Thursday, June 21, 2007

To All the Umbrellas in My Life

I rarely write about music, although music plays a big part in my life (as I'm sure it does in most people's lives, except my darling husband, whose brain can't really process rhythmic things, but that's for another post). In any case, I've become sort of entranced by Rihanna's hit song "Umbrella," and not only because I saw her last year at Mix-Fest and the poor thing had a terrible cold or flu but performed gamely anyway.

People (as in music critics) are calling this the "song of the summer," but what's really interesting about it is that, unlike most "summer songs," it's not upbeat, really, though it's hopeful:
Now that it's raining more than ever
Know that we still have each other
You can stand under my umbrella
You can stand under my umbrella
When she says "it's raining more than ever" she's not talking about the good days, she's talking about helping her loved one through the rough times.

I like to think that's what a good relationship, marriage--heck, even parenting--is about. Being the umbrella. I've got your back, babe. The ones I've seen go wrong (marriages, friendships)--you could see it coming. One person didn't have the other's back. No one was willing to be the umbrella. It's a two-way street, but not always at the same time--you have to take turns holding back the rain.

I think this song has been on my mind because of a few things: I just celebrated my 23rd anniversary to the man who's always been my umbrella. My brother has moved back home to Virginia to help out our mom, who's had some health problems lately (and, I'll add, my mom has been the umbrella to many, many people in this life). I just got back in touch with an old friend, which reminds me yet again that we need friends as well as family to shelter us.

And now that I've written this, maybe I can get the song out of my head for a while. But I kind of doubt it.

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