When Kat and I went to the Minnesota State Fair this year, we were convinced that we’d grab some swag and make off like bandits with plenty of free stuff. Slubs are, after all, huge fans of anything with a big goose egg on the price tag. That dream was quickly snuffed out, unfortunately, as we searched in vain for cardboard pickle hats and plastic neon rulers. We each limped home that night with nothing more than giant food babies and a sticker from the MPR table.
That sticker is now proudly displayed at my desk space. It’s pretty much the coolest sticker ever – bright green with stark white writing for contrast, perfectly circular, aesthetically appealing. When you approach my desk it’s practically the first thing you see. And it also happens to loudly proclaim that I listen to 99.5, MPR’s classical radio station.
No one has ever commented on my MPR sticker…until yesterday. And who should make the first crack at my musical tastes but the Vice President of Marketing Development.
Bill McKinney is about as cool as they come. He flits in and out of the office because he’s crazy busy, but he’s got a normal desk like the rest of us and doesn’t like to show off that his boss is the President and CEO of a Fortune 500 company. He went to Carleton, a fact which he never fails to remind me of because he’s populated his office with Oles and is just now realizing how traitorous that looks. He comes in early, he stays late, but he loves talking sports with the cluster of men who sit a pod away from me. He’s just really, really cool. The high school popularity contest truly never ends, and for that reason I want him to recognize me because he’s a small but integral part of my eventual success.
Yesterday, as he was breezing past my desk to go talk soccer with the guys, he stopped short and said, “What’s that sticker for?”
I was thrown off my game. I tried to think of something witty and memorable to respond with. I said: “The classical station. MPR.” Genius!
He squinted. “You don’t really listen to classical, do you?”
He smiled. He was amused at my expense. “Only people in their 50s listen to classical.”
“And me,” I replied.
He conceded the point.
Bill McKinney will now know me as that Ole girl who listens to classical and is a generation or two behind her peers, but at least he’ll know me. And I’m okay with that, because I’m proud to say that I listen to classical music. And I’m proud to say that I love it.
As some of you know, I’m pretty obsessive about the holidays. It’s my favorite time of year, minus the fact God has chosen to punish our well-meaning state with freezing wind and mountains of snow. And to jumpstart the festivities, I begin listening to Christmas music on November 1st. I’ve maintained this tradition since I was a child. I will keep it faithfully until I die.
Listening to my classical holiday Pandora station this afternoon, in open defiance of Bill McKinney and his expectations for someone my age (please, like Katy Perry is so much better), Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming began to play. The song is so breathtakingly beautiful it made me pause and stare dreamily at my computer.
Listen to the hymn. Let it fill you. That is why I am 23 and an avid fan of classical music.