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Random Thoughts

A Cure for the Covid Grumps

August 29, 2020

I woke up in a very crabby mood today, in spite of a perfect Los Angeles day with deep blue skies and an actual cool breeze.

Maybe it was weeks of 100 degree temperatures, plus two political conventions back to back. Or maybe it’s living alone during five months of furlough with no discernible end in sight. Either way, my grumpiness wasn’t lifting. My usual ventees weren’t available to listen this morning, so I had to rely on my daughter’s Spotify account. She graciously lets me have my own playlists, even though I pay nothing, but even my meditation music with chirping birds failed. My favorite tunes weren’t shaking me out of my funk.

Dad, looking serious, with his new Chrysler Le Baron.

Until I played one from the ’80s by The Fixx, called “One Thing Leads to Another.” It has such a great beat, you can’t help but dance to it. Plus, it takes me back to a Christmas in 1983, when that song was at the top of the charts.

I was visiting my parents in Pennsylvania, so we made our usual holiday visit to my Uncle Richard and Aunt Blanche’s house for an evening of talk, wine, snacks and fun. I was driving my dad’s car up the winding hill to their house. We were in my parents’ Chrysler Le Baron. My mom sat in front because she was adamant she couldn’t breathe in the back seat, my dad was in back and I had the radio on.

“One Thing Leads to Another,” came on, flipping my inner switch of utter happiness, and I gushed “Oh my God, I love this song! I couldn’t help dancing in my seat. After my parents got out of the car, I had to turn it up, and was rocking out with the windows down, when I saw my mom grab my dad’s hand and say, “Come onna Robert, lettsa danze!”

And there they were, in their coats, dancing in the dark, on my aunt and Uncle’s concrete driveway, on a cold December night, while I sat laughing behind the wheel. My father, embarrassed and shy, as usual, humoring Mom with his stiff dance moves. And my mother, always game for fun, doing her 1930’s dance steps to the Fixx. It was such an incongruous, but joyful sight, I cannot possibly be in a bad mood when I hear that song because it always conjures that fantastic memory.

In all these years, I never paid attention to the lyrics, but when I looked them up today, I found them an interesting addendum to these times.

Mom in our front yard with the Chysler in the background.

I made a mental note to turn to music more often, especially music attached to a joyful memory. It’s a recipe for bliss. Stay strong. Stay well. And crank up your favorite tunes. Please send me your fabulous song/memories, so I can live vicariously through you and avoid future grumpy mornings.

One Thing Leads to Another, The Fixx

The deception with tact, just what are you trying to say?
You’ve got a blank face, which irritates
Communicate, pull out your party piece
You see dimensions in two
State your case with black or white
But when one little cross leads to shots, grit your teeth
You run for cover so discreet, why don’t they

Do what they say, say what you mean, and baby
One thing leads to another
You told me something wrong, I know I listen too long but then
One thing leads to another

The impression that you sell
Passes in and out like a scent
But the long face that you see comes from living close to your fears
If this is up then I’m up but you’re running out of sight
You’ve seen your name on the walls
And when one little bump leads to shock miss a beat
You run for cover and there’s heat, why don’t they

Do what they say, say what they mean
One thing leads to another
You told me something wrong, I know I listen too long but then
One thing leads to another, yeah, yeah, yeah

One thing leads to another, then it’s easy to believe
Somebody’s been lying to me
But when the wrong word goes in the right ear
I know why you’ve been lying to me
It’s getting rough, off the cuff I’ve got to say enough’s enough bigger the harder he falls
But when the wrong antidote is like a bulge on the throat
You run for cover in the heat why don’t they

Do what they say, say what they mean
One thing leads to another
You told me something wrong, I know I listen too long but then
One thing leads to another, yeah, yeah
One thing (one thing) leads to another
One thing (one thing) leads to another
One thing (one thing) leads to another
One thing (one thing) leads to another
One thing (one thing) leads to another
One thing (one thing) leads to another

  • Reply
    nycstylecannoli
    September 7, 2020 at 1:22 pm

    Wonderful story indeed. These have been a crazy 6 months, I have been working from home since March and it has been extended until December so far. I am very blessed to have my job and I love working from home but it would be nice to see an end. Missing my family terribly in these COVID times for sure. Love the photos too!

  • Reply
    Leslie
    September 1, 2020 at 4:11 pm

    What a fabulous memory! Thanks for the story!
    Blasting the tunes always helps me to get out of a slump. Frolicking around the house while “Dancing Queen” rocks the speakers, you can’t stay in a bad mood for long. And for a special touch, singing into a hairbrush tops it all off nicely. 🙂
    I’ve told my husband that when I die, at my funeral there must be two songs played — “How Great Thou Art” to thank our wondrous God who gave me life, and “The Grooviest Girl in the World” (a one-hit wonder from the mid-1960’s which never fails to bring a smile to my face because, you know, I’m the grooviest girl in the world… (insert hysterical laughter here).
    Music is the soundtrack of our lives, and I can trace all of the milestone years, album by album.
    Thanks for this post, and the reminder that music transports us and carries us like wind on the water — see how I got one more song reference in there? Crosby and Nash, 1975. You’re welcome. ; )

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      September 3, 2020 at 11:14 am

      Leslie, we are kindred souls. I totally get it . Thanks for reading and taking the time to respond! I’ll have to go check out “The Grooviest Girl in the World,” because I don’t readily recall that one from the ’60s, which is a miracle because I remember every song from the ’60s! Stay happy and I will continue to crank my tunes. And keep dancing!

  • Reply
    Nicol Z
    September 1, 2020 at 9:39 am

    What a magical memory!

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      September 3, 2020 at 11:16 am

      It is, and always makes me smile –the two most unlikely people in the world to be dancing to the Fixx! I think of you often and miss your sweet face and our coffee talks. Thanks for always reading and taking the time to respond. xoxoxo

  • Reply
    CEO
    August 31, 2020 at 11:25 am

    Love this I am having a case of the Monday grumps now.

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      August 31, 2020 at 12:32 pm

      Dear CEO,

      Everyone is! I just talked to a family member going through the same thing. I think it’s the no end in sight part that’s making everyone crazy. I am going to try and force myself to get out more, even if it’s just for different places to hike. That will surely help – along with a steady stream of my favorite music. I hope you feel better.

  • Reply
    Chas Madonio
    August 31, 2020 at 8:19 am

    I turn to music, no matter what my mood. I listen to music in most of my waking moments – when I am getting ready in the morning, all day long at my office, always when I’m in the car, when I am working out and when I go to bed at night. Sometimes, it drives Nancy crazy. Right now (11:10 AM) I have on big band music from the ’40’s. When I’m in the car and I arrive at my destination, I will wait to turn the car off until the song is over, if it’s one of my favorites. I’m not familiar with the Fixx song, but I will check YouTube when I finish this. Keep listening to music – it’s the best medicine for whatever ails you.

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      August 31, 2020 at 12:41 pm

      I am right there with you Chas. My favorite from the 40’s is Sing, Sing, Sing by the Benny Goodman Band. Oh my God, I have to add that to my playlist! Thanks for the reminder. Maybe that’s why you’re such a happy soul! Stay tuned in, and we’ll all get through this. I am sitting here rocking out to Benny right now. Hang in there!

  • Reply
    Donna
    August 30, 2020 at 6:54 pm

    If only we had cell phones back then! I have no memory of that Chrysler Le Baron and can’t even imagine Grandpa dancing in the driveway to The Fixx! I’m trying so hard to visualize this scene … Grandma, the extrovert who will dance, sing, snap her fingers, and drop and bend over to show she can touch her toes on a moment’s notice … and Grandpa, shy, quiet and reserved. Brings a smile to my face, too!

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      August 31, 2020 at 12:35 pm

      Honestly Donna, it was the funniest thing. The song was so 80s and they were just not, it was such an unexpected delight. It was only about 10 seconds of dancing, but I’ll never forget it!

  • Reply
    JoAnn Jones
    August 30, 2020 at 12:26 pm

    As I have said many times , visiting all of you in PA was always so much fun!!! The food, laughter, singing , and just being together. That is a wonderful
    Memory and a kinder and gentler time . Love reading your blogs , Fran ❤️😘🤗

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      August 31, 2020 at 12:34 pm

      Thanks JoAnn. There was definitely a lot of laughter in our house, so it’s good to be able to call upon that when I need a lift. Thanks for always reading. Stay safe!

  • Reply
    Emil Mitchell
    August 30, 2020 at 6:34 am

    I Love The Honoring Of Parents And Their Values Taught During Childhood…..Something Which Needs To Be Returned To. Great Story Ms Fran!

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      August 30, 2020 at 12:11 pm

      It’s funny Emil, it does happen, but slowly, usually by the time the parents are gone the children realize what they’ve learned. It all comes around in time. Thanks for always reading and taking the time to respond!

  • Reply
    Matilda S. Novak
    August 29, 2020 at 9:04 pm

    i love you Franzie, and i love your dear parents….so different from my own, and yet similar in ways that make me smile. Thank you for your words.. Thank you for the beautiful human and amazing writer that you are.

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      August 30, 2020 at 12:10 pm

      Aww Matilda, thank YOU for always reading and taking the time to respond. We all probably have much more in common than we realize. So happy I could bring a smile to your face, especially now.

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