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That's What She Said: Save Me From My (Country) Self

Published for Now Salt Lake on August 26th 2011

I think I might be in the throes of a weird midlife crisis. Hard to believe since I’m ONLY 35 years old, but it’s true. Everyone I know that has suffered from a midlife crisis has visible personality changes and their personal tastes change. I diagnosed myself online and I can relate to each of these symptoms:

1 • No longer knowing the person staring back at you in the mirror. (Oh my god yes. I hardly recognize this new version of myself.)

2 • Worry about where your life is going. (Who doesn’t?)

3 • Feeling frustrated with just about everything. (Hell yes.)

4 • Experiencing feelings of regret. (I live in a state of constant regret. Right now, for example, I regret not buying that extra bottle of wine while I was at the wine store.)

5 • Focusing on what you are losing. (Don’t we all focus on what we are losing? In this case I focus on losing skin elasticity.)

For the past month, I have been feeling like I’m morphing into a different person. Not to worry, nothing too crazy. I have yet to purchase any animal-print clothing and if I do, please have me put down. I have, however, been doing something that others may consider even worse … I’ve been listening to country music. I KNOW, RIGHT?

This could be attributed to my numerous trips to the country this summer, or maybe FSB(f)’s collection of snap shirts is to blame. Whatever the case, I’m hoping it ends before I do something crazy. I don’t think my relationship would survive square dancing lessons or worse, an Alan Jackson concert. My boyfriend is from New Mexico and that’s way too much gangsta for a cowgirl.

This all started innocently enough. I’ve always loved listening to Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson, but suddenly I found myself craving more. Soon I’d moved onto Merle Haggard, and before I knew it there was a country radio station programmed in my Jeep and I was downloading Dan Seals greatest hits.

It gets worse.

I know every damn word to a Garth Brooks album, four George Straight songs and more Reba McEntire songs than I’m willing to admit in print. Oh and “Way Down Yonder on the Chattahoochee” … yeah, I can recite the lyrics by heart.

I need help ASAP. My ears need an intervention and someone needs to delete “8 seconds” from my Tivo. I just hope I can be saved before it’s too late. Not in a Jesus sense, but in the “please save me before I buy a pair of Wranglers and purchase a farm truck” sense.

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