When I first moved back to Connecticut, I got back together with my old radio station purely out of nostalgia. Maybe that sounds shallow, but I remembered how good it used to make me feel, listening to the current Top 40, cruising around Glastonbury with Nirvana and Alanis Morissette blasting from the speakers. I wanted to recapture that old feeling. At first, I think my radio station was happy to have me back. It flattered me and gave my family gifts—my sister won backstage passes, my nephew got some tickets to see the WWE. But soon, I was feeling a little left out. What about me? I thought. Every day, I had to listen to my radio station shower other listeners with fabulous prizes, and I couldn't even score two tickets to the movies for being the tenth caller. I was feeling neglected.
And to be honest, I didn't even like the music that much. They were still playing Top 40 hits, and half the time, I'd never even heard of the songs, much less cared about them. I was bored with their playlist. Nothing ever changed. I'm ashamed to admit it, but on the weekends, I started flirting with other stations. In particular, the station down the dial regularly broadcasted an Awesome 80s Weekend, and I started spending a lot of time with them. Maybe too much time. The warning signs were there; I just chose to ignore them.
Nobody likes to admit that they have a wandering ear. When had I become that girl? I ran back to my old radio station out of guilt. But after listening to "All About the Bass" for the third time in an hour, I came to a sad realization: I was not happy. I started thinking about my needs, what I wanted: decent music, maybe a surprise Duran Duran song once in a while. I had to face a hard truth: I was begging for more out of this relationship . . . but my radio station wasn't even willing to meet me halfway. Not even an overplayed Pink Floyd song. Nothing.
Maybe my radio station wouldn't even notice if I quietly slipped out of the room.
I scanned the dial, desperate now for a station that would play music I actually liked. I'll admit it was selfish, but I was so unhappy, I didn't care. Something had to change. A smooth talker around the 106s caught my ear. He played Clapton. And U2. He even threw a little Nirvana my way. I felt a twinge of guilt when the opening notes of "Faithfully" by Journey started strumming through the speakers, but not for long: I liked that song. My old radio station would never have played it.
I found myself singing on the way to work. When was the last time I'd actually done that? And the deejays were funny in an intellectual, grown-up way. Not one of them made crude jokes about their co-deejay's breasts or inappropriate gas. These new deejays made me laugh. It felt so good to finally let go and just enjoy myself, to throw caution in the wind. No longer did I care what my friends might think if they found out I was listening to what might arguably be classified as an easy listening station. For once, I was doing something for me. And I liked it.
On the way home today, instead of hearing Taylor Swift or Bruno Mars being barfed out of the speakers, my new radio station played the Beatles. The Beatles! This station was awesome! I cranked up the volume and sang "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" at the top of my lungs. It felt good. And I'm sorry if it upsets my old radio station, but it made me happy.
Life goes on, indeed.