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At least it’s a break from Duran Duran again

November 18th, 2003 · No Comments

Yesterday I headed over to Seattle and decided to try to do some shopping. Living on an island, I don’t often get out to the stores to shop. And when I do, I often go over to Bellevue for a couple reasons. One is that I am more familiar with that suburb, rather than Seattle, since I grew up there. I know the streets and even some of the stores are still the same ones. The other reason is that it is pretty convenient shopping, with lots of malls, strip malls, stores of all kinds close together.

When I went shopping yesterday though I was surprised to discover how much Christmas was already on display. Silly me, I had been hoping to find some festive Thanksgiving-type craft projects for a neighborhood playgroup tomorrow – hey, that holiday was still ten days away! I imagined seeing leaf stencils or pretty vermilion papers. But in the craft store and card store I visited, Thanksgiving had disappeared. No pumpkins or cornocopia designs to be seen, the autumn hues of gold and brown replaced by red and green.

And most of all the music – wow, pure Christmas soundtrack playing while I shopped. I couldn’t believe it. How many shopping days left until Christmas? Is it the economy, or did Christmas always arrive this early? I’ve never been that crazy about the commercialism of Christmas, and to see all these Santas and snowy figurines already awaiting a home, while Mariah Carey sings songs about Santa and her wish list….

Well, at least it wasn’t Duran Duran, Madonna, Tears for Fears, Michael Jackson, and all those old 80s tunes that I often hear playing over the store sound systems. After moving away to the East Coast and then California, I came back to the Puget Sound area, ten years later. But it sure seemed strange, like some kind of flashback or time warp, when I would go shopping in Bellevue or go to the Godfather’s pizza place, to the haunts where I hung out as a teenager, and hear the same music I heard back then! It felt weird. The last time I went shopping in Bellevue, the clerk at the paper store commented on the music, so I asked her why it was all the 80s tunes, and she said that’s what shoppers nowadays grew up listening to. I guess when I was a kid, stores must have been playing Beatles and Presley, I suppose. I didn’t think twice about it then. But I sure do find it awkward and funny to be shopping with my three girls, now as a thirtysomething mom of three, and hearing music I danced to when I was thirteen.

How much memories are attached to music, evoking a time and place, even a look on a face. It’s like rummaging through my adolescence, shopping for memories instead as I push a cart through the store: which memories do I want?

So I guess Mariah Carey singing Merry Christmas tunes is marginally better than old 80s beats. I don’t have the same memories attached to that. Doesn’t give me that time warp feeling….but maybe it will to my daughters!

Tags: music