I take this opportunity tonight to express my distaste for Alanis Morissette.
I take this opportunity tonight because my husband isn’t here to argue with me about it. He’s at an Alanis Morissette concert.
I didn’t go because doing so would have hurt my ears.
I’m not calling Alanis Morissette a bad musician. She might very well call me a bad writer. It’s simply a matter of taste.
The human ear is sensitive to different kinds of sound. In some ways, my ear is sensitive as a dog’s ear is sensitive. I hear high pitched sounds many humans don’t.
Alanis Morissette’s whiny voice gives me goosebumps – and not the good kind.
Her lyrics are similarly annoying. Take one of her early hits, Ironic. Her examples of irony include “like rain on your wedding day” and “a black fly in your Chardonnay.” Alanis, honey, look it up.
Obviously, my husband and I have different tastes. Whereas I go for the deeper, richer, often whiskey-soaked alto vocals of Bonnie Raitt, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Carole King (as well as Lady Gaga and Rihanna, singers with wide vocal ranges who are lauded for their ability to go low beautifully), he likes the voices that pierce my ears – Judy Collins, Barbara Cook, Charlotte Church, Nanci Griffith and, don’t hate me, Joni Mitchell.
In other words, he has a high tolerance for high-pitched whining–which, come to think of it, might just explain nearly 27 years of marriage.
In a concert Mary Chapin Carpenter once introduced her song, “The Last Word,” as many songwriters do, by telling the audience what inspired her to write it. She observed that often writers are inspired by the beauty of nature or an overwhelming feeling of love. “I wrote this one,” she said, “because I was pissed off.”
Today, all mankind is on my nerves.
Years ago, a loved one made me laugh when she shouted, very seriously, “What is everybody’s problem?” Today I can relate. Surely it isn’t me. (I know, it’s I.)
The experts say that making a list can be a good first step in addressing the source of one’s anger. So here goes.
When people who borrow my books write in them
When texters walk in front of moving cars
When people expect the Earth to revolve around them
When people over-post on Facebook
When people spew venom on Facebook
When The Washington Post doesn’t know who from whom
Me, for over-consuming and under-producing — and getting pissed off.