Friday, April 4, 2008

Trapped In The Drive-Thru

Hey everyone, Justin here again. I, now, understand how it feels to get my thoughts about life out of my head and on to “paper.” It is important for me to do this (it makes room for more thoughts). I appreciate my wife Kim deeply and thank her for letting me use her blog to do this. If I had my own blog, I would spend ALL my time writing and no time being a husband/father. So I thank my wife for this chance to speak.

Recently I heard the song “Trapped in the Drive-Thru” by “Weird Al” Yankovic. Don't judge yet, keep reading. I was instantly drawn to it. I have watched it about fifteen times so far and I will most likely watch it several more times. The tune is catchy and the animation is entertaining, but I was struck deeper in my core by the whole thing and I could not pinpoint what it was (that is probably why I could not stop watching it). I'm an introvert, so naturally I've been thinking about it a lot for the last few days. Here is what I have been thinking.

If you have not already seen this then watch it right now so you have context for what I'm going to talk about. In my opinion, it is ok for children. They use the word “stupid” once but they are referring to the TV so I let it slide. All of my children have watched it and think it is funny. The song is about 11 min long, so buckle up. If you have a slower connection, press pause and let it completely download before you watch.

Apartment: Adam (every man on earth) is sitting on the couch trying to forget his mind numbing day at his unimportant job in some corporate robot factory by medicating with TV. He does not even know what he is watching. His wife, Eve (every woman on earth) walks in and tries to engage him in conversation. Adam does not engage and goes right to another form of medication: Food. Both of them are not hungry. Eve says it flat out “I kinda had a big lunch, so I'm not super hungry.” Adam says the same thing, “Well you know baby, I'm not starving, but I could eat.” They are looking for something to satisfy the hurt they are both holding onto. Adam does not think about Eve here. He is looking for food and that is it. Eve has control over the situation but she resents it. Notice how she gets them to go out and you know she wants Adam to take her out to a nice restaurant Eve is looking for love/attention from Adam. Amidst miscommunication and distraction they continue. Adam thinks, “Eve just does not know what she wants” (even though she already told him) so he tries to fix the situation by “being the man” and making the decision. He has totally missed!

Drive-Thru: Adam is fighting the wrong battles (Volvo man, restaurant employees, his wife). He has a God-given desire to fight for truth and righteousness, but because of his pain/fear he is fighting the small things of life that don't require faith or risk. Eve makes one last ditch effort to sit down, face to face and eat, but Adam has already sabotaged it by wearing his bunny slippers (comfort v. engaging Eve). He also talks to the drive-thru girl with more depth than he does with his wife, he corrects miscommunication and actually tells her stories (albeit not very kindly or respectfully). He does that because there is nothing at risk there. Classic Adam, gets bored and turns on the radio, just killing any moment he has alone in the car with Eve. The music shocked both of them, but notice how they both went back to their guarded persona when the problem had passed, no partnership evident at all in adversity. This next part is great! Eve offers her beauty to Adam in a smile. Adam just sees something in her teeth and says something about it! Eve is thinking, “I totally gave myself to him and he takes that offering and points out the flaws in it. We'll see how much I offer myself in the future.” Man I've done that before! Ahhhh! They get to the pay window (or what ever you call it). Here you can tell that Adam and Eve have separate jobs and separate bank accounts and separate credit cards and probably file taxes separately. What about that is unified? As this shows, it breeds resentment and selfishness. But more importantly here, Eve gives up. She has to pay for his meal and give up, not only an opportunity to connect with Adam, but her chicken sandwich, three dollars and her dignity! Adam shrugged and volunteered her sandwich so that he could keep his fries and soda and cheese burger! That is the last nail in the coffin of their relationship this night. 16 year old Eugene brings his own baggage, but that is a whole other story for another day.

Driving away: Adam absolutely can't wait to satisfy that ache in his soul. He thinks a burger and fries can do it. Eve sees his “hunger” and enables his addiction. She settles for offering Adam empty satisfaction so she has a role in making him “happy.” The icing on this whole dysfunctional cake is that Adam is disappointed with his drug and THAT is what makes him sad.

No wonder I have lost sleep because of this song. I noticed the drastic difference between the words and the music. The song is sung SO passionately and intense. If the words were about love or loss or family it would be one of those songs that would make you cry. At first I thought the words did not fit the intensity of the music, but there is much more communicated here. Body language is 80% of communication and when you watch you can see a HUGE back story on this couple. They are merely addressing a common situation all of us have been in, but they both bring 30+ years of baggage and unaddressed pain to this basic function of having dinner. . . as do we all. I can see myself in this! I have played out every one of these scenes in my life. Why? I'm human and broken. The passion of the music DOES match! This song IS about love and loss and family. Our lives bleed this intensely in every situation we are in, no matter what. Everything is connected to where we have been and what we have seen. Unless we invite God “The Master Surgeon” to heal the broken or dead parts of our heart we will continue to drag them with us EVERY place we go . . . even the Drive-Thru.

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