My Car, Our Music? – The Good Men Project


A case could be made that what I do is actually closer to “conflict avoidance” but I’m a big believer in the idea that you need to “choose your battles.” I think that the ability to swallow your annoyance at another person and keep one’s mouth shut is an important trait that more people should be practicing.

It’s especially important as a parent as there are many days when it seems that their entire mission for the day is to cause annoyance.

I’ve been managing lately but it’s been a struggle, particularly in the truck. Car rides are when a lot of our conversations happen, a place where she is trapped with me but also slightly more at ease by the fact that we aren’t actually looking at each other. It’s a hack that I know a lot of other parents also use but doesn’t work if the brats get in the car and immediately stick buds in their ears.



She says that she’s trying to avoid my music, not my conversation, but that doesn’t make it any better. Accepted societal norms state that outside of long road trips the driver has control of the music, period. That meant a lot of “golden oldies” for me as a kid. Del Shannon, The Platters, Dion and the Belmonts. It wasn’t what I would have picked and there were times when I wished my dad would listen to something a bit more current, but I came to appreciate a lot of those artists.

I’m not making mine listen to the music of my youth, though a lot of that hair metal still sounds good and the new Metallica album actually kicks ass.

I keep current.  Modern folk acts like Mt Joy and Josiah and the Bonnevilles, blues rock from Marcus King and The Parlor Mob. It’s “dad rock” but it’s new dad rock so that makes it cool. It’s not my fault that a lot of it really doesn’t sound all that different from Kenny Loggins or Huey Lewis and the News.




That’s really the kicker about the whole thing – what she’s actually listening to.  Her two favorite bands are Queen and Nirvana, half of her playlists are filled with Eminem and I have to listen to My Chemical Romance every time she takes a shower. Her Spotify account looks like it belongs to a millennial that was forced to listen to her parent’s music in the car.

Maybe the lesson here is that today’s music kinda stinks and it’s time to stop pretending it doesn’t. Since the first caveman started knocking rocks together in rhythm kids have been complaining about their parent’s music. Maybe it’s time to dig that CD collection out of the basement and see if those headphones come off.

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