Wednesday, January 19, 2011

"I Can't" - Ben Sollee

This makes me scared
"I may rock, but I'm not made of stone." There are things I'm afraid of. I'm scared of needles, balloons, forests at night, and getting pregnant. I am so happy that I have made it to my mid-twenties without any sort of pregnancy mishaps. I feel like now if I happened to get "knocked up" it wouldn't be nearly the disaster it would have been when I was a teenager. As previously mentioned in other blogs - I am a small town girl from a ridiculously small town. No stoplights-bears in the backyard-small. 

I'd say a solid 10% of girls my age and a bit younger that live back home have at least one child. Not all of the situations are a "baby-daddy" type situation, but most are. I know girls younger than my little brother (who is 20) that are on kid number 2 or 3!

Don't drink the water
My Hometown's favorite saying when a new batch of girls would find themselves in the family way was "must be something in the water." Needless to say I stayed as far as I could away from said "water" and hit the road to good old Manitoba. Now I do want to have kids (I think ughh?) ....eventually, but right now I am so blissfully selfish and irresponsible that I cannot even fathom having a baby. Over the past few years I've often had a recurring pregnancy dream. I am big and pregnant in the dream but never see the baby. Most recently I had a dream where I adopted a baby from a pet store and went out to party - locking it up in a kennel (like I do with my puppy) for the night. New dream = confirmation that I would be a horrid mother if put in that situation at this point in my life.

That baby wants out
As previously stated I am a fan of trashy reality TV shows. My new fav right now is "16 & Pregnant" and its' spin off show, "Teen Mom". The show follows a variety of 16ish year old girls who are prego. These girls are in school, living at their parents, with boyfriends - not with boyfriends. All of the stories are train-wrecks and nightmarish situations for some of these seemingly smart - otherwise normal girls. During one particular episode of "Teen Mom" where they are showcasing the struggles of the young mamas they played "I Can't" by Ben Sollee.

Sollee - a political activist musician, from Kentucky, starts the song out with,"This ain't the life I thought we'd live." The song made me feel a tremendous amount of empathy for the moms, because I'm sure they thought things would be much different. From the time girls are young we are taught to "play with dolls" and "play house", and "mother" our various stuffed animals. Most girls grow up with the dream of having a house with a white picket fence,a husband and a family. I'm sure none of the girls on the show grew up with hopes of being a teenage,single mom living in her boyfriend's parents basement.  This song serves as a reminder that everything doesn't always turn out the way we plan."This ain't the home I hoped we'd make, This ain't the path I thought I chose."

Barbie and G.I. Joe
"I Can't" also gives a perspective of what those 16 year old "babies daddies" are feeling as well - "This ain't the song I thought I'd write, These ain't the words I want to say, I can't be your man." While little girls are taught to nurture, little boys are taught to rough-house, and engage in various war/fighting type activities. While they lack the natural maternal instinct that most girls are born with - boys are brought up with a instinct to "protect". These poor teenage boys who are barely old enough to shave, are now given the responsibility of protecting and providing not only for their girlfriends, but for a child as well. It's no wonder almost all of the show's teenage couple's have split up.How very archaic that in all of the years of evolution we are instilled with the same gender specific values as the cavemen were, to "nurture" and "protect."

This ain't the life I thought I'd live

This ain't the home I hoped we'd make
This ain't the path I thought I chose
This ain't the sky I'd hoped we'd see
This ain't the tree I thought would grow

This ain't the god to which I pray
This ain't the song I thought I'd write
These ain't the words I want to say
I can't be your man

This ain't the flag I thought we'd raise
This ain't the wind I'd hoped would blow
This ain't the ship I thought would sail
This ain't the rose I'd hoped would bloom

This ain't the play I thought we'd stage
These ain't the hills I'd hoped we'd roam
This ain't the sword pulled from the lake
Yours ain't the heart I want to break
But I can't be your man

This ain't the end I thought it'd be
Are you someone I've loved before
In this the song the caged bird sings
Is there some law I choose to ignore
This is a faith I must defend

I've tried, I can't pretend
There is a hope I must contend
We'll find the thread with the strength to mend
I can't be your man

Least not this time around
And it's something unpredictable
Like where a leaf might fall
And it's something unrestrainable
Like a rooster's morning call
I can't be your man

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