So for today's themed picture of the day the clue was A Stranger. Sometimes right when I read the subject I have an idea. This time as soon as I read A Stranger Billy Joel's song The Stranger started playing in my head. One of my all time favorite songs. I love the whole slightly sinister feel behind it, the thought that no matter how well you know someone or how well they know you everyone still has their secrets. A part of them that they keep to themselves. I loved it when I was very young and thought of it in more literal terms, visualizing the masks. I loved it even more as I got older and started to understand what he was really talking about.
Even though Brent and I have been married for a quarter of a century (I like saying it like that, it makes it seem really substantial!) there are times when we still surprise each other with things. Sometimes something as simple as not knowing that there is a food that one of us likes or doesn't like. When we went back to Kalamazoo two years ago and drove around the town where he grew up and his cousin Kim and he shared stories of his childhood I realized how much of that part of his life I had never heard about. The time with the cousins. It was fascinating to me. This is the person that I know about as well as you can know someone and there were still things about him that I had no clue.
We had one of those moments this last weekend with his mother. We were sitting at lunch talking about her parents and Ann casually mentions that she hadn't met her father until she was 16. What? Really? I had no clue. And it turned out that Brent didn't either. It was a pretty significant piece of Ann's history that had just "never come up." And as I got that piece of her history the respect I felt for the job she did raising Brent went up even more. Her mother is unpleasant. If unpleasant means horrible, then she is truly unpleasant. And to learn that Ann didn't know her father until she was 16, and it was at her insistence...well....She had no good role models for parenting and still managed to do a pretty bang up job with Brent. There were oddities for sure and he changed those things in his parenting of C. But if Ann hadn't broken her cycle and parented Brent in a way she had never seen then Brent wouldn't have had the head start he did to be the type of parent he is to our son. Just amazed me.
And then while I was thinking all of these thoughts on people being strangers to us even when we know them very well I started thinking about writing. I make up strangers all the time. People you've never met because they don't exist anywhere except in my head until I write them down and let you "meet" them. So the picture of the day worked for me on two levels. The Stranger with Billy Joel and the strangers that live in my head.
And then I decided I should blog about it because I thought that you all would be dying to know the random thoughts in my head!
Which you and I both know you didn't find strange at all...
Not the thoughts, those you might have, the fact that I shared them with you!