This morning, I climbed into my car to take the youngest to school. I didn’t need a thermometer to tell me the overnight temperatures had slid down below freezing – my leather seat alerted me as I sat down. Shivering, I waited for the heater to begin working, and the windows to defrost. My head was pounding. I had one of those deep, bonecrushing-kind of headaches that seem to resonate from the base of my neck. I just wasn’t in a great mood, and certainly didn’t want to be up so early.
The child eventually emerged from the house, trudging to the car. She wasn’t in any better of a mood, but then, she never is first thing in the morning. Our drives to school are typically quiet. She doesn’t like to talk, and I don’t like to have my head snapped off for asking too many questions. I’ve gotten into the habit of listening to the radio and not really saying much.
I drove past the cows who seem to wander down to the fence line every single morning in a sort of greeting to us, and continued down the road in the direction of the school. As I made the turn past the baseball diamond, I recognized the opening from “Rio”. The somewhat dissonant, backwards sounds from a piano waking up my ears as though it were Pavlov’s bell. Immediately, I smiled to myself as I turned into the school parking lot and drove up to the drop-off lane.
While driving back home, I noticed my car’s outdoor thermometer seemed stuck on 29° F. I thought about why hearing “Rio” always makes me happy. I turned past the sign for Long Valley, which is the area we live in. There was a hard frost last night for sure. I drove past the grassy fields in the valley, iced sparkly white, then turned to make the climb up our street to our front gate.
I love the frosty mornings and cold clear nights we have in late fall and winter. They sure beat the dusty, hot days we have during summer. I’m not a fan of the god-awful heat, particularly with a husband like mine who refuses to use the air conditioning. Even so, hearing a song like “Rio” brings back the fonder memories I have of summer when I was younger. Long days at the beach, iced cold drinks by the pool, the smell of sunscreen in the air, lazily lounging on chairs in the sun – with warmth that is noticeable, but not unbearable!
Why is it that I love hearing “Rio”, no matter how many times it’s been on the radio? My tolerance for “Rio” is far greater than other songs I could mention, and I don’t know why. You’d think by now I’d be just as done with that as I am “Hungry Like the Wolf”. “Rio” is not my favorite Duran Duran song, nor is “Hungry Like the Wolf” my least. It just so happens that both are played with extreme regularity in a typical DD live set. One makes me smile, while the other makes my eyes roll. I can’t help it!
Sometimes, I think that the imagery we associate with the songs matter as much as the tunes themselves. Granted, I am a kid of the 80’s. Videos mattered then, and I think for me, those images remain in my mind even now. When I think of “Rio”, of course turquoise water, sugary-white sand and neon-colored cocktails come to mind. They’re the things I think about once the holidays are over and I’m ready to look forward to summer vacation. Perhaps I’m not much for chasing someone through rivers and jungles, or exotic locations complete with mosquitos and malaria – a la “Hungry Like the Wolf”.
All I do know is that for every one of us that loves “Rio”, there is someone who does not. While I may roll my eyes at hearing the downbeat to “Hungry like the Wolf”, someone else will complain loudly if they don’t play it. I smile when I hear songs like “New Moon on Monday” played on SiriusXM 1st Wave, but typically it is “Ordinary World” that gets more air time. For me, that isn’t a song that makes my heart sing in the same way. Other fans are typically shocked when I say that. It isn’t that the song isn’t good, it is that there are others I just enjoy more – and I’m sure that many of you would say the same about some other song I adore.
Is there any one song that all Duranies love? One big crowd pleaser? I’m not sure. Is that even possible?
I pulled into our driveway, shutting off the engine and feeling the heat begin to dissipate. It was time to get out of the car and go feed the chickens. Sure, I love winter time and the cold frosty mornings. However, I’m not a huge fan of the very cold water that comes from our outdoor spigots this time of year. Or the slippery muck I have to carefully navigate on the hill down to the hen house. (otherwise I end up sprawled out in that very mud – yes it’s happened!) My headache announced its continued presence, and I thought about the hot mug of coffee I’d have as soon as morning chores were finished.
Maybe I just need to plan a cruise for our next vacation.