When I was 12, I discovered The Who. My cousin played me his TOMMY album on the record player in his room. My cousin was cool. He knew about bands like The Who, The Rolling Stones and The Clash. He knew about Dr. Dimento’s radio show and knew all the words to the “Fish heads” song. He was cool and I was a dork. I knew the words to every John Denver song and a whole bunch of musicals. I knew a tiny bit about classical music because that’s what my parents listened to on our hi-fi system in the living room on the weekends. But I didn’t know about cool bands and subversive artists. I was a dork.
But I was a dork who loved The Who. I loved The Who so much that I convinced my rather strict mother to drive me to a Bill Graham’s Day on the Green concert when I was 15. T Bone Burnett opened for The Clash who opened for The Who. A guy in a jean jacket and sunglasses offered me mushrooms and I wondered why he was selling fungi in the Oakland Coliseum. I loved The Who so much that even now I can forgive their terribly embarrassing 2010 performance at the Super Bowl.
And in a moment of sheer dorkiness and nostalgia this evening, I couldn’t help but find myself humming one of my favorite Who lyrics. It goes like this: In life, one and one don’t make two. One and one make one. And I’m looking for that free ride to me. I’m looking for you.
In high school, I might have used that quote beneath the super dorky yearbook photo I took (you know, the one where you’re posed against a dark gray scrim in a white or pink or pale blue fuzzy fauz mink off the shoulder poof). Or it could have been a phrase I copied in the middle of an awkward and overly earnest love letter written on lined 8 ½ x 11 binder paper with my 2 ¾ Dixon Ticonderoga pencil to an undeserving and probably equally dorky young man. But tonight, it was none of those things. Tonight, I was thinking about my Beloved Steps.
I was thinking about how lucky I am, how rich my life has become, how fascinating it is that my life is more than just me plus Sig Other. It is me and Sig Other and Child One and Child Two and even Ex-Wife. And that we four (and sometimes five) are significantly more than the sum of our parts. I know it sounds dopey and vaguely hippy-dippy or overly sentimental. But it’s true. We, this collective of vastly different individuals residing in two separate homes and with many different pets, make up ONE thing. And I suppose the word for that ONE is family.
So there you have it blog friends and Who fans – In life, one and one don’t make two, one and one and one and one and one make Family.