Clueless About My First CD
(Upland, CA, USA)
7. I was in the fifth grade and my mom brought my siblings and I to the music store in the mall and told us that if we would be good for the whole drive to Grammy’s house she would buy us each one CD. I had never had a CD of my very own, and the store was overwhelming to a little girl who had spent the last 4 years with her clock radio tuned to the oldies station.
I didn’t know what the different genres meant, I only knew that there was old music and new music, and my they didn’t put old music on CDs. I pulled a few colorful cases off the shelves and read the names of the tracks. After about twenty minutes I settled on the soundtrack for the movie Clueless.
It was my best friends favorite movie, so I decided the soundtrack would be a good thing to own, if only to look cool in front of Jessyca. I brought it to my mom and saw her face fall.
“You’re sure?” she asked.
I nodded, not sure at all.
My older sister, a wise ninth grader who was growing out of a phase of listening to rap and into a phase of listening to country music, saw my selection. “No, you wont like that,” she told me. “Just because it’s a good movie doesn’t mean it’s good music.” I tried to defend my decision, but she was adamant that I did not want this CD.
“I think you’ll like this one.” She had two CDs in her hands and she had been trying convincing my mom that as the oldest, she deserved two.
I looked at the orange case with a very pretty woman on the front with long blond hair. “What is it?”
“Mindy McCready,” she said. “This is the kind of music I listen to. It’s way better than the music on that other CD. And we can share it!” I nodded in agreement, and without having ever heard a single song on the album I let my sister select my music for me. Within a month I was identifying myself as country music fan, and as an adult have a playlist full of Garth Brooks.
I sometimes look back on that day and wonder if I would have bought a different album that day if my music taste would be entirely different, if that was the defining moment in the way I would identify with music for the rest of my life, but I guess there is no way to know.