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Friday, September 14, 2012

favorite things

So here we are.

I often have trouble falling asleep. This is mostly due to the fact that my mind, usually no help whatsoever during the day, decides -- a la Peter Frampton -- to Come Alive! at night. It pokes and pokes at me, saying hey, whaddya wanna think about now, huh? Wanna think about stuff? Let’s think about stuff, okay? 

The other night, my mind started singing My Favorite Things, from The Sound of Music

Ironic, since neither the musical nor the song fall into my list of favorite things. But isn’t it always the way, that it’s never the best songs that bounce around incessantly in your brain? It’s always the most annoying ditties that play, over and over. For me, sometimes it’s the bad songs that I spent hours learning and perfecting for auditions for shows that I didn’t even get. What a waste of gray matter. There could be useful stuff in that brain space, like how to calculate probability. But noooo. 

Interestingly, this time, when my mind wouldn’t let go of that endless waltz sung by a nun, I realized the sad extent of poor little Maria’s sheltered existence. One of her favorite things, according to the song, is doorbells. Doorbells. Now, maybe the doorbells in Maria’s world are incredibly special. Maybe if I were to put my ear up to a hand-hammered, pre-war Austrian doorbell, my mind would be blown by its simple, clear beauty. I have no idea. But even still, if I were singing a sweet song to frightened children, reminding them of all the wonderful things in the world in order to allay their terrors, and wracking my brain to think of the very, very best things that life has to offer in the wake of a thunderstorm... would I really come up with doorbells

I get the schnitzel with noodles. I get the crisp apple strudel. I even get the sleigh bells. But doorbells? Oh, Maria. You poor, poor child. Sure, doorbell might signify the excitement of a visitor, but in Maria’s experience, when the doorbell rang at the abbey, it was probably just the wimple salesman. That’s nothing to sing about.

And I am sure that wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings is a lovely image, but the only people who I imagine would love them enough to sing about them would be hunters. It’s probable that the primary reason why Maria’s favorite things include wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings is simply because it rhymes with these are a few of my favorite things.

But there are other possible rhymes. Not being home when the telephone rings is, I’m sure, many people’s favorite thing. Of course, back in Maria’s day, telephone calls were much more special. So, in that spirit, you could also make it just getting home when the telephone rings

Then my brain decided to explore what updated Marias in different eras and timelines might have replaced those wild geese with. If she spent a lot of time with the Rat Pack in 1960s Las Vegas, it could have been Dino’s tuxedos and Sammy’s gold rings... these are a few of my favorite things. If she loved The Road to Morocco and all of its sequels, she might have sung multiple Bob Hopes and multiple Bings... these are a few of my favorite things. And if she was a modern-day Angry Birds player, she could have belted out, killing the pigs after only two flings... these are a few of my favorite things

Yeah, I know. I really should just take an Ambien.

Yes indeed. Welcome to me.

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