Chapter 28:  The Border of Crazy Soundtrack

For the past five and a half years, and probably my entire life, I’ve believed in the ethereal notion of love.  That goddam nagging whisper in our souls that there is a person in the universe specially designed for us; our twin soul.  The promise that this being will recognize us and thereby make us whole upon our first encounter.  From the moment I heard this quote: “I’ve crossed oceans of time to find you”, from Bram Stokers Dracula.  I believed.  Wished.  Hoped.  Prayed.

(Insert NAT sound of a needle violently scratching across your record).

Truthfully (and sadly) it was this promise, this hope, that has carried me through 45 years of missteps in love; keeping me coming back for more.  And through every significant moment of love, no matter how fleeting, there’s been a song that latches onto my memory because of that person.  Each individual relationship comes with a soundtrack or in most cases a short EP.  Cause every great love story, has an epic soundtrack…

One of the benefits of many false starts with love is that my musical taste has expanded exponentially.  Particularly over the past five and a half years since being divorced and entering the virtual dating world.  A world that is so disconnected from reality, I continually remind myself this is just practice for the real thing.  Until I find him…(fucking hopeless, I know)   After taking a 10-month break from dating (while having the time of my life), I was invited to a friend’s wedding in Aruba. I’ve never been to Aruba, and it fell on the weekend MSP was with her father.  What did I have to lose? My RSVP? Can I get a HELL YES!!! However, once I was there and we landed ourselves at the pool, I quickly realized that I was the only single person attending the wedding…all except one female relative who I didn’t meet until the night of the rehearsal dinner.  After I was introduced to couple after couple (who were madly in love), I had to reread my blog #9, with the rules of attending a wedding as a single divorcee: “This just in! Single Divorcee on the Prowl at Weddings and Bar Mitzvahs. Be Warned she’s Armed and Hilarious!!!”

All in all, it was a lovely time with great friends; I even managed to meet some wonderful new ones.  Plus, I got to see two amazing people commit to a life together witnessed by their family and friends and their 3-month old baby boy, on the beach at sunset.  Marked and sealed by their first dance to their special song.

As I watched the couples get up to dance, one by one, I felt my throat catch.  Before the tears welled up, I called the waiter over, “Vodka on the rocks with lemon, double please.”

Aruba is a very romantic island, like ridiculously romantic…and it really fucking sucked to be there without someone special. It’s these moments that the absence of a partner hits full force.  

So, after being surrounded by all this love, with fresh hope in my heart, I cautiously venture back on the Bumble dating app.  And you can imagine it’s a work in progress (insert exaggerated eye roll).  More on this subject coming soon in my next blog…

Yet, all is not lost with this process.  Interestingly, as I’ve chatted and met with guys throughout this (sometimes horrifying) experience, I’ve learned a lot about different cultures, careers, and interests.  Probably the best part is talking music; which I love to do, and luckily most guys are passionate about music.  I find that most guys I’ve encountered are intensely engaged in any hobby that captures their attention, but I find their obsession with music acceptable (as opposed to extreme fishing, firearms, gaming, GOT, etc.).  I know this is blasphemy to most people, but I find it UNacceptable that a 42-year old man can’t go out on a date when GOT is on TV.  YES, this actually happened in real life.  

I digress. 

Music tends to be a way to make a quick connection and learn more about the person you are getting to know.   Music is an awesome conversation-starter that can be a catalyst for more in-depth conversation.  Questions like, “What is your favorite album?” OR What was your very first concert or last concert you saw?” OR “What artist do you play on a road trip?” OR “What music do you work-out to?” will inevitably lead to someone sharing more info about their lives.  

Recently, while chatting with a guy who was recovering from a bad heart-break (FYI …it’s a party foul to date when you’re not over your ex, the bitterness shows.  Give yourself time to heal) he said there’s a song that made his soul-ache by an artist named Amigo the Devil.  The song is called The Dreamer …here’s an excerpt of the lyrics. 

I’m so god-damned tired of whistling

I’m so lonesome I could cry

Your eyes they look like diamonds

Still stuck inside the mines

I’ll dig ’em out

And I know that you are waiting around

To find the right man, you say

But the thing about taking your time

It takes it right back, someday

No one deserves my world quite like you do

And it’s true, I hate everything but you.”

He sent me the album via text, with hopes that I would share my SexyLove playlist that I bragged would change his life (LOL).

As soon as I downloaded the song by Amigo the Devil, I cried my eyes out.  It was true, my soul-ached and it aches every time I listen to it.  Maybe this is an overstatement, I mean fuck, at this point in my life should I still be this angsty?  No matter, I’ve accepted that music does this to me.  I feel it in my bones. 

And when it comes to music, I have a wide dance floor. I’m all over the map…I dig in deep to different artists and then come up for air to try another.  My process begins with absorbing the music first, vibing on the energy; and then I dive into the lyrics.  They start to hit me line by line, then I’ll obsess and play the song over and over and over; which serves to tattoo it on my brain as the song becomes part of me. 

Music has taught me about life and especially about love. 

For me, music and love co-exist; they are intertwined.  The feeling and connection I seek from another human, is eerily similar to the feeling I get from music.  I don’t have to wait for it, it’s always there.  I can get my fix and let those intense feelings wash over me.  Conversely, it can drag me deeper into what’s missing, if it let it which I often do as I throw my intermittent pity parties.  

And every time I’ve met someone along my journey on 50+ first dates, they have been generous to share music they love.  As my dating life continued to evolve and the guys left behind songs as souvenirs, it occurred to me that I was curating a fantastic playlist.  Which inspired me to create the SexyLove compilation featuring songs that move me or the songs someone I dated was moved to share with me. 

Here’s the list for your listening pleasure…I hope you use it to romance someone, or to tell someone how much you love them or possibly to slow dance in the kitchen. 

  1. When I Get My Hands On You, The New Basement Tapes
  2. Song for Zula, Phosphorescent
  3. Fade Into You, Mazzy Star
  4. J-Boy, Phoenix
  5. Freak Like Me, NoMBe
  6. You’re the Kind of Girl, Lee Fields & The Expressions
  7. Everything Now, Arcade Fire
  8. Lay It On Me, Vance Joy
  9. I’ve Got This Friend, The Civil Wars
  10. Bron-Yr-Aur, Led Zepplin
  11. The Dreamer, Amigo the Devil
  12. Tennessee Whiskey, Chris Stapleton
  13. Wish You Were Here, Pink Floyd
  14. Closer, Nine Inch Nails
  15. No One, Alicia Keys
  16. Sex & Candy, Marcy Playground
  17. Crash Into Me, Dave Matthews Band
  18. These Arms of Mine, Otis Redding
  19. Redbone, Childish Gambino
  20. Wicked Game, Chris Isaak
  21. Sex love, Ne-Yo
  22. Love Lost, The Temper Trap
  23. Lost Stars, Adam Levine
  24. Wonderwall, Oasis
  25. The Mystery of Love, Sufjan Stevens
  26. Nothing Without You, Fantastic Negrito
  27. Far Behind, Candlebox
  28. Differences, Ginuwine
  29. In Your Eyes, Peter Gabriel
  30. I Wanna Know, Joe
  31. I feel Like I’m Drowning, Two Feet
  32. Straight Razor, Matt Maeson
  33. Running Back to You, The Juan Maclean
  34. Shelter, The xx
  35. 1950, King Princess
  36. No Hard Feelings, The Avett Brothers
  37. Sweet Jane, Cowboy Junkies
  38. Fantasy, Alina Baraz & Galimatias (anything really by Alina Baraz)

I hope that I opened your mind to some new music, surfaced some music you forgot about, and even made you feel understood by listing a song you already love. 

What I’ve learned during this time, is that we humans are locked in a continuum of coveting love, creating love, recovering from love, and starting over again.  Gratefully music is part of each phase and sustains us throughout …it’s the constant. It’s the way we express our heart when we don’t have the words, it the thing that helps us feel connected when we are lost, the friend who understands the hurt cause they felt it too and the partner in crime on the road to somewhere or nowhere.

This is my love letter to music.

Image result for i always love music

If you’re moved, I hope you share some SexyLove songs in the comment area below…let’s continue to share the love and build the most epic love-inspired playlist EVER!

In Music I Trust,

Cherry Maggiore is the proud single mom of her 9-year-old super-sassy daughter (aka Miss Sassy Pants or MSP) and 15-year-old pug baby (Tiki Barber); in addition to being an award-winning senior marketing executive at NBCUniversal.

Beside her side hustle as the Freak of Nurture, she also started a home design company after being inspired by renovating and designing her 1880’s home in NJ.

This insanely curious and passionate “multi-potentialite” can be found dancing the Argentinan tango, swing and Hustle every Saturday, cooking her family an Italian Sunday dinner, singing and air drumming at concerts or searching for her next adventure.

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