Saturday, July 10, 2010

does everyone do this?

I almost never listen to the radio. When I do, it's almost always NPR. I used to be a good NPR listener, back when I was a commuter; I drove at least an hour a day, just enough to keep up on what my local station thought I should know. Now I walk or bike almost everywhere I go, and as a result, the radio has almost completely left my life. When I do drive, I usually listen to cds.

Except when I go visit my parents.

The minute I get behind the wheel of my dad's truck, I'm all over the radio, and in a way that diverges completely from my usual habits. Everything I'd usually avoid becomes immediately desirable: the country station, the classic rock station, the "hot hits of the '80s, '90s, and today." I've attributed this before to the ridiculousness of my dad's truck, but yesterday I got a text message from a friend that's making me rethink the question. She's home visiting her parents, and she was driving around in her mom's car, listening to christian rock.

It's not a form of regression, because these aren't the stations we loved as teenagers, they're the ones we rejected. So what is it? And why is it so pleasurable?