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September 29 , 1999
I remember, in the early 70's driving to Georgia with my dad, his then-girlfriend, Sister #1, and two of my cousins, to see the total eclipse of the sun. The entire way, from New York to Georgia, and back, we listed to The Beatles, Abbey Road. On the 8 track.
When, on later car trips, we weren't listening to Abbey Road, we were listening to the soundtrack to Hair. Over. And over. And over. And over. And over. Again.
Having had to endure what I'm sure only feels like 5000 playings of the same Raffi cassette for Zoe, I don't know how my father endured. But he did.
I'll have to remember to thank him for that.
As an angst-filled teenager, no doubt heartbroken, it was Color my World, by Chicago.
In college, a lot of really morose Neil Young. Funny, I was driving just yesterday and Neil Young, Only Love Can Break Your Heart, came on the radio. I knew every single word and it's been at least 10 years since I've heard the song.
I was taken back about 15 years, sitting in my college dorm room with my roommate. We both had freshly broken hearts. We must have listened to After the Gold Rush about 7000 times. (Those years were the LP years.)
Over the course of time, and many, many, too many boyfriends, I realized I don't think in any of those relationships I ever had an "our song." Yes, maybe there was a song that was the first song that I remember hearing the first time we kissed, slept together, or whatever, but I don't think in any relationship, I'd ever had a boyfriend hear a song on the radio and say, "Hey, honey, they're playing our song."
Chuck and I met at our job. It's still where I work. Chuck left there about 6 years ago now.
He said that he first saw me in the Copy Room and I was a total bitch to him. I have absolutely no recollection of meeting him that day. I guess I made quite an impression though.
Nothing much happened over the course of the next couple of years although I noticed that of all the men in the office, he never flirted with me. Not ever. Not once.
I will admit, in those days I was a bit of a hottie, so when he didn't flirt with me I took matters into my own hands. I invited him out to lunch to find out why he didn't flirt with me.
Over turkey burgers and cokes, he recounted our first meeting in the Copy Room. Apparently I shot him down, and he was having none of it. Besides, I think he thought I was a big fat flirt. (Not to mention the fact that I'd been dating a Vice President of the company until about maybe two weeks before this lunch date.)
While nothing super steamy came as a result of that lunch, we became friends. We both dated other people. (OK, I was dating a lot of other people, I don't know that he was.)
We used to have the same Friday's off, and since it was spring, we would go to the beach, movies, whatever, and hang out. All the time.
I was dating this guy named Fritz at the time. Fritz was a really bad kisser. I used to talk to Chuck about it.
Chuck and I were flirting like mad. All the time. But it was harmless flirting.
One Friday night we were going to the movies. We went to see Prelude to a Kiss. I loved it. I cried. He didn't say anything bad about the movie.
As we left the theater I mentioned that I had to go to the restroom. There was a really really long line so we left the theater. Chuck drove me to the McDonald's on LaBrea just so I could go to the bathroom. I thought this was really sweet.
We were back on the road to my apartment. We were talking about the movie and talking about Van Morrison. Part of the soundtrack of the movie features the song, Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?, by Van Morrison. We both loved him.
We were driving down Fairfax Avenue and suddenly he stopped, made a U-turn, and drove back to the Music Plus record store we'd just passed. I think I waited in the car while he ran in. He came out with a copy of Van Morrison's Greatest Hits. Have I Told You Lately That I Love You? is on the CD. (I later found out that he spent his last $15 on the CD for me.)
We got back to my apartment and played the song. Over. And over. And over.
We kissed. A lot. For a long time.
He went home, I'm sure to take an ice cold shower. But I knew. He knew.
It's the song we danced to at our wedding.
We play it for Zoe in the car. She knows it's mommy and daddy's song.
Whenever we hear it we touch. We hold hands. We sing it. To each other. To ourselves.
It's our song.
Until next time. . .
I Told You Lately That I Love You?
I told you lately that I love you
a love that's divine
Have I told you lately that I love you