Wednesday, August 10, 2011

don't take off your hobo shoes

I listen to an oldies station. Every now and then they play the song, "Arizona," sung my Mark Lindsay. It's an upbeat tune with a catchy refrain.

It's also one of those songs that start to bug me when I really pay attention to the lyrics. Here's this young adult, wandering free in that romanticized 60's free love, hippy way. She belongs in San Fransisco, according to the song, even. Then here's this guy who falls in love with her, and what does he want her to do? Change. Of course.

This is something that drives me crazy about human beings, I've noticed how both men and women will see someone they think is attractive, and then either create that "perfect" package in their heads and then don't understand how that attractive to them person doesn't live up to their expectations. Another tendency is to find that attractive person, then try to change them to that "acceptable" personality.

That's what this song seems to be about to me. This guy wants the girl to cut off her hair, change her "hobo" ways, and stay with him forever. He seems to be telling her to grow up. While I can't argue that she may indeed have needed to do that, the implication is that the growing up will change her into his perfect girlfriend/wife/partner.

I can't help but hope she kept those braids and hobo shoes, and ran from that cheerily self-righteous "lover". At least until she found the one who wouldn't want her to fundamentally change so that she would match his/her ideal of behavior as well as looks.

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