another friend I hung out with quite a bit. We’d ride our bikes to this little park area where there was a small amphitheatre. I remember that we’d take turns suggesting songs to sing, and I was always embarrassed because I had never heard of the songs she was suggesting. I don’t remember any of the titles she would throw out, but I’m sure they were popular songs of the time. We ended up just sort of going along with the other when we traded off lead, because the only mildly secular songs I knew at that point were old country songs and some Elvis, and she didn’t know any of those songs at all. I always wondered if she thought it was weird that I hadn’t heard any of the songs she knew. Then again, I wonder if any of my friends noticed the little fundie differences that came through like that. I wonder if they gave it much thought or just shrugged it off. I honestly couldn’t say. Curious.