Why Didn’t You Tell Me?!

It’s been that kind of week.

It started with an apology from the very nice lady at my orthodontist’s office. She hadn’t told me I would have to wear a retainer for the rest of my life, when the braces come off next year. Only three times a week, sure, and only at night, sure, but I was pretty upset with the news. One more thing to keep track of in my old age (which started a couple years ago, it seems). One more thing to remember to do every night before bedtime. One more thing to keep clean, and take care of, and make room for on the bedside table. One more tiny little extra hassle. Why didn’t you tell me?

That wasn’t enough.

Looking for a way to soothe my unhappy self, I punched the radio preset to go to KKSF 103.7, my smooth jazz respite for the last 20 years of commuting. Surprise! Rock and Roll! What?? 103.7 The Band? After all the anger earlier, I was only sad as I confirmed the loss on the station’s website, adding my comments to the thousands of other disappointed and angry former listeners. Many wanted to know why there had been no warning. Why didn’t you tell us?

Maybe we should be told. Maybe we would like to know. Maybe, with all the uncertainty in the world, with all the unpleasantness that is foisted upon us without warning, we’d like to have a little advance notice of something that is going to change our lives forever.

Or maybe it doesn’t matter. With all the uncertainty in the world, with all the unpleasantness that is foisted upon us without warning, with all of the things that happen everyday that change our lives forever after, shouldn’t we be flexible and resilient and unaffected?

Sure. But two sources of solace — bedtime and commute music — in one week? Give me a break.

I can learn from this experience. Next time I’m thinking of not giving someone bad news, because they don’t want to hear it, or it’s too much trouble, or they won’t like it, or there’s nothing they can do about it, I can remember this week. And tell them.

But I’m not in the mood to learn anything. I’m in the mood to tie one on. This weekend, I’m going to party. Everyone else will see a celebration. But you and I will know it’s a wake.

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