Everybody Hurts in a Landslide!

My journey through divorce was not all bravado.  I spent a lot of time curled up in a ball and I started buying those tissues with lotion in them so that I could go to work the next day and not look like Rudolph.  I’m going to tell some sad stories that had funny endings now, so go over to your CD player and put REM’s “Everybody Hurts” on repeat.  Pour yourself a glass of wine.  Now you’re ready.

Hey, Michael!  Pass me the mic...c'mon!  I'm ready!  Michael!!!  Dude, pass me the mic.

Hey, Michael! Pass me the mic…c’mon! I’m ready! Michael!!! Dude, pass me the mic.

 
When your day is long and the night 
The night is yours alone
When you’re sure you’ve had enough of this life, well hang on
Don’t let yourself go 
Everybody cries and everybody hurts sometimes
 

That was my “Step One” for when I really wanted to get The Sad cranked up to eleven.  I’d close the blinds and sing “Everybody Hurts” into my hairbrush for an hour.

Sometimes everything is wrong 
Now it’s time to sing along
When your day is night alone (hold on, hold on)
If you feel like letting go (hold on)
When you think you’ve had too much of this life, well hang on
 

Stop laughing as if you’ve never…oh shut UP.  I was only 31.  I was a grown woman, so I’d already fed the dogs and done the laundry and paid the bills BEFORE I got the hairbrush out.  It’s not as embarrassing to do this when you paid for the hairbrush, the CD, the stereo, the house and the blinds.

Step Two–I’d put on Stevie Nicks singing “Landslide” and pull myself back up again.  I may or may not have used a scarf as a prop during this portion of my set.

Well, I’ve been afraid of changing 
‘Cause I’ve built my life around you 
But time makes you bolder 
Children get older 
I’m getting older too
 

One night, I pulled into my driveway and hit the button to raise the garage door.  When it opened and I realized that I had still been parking on one side of the garage even though he had been gone for a month, I lost it.  I parked in the middle of the garage then closed the door with the button so there was no chance of the neighbors seeing me crying on the way into the house.  I got inside the foyer and collapsed onto the floor.  My little dachsies, Zoe and Moxie, came running over to welcome me home.  They danced around me, sniffing here and there.  I cried.  And cried.  And cried.  I howled.  They started licking me.  Zoe started on my head and Moxie took an elbow.  Their little tongues darted out to groom me.  They didn’t understand what was going on, but the knew I was hurting so they tended to me.  How can you continue to feel sorry for yourself when two little wiener dogs are daintily fixing your hair?  I got up.

So, take my love, take it down 
Oh climb a mountain and turn around 
If you see my reflection in the snow covered hills 
Well the landslide will bring you down, down
 

That house had a sunken living room, one step down and two ridiculous McMansion columns in the foyer.  That little step between the foyer and the living room was a great place to cry.  Good acoustics, grand scale set dressing, etc.  One night, I plopped myself down there for a good cry.  I was so used up that I flopped right over and rested my face on my knees…too pathetic to even hold my head up.  I cried until I didn’t want to cry anymore then I raised myself back up.  There, on the legs of my white sweatpants, was a perfect Tammy Faye Bakker face made of my cried off makeup!  It was so funny looking that I couldn’t help but laugh.  I looked around for someone to show it to, but I was alone.  So I went back to crying for a while.  Then I got up.

And If you see my reflection in the snow covered hills 
Well maybe the landslide will bring it down 
Oh oh, the landslide will bring it down
 
Next time I get sad, I am buying myself a tambourine.

Next time I get sad, I am buying myself a tambourine.

Dipping down into The Sad was a necessary part of grieving.  It’s the pressure release valve that kept me from exploding.  And even if it seems contrived, sometimes it’s necessary to do the things that crack the facade and let the sad come through.  I’m just glad I never had a crocheted top, feather hat, long-stemmed rose or a tambourine lying around.  Or the internet.    Things could have gotten out of hand.

Hey, if any of you know Mr. Stipe, pass this along so I can tell him “thank you” for writing that song–it saved a 31 year old broken hearted kid.  Or if you know Ms. Nicks, tell her I want my scarf back.

5 thoughts on “Everybody Hurts in a Landslide!

  1. bo tidwell

    Ashley, This is Bo Tidwell, Pierce’s son. Your Grandfather Dick was my father’s uncle, because Uncle Dick was the brother of Jessie Pearl Mathews, who was my Grandmother and Pierce’s Mom. So your grandfather, Dick Mathews, was my Great Uncle Dick. So I guess we’re some sort of cousins twice removed or something like that. Got that? I bet you didn’t know that Uncle Dick actually named my father. The family was already fairly large when my father was born and they had used up all the normal names, like John and Frank and Roy. So they offered Uncle Dick the priviledge of naming my father. I believe Uncle Dick was 19 at the time (1921). So he chose Pierce Boadman. Not sure where the Pierce came from but Dick’s father (Big Papa) was named William Boadman Mathews. Enough of that. Just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your writing. This particular blog, and the music that you chose, especially resonated with me and took me back 20 years to the period when I was going thru a very ugly divorce after 20 years of marriage, and leaving behind a precious daughter who was only 6 when the whole fiasco started. I didn’t know people got divorced after 20 years, but I guess I found out. I discovered during this period that songs I’d heard a million times before, suddenly came alive and spoke to my heart. Don’t know if you are familiar with Nanci Griffith, but if not, I recommend making it a point to make the acquaintance. I already loved her music, but during the depths of the divorce, I realized that I was listening to someone else who had endured a big hurt in her life too, and I guess it was the misery loves company syndrome, but it helped me deal with the pain. Some of her wonderful lyrics: From I Wish It Would Rain Once I had a love from the Georgia pines who only cared for me, I want to find that love of 22, here at 33. (I was 43 at the time, so it still rhymed for me too). From Brave Companion of the Road Where are you going there? With your suitcase by the back porch stairs With my heart in your hand In this cold December wind again Some days come up roses Some days just come and go Some nights are so ruthless* You can’t recall the day before *I saw Nanci at a concert at Stone Mtn in ’94 & thanked her for getting me thru all those ruthless nights.

    You’ve Broken the Speed of the Sound of Lonliness / My friend Philip Thompson said this was me. You come home late and you come home early You come home big when you’re feeling small You come home straight and you come home curly Sometimes you don’t come home at all. What in the world’s come over you What in Heaven’s name have you done You’ve broken the speed of the sound of lonliness You’re out there running just to be on the run Well I got a heart that burns with a fever And I got a worried and a jealous mind How can a love that lasts forever Get left so far behind

    Listen To The Radio I am leaving Mississippi in the evening rain These Delta towns wear satin gowns in a high beamed frame Loretta Lynn guides my hands through the radio Where would I be in times like these Without the songs Loretta wrote Cause when you can’t find a friend You’ve still got the radio Oh if you can’t find a friend You’ve still got the radio I left a handsome, two steppin’ good old boy back in Tennessee Now he’s sitting on the sofa just waiting for his supper wondering what’s become of me I got a double 018 Martin guitar in the backseat of my car And I am leaving Mississippi in the evening rain… Many, many more where those came from. You get the idea. If you are interested in pursuing her music, my favorite CDs of hers are: Little Love Affairs Storms One Fair Summer Evening Other Voices Other Rooms Flyer

    I am so glad Janice forwarded one of your blogs to me. Now I’m hooked and look forward to experiencing more of your writing. All The Best, Bo

    Date: Tue, 9 Apr 2013 10:51:02 +0000 To: buckaroo86@hotmail.com

    Reply
    1. Baddest Mother Ever

      Hey, Bo! Of course I know who you are! I adored your daddy. I always called him, “You Know Pierce, the good looking one.” The world is sure a quieter place without him. I’m going to order myself a Nanci Griffith CD. She’s one I’ve missed along the way.

      Keep reading the older posts and pass it along to your friends! Thanks, Bo!

      Reply
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