Day 13.A song that reminds you of a past love

“Right Here Waiting” — Richard Marx

It goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) that the transition from high school to college is a big one.  Especially when you leave home to do it. Nothing against those people who live at home during college, but it’s not the same as packing up, being away from your parents and getting that first glimpse of what it’s like to live life on your own.

Granted, I was only an hour away from home, but it was far enough away that going home at the drop of a hat wasn’t really an option. Especially with no car. (Why is it that an hour drive in 1989 seemed so much longer and more difficult than an hour drive does now?)

The transition is that much harder when you’re in a relationship. There are so many things changing in your life, and yet there are so many things (like, say, a girlfriend) that you want to hang on to. As we know, that’s not the easiest thing to do for a variety of reasons. I’d be interested to see statistics on how many relationships that are underway when people head off to college actually survive. I’m not saying it can’t happen, because I know people who have done it, but it’s tough without a doubt. The odds simply aren’t good.

In my case, my girlfriend was an underclassman, so I was off to college and she was staying put.

When she handed me the tape of this song, I had never heard it, despite it being the week after it hit #1 on the charts. I was a Top 40 snob at the time (I guess I still am, pretty much). As I mentioned a couple of days ago, I’m not really someone who always pays attention to the lyrics, but with this song, it’s pretty much impossible not to.

Talk about songs that rip your heart out. Given the situation, she couldn’t have picked a better (or worse, depending on your point of view) song. Even though it was Richard Marx’s voice, it was her saying these things to me. It was like he knew exactly what we were going through, albeit with the roles reversed. And I guess, since he wrote this song as a message to his wife while she was filming a movie in South Africa, he did.

Long story short, the relationship couldn’t handle the distance and the changes we were both going through. By the following spring we’d broken up. (Richard Marx and his wife still appear to be together, though, so that’s nice.)

These days I rarely think about it, but when this song does pop up, I’m reminded of those days. It’s a snapshot piece, perfectly summing up that point in time. You get those sometimes.

Okay, having said all that, I hope we’re coming to the end of all these sad, doom and gloom topics and getting into something more lighthearted. Sheesh! Songs that rip your heart outShameless self-pity. “Hold On My Heart.” (Well, that last one doesn’t make me sad, it just is sad.) The person who put this list together might just need therapy…