I am a crankypants lately.
Well, I’m a crankypants all of the time, but it’s usually limited to my “Stop that or I will kill you” list which includes spitting, sticking your gross toes on me (I DO NOT LIKE FEET), asking me for advice when you’re really looking for validation and then getting mad when I offer neither, crop-dusting and unfunny snark or condescension. (Make fun of me, that’s fine – but for God’s sake, be FUNNY about it.)
The loss of my patience is in direct proportion to the rising temperature and my growing stomach, making for a very not fun Alyssa. However, this latest bout of crankypants-ness is unusual in it’s vigor. While at work the other day, I had a small child point at me and say, “Her belly is too big!” and it took every ounce of my being to not reply, “So’s your head!”
How bad is it when y0u start insulting toddlers?
Seriously, though. She did have a huge head.
Like an orange on a toothpick wearing Dora the Explorer flip-flops.
That’s why you need to blow off some steam, so you don’t ruin some tiny human’s self-esteem. And my favorite way to do that is to drive belt my guts out. I’m no singer but I will SANG my face off when the mood strikes. Just not in front of anyone. Preferably in the car on a long road trip. You need that completely uninhibited belting it out all alone to truly leech all that stress from your pores and just fill you with happy.
You do NOT need a husband who, while he does not sing, has perfect pitch and who will MOCK you if he catches you singing as you cook him dinner while carrying his unborn child. (Seriously, we’re still in a fight about that, mister.)
So here are some my favorite car songs, songs to belt out to and make you happy like a puppy in sunshine. It’s a bit haphazard and all over the place, but well, so am I.
Everybody loves Stevie. “Knocks Me Off My Feet” is just fun and romantic, kind of a warm-up to put you in a better mood. It won’t cure your issues, but it’ll make you smile.
Now, “Lately”? “Lately” does it opposite. Its slow plaintive build lets you dig down deep, lets that tension grow until you’re just yelling it out and getting it all out of your system. It’s like having a good cry, without having to mess up your mascara.
Foolish Games – Jewel from the VH1 Crossroads CD
Don’t know if y’all remember early Jewel, but early Jewel was awesome. Yeah, the “I lived in my car” story got annoying, but her music felt sincere and it wasn’t all sung in that baby voice she’s cultivated. Or maybe I was just 14 and thought she was cool. Whatever.
This song became a driving song for my friend Heather and I in high school. Every time we rode home from school, we’d pop this in the CD player and just BELT our guts out until we were left limp and oddly bereft. Songs that you have to recover from after singing are the BEST.
Love Will Come to You – Indigo Girls
Indigo Girl’s “Rite of Passage” has had a permanent rotation in my car since I learned to drive. Granted, it’s on tape, but it’s still there in my glove box, ready to sooth the cares away with poignant lyrics and folksy backbeats.
It’s also probably melted, but it’s THERE.
Throw It All Away – Brandi Carlile
The Indigo Girls had a baby with Thom Yorke of Radiohead and her name is Brandi.
Here’s where it gets a bit wacky. This song NEVER fails to get me to turn up the radio and start singing my face off. His heartbreak is just so pretty. Plus, it give sage advice; if you try to be hip and think like the crowd and treat your partner badly, you will get your butt soundly dumped. Be your own person, kids! And don’t do drugs. And stay in school. And pull your damn pants up, you’ll trip and ruin that dental work your mom spent so much on.
All at Once – Whitney Houston
Oh, Whitney. We can’t fully blame Bobby, but I still can’t hear a New Edition song without scowling. Whitney Houston was one of my FAVORITE people when I was small because she was brown like me and pretty. (WHAT? I was five and my parents had her album and that’s all I know about her. Finding other people my brown color was important as a kindergartener.) I’d forgotten about this song until it popped on the radio the other day and I was suddenly transported back to playing her record and singing with way more passion than I ever understood. I continued to play that record until even after CD’s came out and the damn thing was scratchy and full of pops and hisses. It’s good stuff.
This song requires a daybed full of stuffed animals to flop onto afterwards to get the full effect.
Okay, this one is thrown in because I cannot add it to the player and it NEEDS to be the Indigo Girls version. Yes, there is a plethora of other versions and most think this doesn’t hold a candle to the original but this is my blog and I love this song and it’s my favoritest ever blowing off steam while driving song and YOU ARE NOT THE BOSS OF ME.
So moppets, do YOU have a blowing off steam song? It doesn’t have to be one that you sing, just something that gets you going and puts you in a better mood after hearing it, or that speaks your angst so succinctly that you can just release it to the universe? (You will notice that I omitted any Broadway songs on this. That’s a WHOLE other list…)