Monday, August 02, 2010
Musical Memories - Thinking of people complexly
I keep hearing this song on the radio, Crazy Love by Michael Buble. And it reminds me of one very specific experience that I had when I was a young teenager. I remember the first time my thoughts and expectations of a person were shattered. I had an idea of what this person would be like based on stereotypes, and he completely surprised me... Let me tell you the whole story.
I have an older brother, and he's very sporty. He was on the football and wrestling teams in high school, and I was forced into attending quite a few football good and wrestling matches over the years. Being a younger sister, I was always teased quite a lot. I didn't always take it well. At the time, I thought of all football players and wrestlers as being a certain 'type' of person. Like the awful stereotypes you still see in some YA novels. All brawn, no brain type of deal. That really was my viewpoint going into high school. Until I went to my first ever wedding.
I was maybe 13 or 14 and quite a horrible, sulky teenager. I was really angry at the world, which is why it was probably easier to think of other people in a certain way instead of getting to know people. I was mostly against that, thinking that if I got to know people, they would just disappoint me anyway. I was that sort of teenager. And the wedding was for a wrestler quite a few years older than my brother (but who we'd known for a few years already) and his girlfriend, who happened to be the sister of another wrestler on the team. And the whole ceremony made my ice-cold heart melt a little bit at a time. The beautiful dresses and flowers. The wedding vows.
And then one of the groomsmen played his guitar and sang Crazy Love in the middle of the ceremony. And I thought of how all of my expectations of this one person changed in the space of that one song. I was thinking of the friendship he must have with the groom to have done this, the guts it took to sing in front of such a large audience, the other interests he must have outside of school and the football time, if it included singing and playing the guitar.
And this whole idea of seeing people in a more complex way really made me think of John Green's Paper Towns where the main character Q has this idea in his head of what his neighbour and long-time crush, Margo Roth Spiegleman (and to a smaller extent, her friends) are like and over the course of the novel, finds out just how different and complicated she (and everyone) really is.
I love how books and music and memories all meshed together in my head to create this post. I'd love to hear how people have surprised and changed your view of them over time or through a specific experience!