Thursday, March 30, 2017

Something Stupid

We are approaching the nine year anniversary of Dad's death. It's amazing what things stick with us, isn't it? This is about my dad and a song, from the first week of January, 2010.

By the grace of God and leaving frigid (11 degrees F, - 4 wind chill) Wichita, Kansas at 4 AM Saturday morning, I am back in balmy (58 F) Houston, Texas. I had a terrific holiday, shuttling back and forth between my brothers' homes and spending time with their families. Back to work on January 4th, the first school day of the decade!

I keep discovering things that remind me of my parents in their absence. Driving through Dallas yesterday, I caught myself listening to 96.7 FM on the dial, a typical oldies station. They played a song I hadn't heard in decades, Something Stupid, a duet by father/daughter Frank and Nancy Sinatra. The song spent four weeks at the number one spot in the Billboard Top 40. What I remember most, though, was my father's disapproval of the hook line of the song:
''And then I go and spoil it all by saying something stupid, like 'I Love You.' ''
It was inconceivable to Dad that anyone could believe that 'I love you' was ever an inappropriate thing to vocalize. I felt sorry for Nancy Sinatra. Once, I saw a spoof in MAD Magazine called, 'Extremely Thin Books.' One book in the collection was entitled, "How I Got So Far On My Own Ability.'' The alleged author of the fictional work was Ms. Sinatra, the implication being that her career was only made possible through her father's connections. But besides Something Stupid, Frank's daughter also had hits with Sugar Town and the notorious, These Boots Are Made For Walking. There had to be some market for her musical stylings!

I don't think I ever told my dad but I kind of liked Something Stupid. What struck me is that it speaks of an awkward situation most of us have found ourselves in. Sometimes, we like someone romantically and they don't feel the same. Sometimes, someone has feelings for us that we don't reciprocate. Either way, it's uncomfortable... and that's the gist of Something Stupid. I don't think the song meant that the sentiment was wrong, just that the timing was terrible. What a blessing we have in our relationship with God and His Son that their love IS always reciprocal. Their timing is never off and it cannot be awkward or uncomfortable. We never have to worry that it's a one way sentiment or that we are about to get dumped or devastated. And, there is always time. The first line of the song mourns that,
''I know I stand in line until you think you have the time to spend an evening with me.''
No standing in line with our Creator. We have unlimited spiritual access and that is a sign of a wonderful love. I wish Dad were still alive to see how he inspired my entry tonight. Maybe he would have listened to the song with a slightly different ear. He once preached a sermon from the Harry Chapin classic, ''Cats In The Cradle.'' I'm sure Dad could have made Frank and Nancy into a teaching point. And there's nothing stupid about that.

To hear Frank and Nancy sing Something Stupid, click here!

Applicable quote of the day:
''Love is the silent saying and saying of a single name.''

Mignon McLaughlin

God bless,
Luke 18:1
E-mail me at


Family fun said...

As much as you'd love to have your parents here with you, I'm sure you know they are much happier with where they are now! They are no longer in pain, they are with each other and able to see their children behaving in the way they were brought up to behave. WE can all pray that our children will learn the lessons we have strove to teach them from each of the lessons over the years! Keep living the life that God wants you to learn - even though your parents aren't here to emphasize the importance and one day you'll be able to join them!

Jennifer said...

This was excellent! I miss your parents (and mine) and understand very well your desire to somehow collaborate with your father in person once more, just to share your thoughts with his, as iron sharpens iron, and as the love is so far-reaching between a father and his son. I know you would never wish them back into this weary world from the wonderful place they are now - even as much as you miss them. It's just that you miss them. I get it. What I also get is that you've wisely taken to heart the wisdom they left you to use as your own foundation for further growth, and for that reason, I think your dad would have loved this, just as he so loved you. Thank you for writing this.