Song Challenge Week 5 — A Song That Reminds You of Someone

OK, I started this quite a while back and then dropped the ball, but I’m going to try picking up the 30 Day Song Challenge again as a weekly project.

Week 5 — A Song That Reminds You of Someone

“Time After Time,” Cyndi Lauper

When I first came to this one, I skipped it and moved on to Week 6. Hard to pick a person I wanted to single out. This week it’s a little easier.

“Time After Time” was “our song” for Nicole and me because I was selfish.

When we started dating, we subjected each other to a bunch of favorite movies, including one of my all-time favorites, Strictly Ballroom, which uses the song to powerful effect and which, when I first saw it, gave me a renewed love for it.

And so I kind of pushed it as “our song” because of my love for the song and the movie, rather than letting something develop organically. Which didn’t stop it at all from taking root and becoming something beautifully “us.” It may have been mine to begin with, but there will never be a day that I will hear it and not think of her.

It was a dumb choice, in a way, more break-up song than love song, but it sounded sweet and had sweet thoughts in it. “If you’re lost you can look and you will find me, time after time.” I meant the words, and tried to live up to them. Even until the end, when she called me, when she needed me, I tried to be there for her as much as I could.

There were a few particular stand-out associations, like the signed copy we bought of the album it’s from, or the time that I tried, rather badly, to make a video of me singing it for her.

But the memory that stands out most —

We were both living in Eupora, Miss., the summer we got engaged. I was the editor of the newspaper, she was working at the Shell station and interning with the Department of Human Services. Reading the newspaper one day, I discovered that Cyndi Lauper was going to be playing a concert in Tunica, two and a half hours away that very night.

I picked her up from Shell, and just told her to get in the car. No explanation, nothing. And we drove to Tunica, with her passing through the middle of nowhere for hours with no idea where she was going or why, just amiably along for the ride.

Making it even better, she didn’t even notice the signs outside the casino where the concert was being held, and had no idea what was going on until I was actually buying the tickets.

She was happy. It was all worth it.

The concert was good, a small, intimate and very beautiful performance. But, yeah, when we got to hear her play “our song” live — that was a special moment. One I’m glad we shared.

Years later, that early memory is still one of my all-time favorite romantic gestures.