About six years ago, I went to dinner with a girl I met at a bar. She was really pretty, easy to talk to, and seemed fairly witty. Sitting outside, sipping our beers, I worked my standard inquiry into the conversation. I’ve always hated the question “What kind of music do you listen to?” because my musical scope is so wide that I don’t know where to begin. Instead, I asked her what she was listening to in her car on the way over.
“The radio,” she replied.
“Oh, what station?” I asked, not being a fan of most radio stations.
“Uh…I don’t know. Whatever,” she said.
That’s fine, I thought. She had just come from work, and was probably drained of her decision-making abilities. “So what’s in your CD player?” Good one, Ed.
“Uh…I don’t remember. Maybe nothing.”
“Really? Okay, how about the glove box, or under your seat?” I asked, making sure to smile.
“I don’t know. I’ll listen to anything,” she said.
“Do you have any favorite bands?” I probed.
“I really like anything. I don’t care. Dave Matthews, I guess. Jack Johnson or something. I don’t know.” She smiled as if indifference were a virtue.
I don’t know. I don’t care. As a person who ties music in with life’s moments both dramatic and mundane, I was stumped by this shallow girl before me. We talked more, and this attitude seemed to extend to movies, books, friends, career goals, everything. At the end of the night I walked this pretty young woman to her car and said good night. Mentally, I said good-bye.
Music says so much about a person. Whether someone only likes soundtracks from musicals, rocks out to death metal or owns only disco albums, an identity—conservative, dangerous, a dancer—is revealed in song. I look for girls who aren’t married to Top 40 or to the handful of videos MTV plays. These chicks rock to their own drum, guitar or 808, which to me shows their independent spirit. My girlfriends since have passed my music test, one even attacking me with kisses for singing Editors at karaoke. My current relationship, only two months old but showing strong promise for boogying into the future, is based on fun, reciprocation—and mutual loathing of Parrot Heads, Dead Heads and Phish Heads.—Ed, 37/male/straight/in a relationship/Rogers Park