What’s It all About, Meatloaf?

I was driving down the street a number of years ago when Meatloaf’s song, ‘I would do Anything for Love, (but I won’t do that),’ came on the radio. I’d never heard it before. I pulled the car over, growing increasingly irritated that I couldn’t figure out exactly what ‘that’ was. Sex? Lying? Cross dressing? I’m still not sure. It troubles me.

At times, I feel like a foreigner in my own country. The most familiar city becomes strange once I’m trying to drive through it. I need a guide. Possibly, an interpreter. Someone kind, who thinks its all right to misunderstand situations or words. For example. When I was a little kid, I thought being fired from a job meant being tied to a gasoline soaked chair while a hooded man hovered nearby with a lit match. I begged my parents to always be on time for work. Just in case.

 Next, I wondered why the local theater kept repeating the movie, “DOUBLE BILL. “It’s in town at least once a month,” I said, shaking my head at the craziness of it all. My dad’s name was Bill. So was my brother’s. Hmmm. It took a friend’s kind explanation for me to understand they meant ‘Double Feature.’ Well, why not say that?

When hearing about a local spin class. (sadly, I was already an adult) I wondered how there could possibly be room for everyone. And what music does one choose for spinning? Does the class glide through the room, their arms spread in a whirling dervish bliss out? Is it ballet style dancing, or does it have more of a Woodstock feel?

Wrong again. There is no spinning. Just stationary bikes ridden like…stationary bikes. Well, then why don’t they just say that. Why don’t they call a spade a spade, instead of asking us foreigners to learn the language. We can’t. We’ve tried. It just doesn’t take.

Go ahead, world. Be like Meatloaf, enigmatic and opaque. Have your inside jokes that more literal people like me never get. Sure, I’ll be puzzled. Occasionally, I’ll become lost. But I won’t feel sad. Like Meatloaf says, two outta three ain’t bad.

Published by Judith Pettersen

Judith Pettersen is an author living in Canada. She blogs about her life in the north and the ups and downs of being a writer.

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