Tuesday, November 6, 2012

No. 576 – Change

Performer: Candlebox
Songwriters: Kevin Martin, Peter Klett, Bardi Martin, Scott Mercado
Original Release: Candlebox
Year: 1993
Definitive Version: None

This was another in a line of albums that I bought after I’d bought everything else. At first, I looked at Candlebox pretty much like Stone Temple Pilots: They represented a thinning down of the grunge talent pool—bandwagon jumpers.

But one day I heard this song on Beavis & Butthead, and it wasn’t all right. Not to mention, but I just mentioned it, the tastemakers didn’t make fun of it. Well, if this song was good enough for B&B, Candlebox can’t be all bad. So the next time I made a mass Columbia House purchase, I added this album.

I was listening to it quite a bit in August 1994 when my newfound love for Debbie faced its first test.

When I lived in Grand Blanc, I had a great hair stylist. I can’t remember her name now—let’s call her Barbara, ahem—but she was so good that I followed her from salon to salon. I even went to where she lived with her family out in the middle of Genesee County when she was in between salons. That was uncomfortable, sure, but it wasn’t nearly as uncomfortable as when she came to my place once. It was always only a professional relationship, but I still didn’t like it. The sacrifices you make to look good.

Anyway, after I moved to Columbus, I knew it would take time before I found another hair stylist I liked enough to give repeat business. (In fact, I never found anyone I liked as much as Barbara.)

One day, my errands took me out to the near West Side, and I spotted a BoRics in a strip shopping center; ten-dollar haircuts. I was due for a trim, and the price was right, so I pulled into the lot. I was directed to Leanne, who would give me my haircut.

As everyone knows, some stylists keep to themselves and just do their work, and some like to chat. I prefer the silent treatment overall—particularly with new stylists—because the inevitable lapses in conversation make me squirm as though I have to come up with something new to talk about.

Well, Leanne began chatting almost right away. The store had CD101, the alternative-music station, on the PA, and Leanne started asking me about this band and that band. One of the bands that she really liked was Candlebox, which, of course, I had just gotten into. Now this was hair-cutting banter into which I could sink my teeth, and the time zoomed by.

When she was finished, I went to pay, and Leanne gave me her business card. It had her phone number on it, and I mean HER number. She had written it in on the front. And when she said to call her, I knew what that meant.

I was flattered, and I thanked Leanne, but I never had any intention of calling her and didn’t. Leanne certainly was hot enough, although she had the look of a young woman whose best days were in the rearview mirror. She had some rough edges, but I bet she would have been great fun for a brief time. If I hadn’t just gotten involved with someone else, I definitely would have called her.

However, Debbie and I had just become intimate, and by that I mean, like, within the past two weeks, and Leanne wasn’t hot enough to entice me to risk tossing that aside. I wouldn’t have been trading up.

Of course, years later when Debbie gave me the heave-ho, I regretted my decision. I wasn’t locked into anything, really, when Leanne gave me her number. Maybe I should have seen what was there, fully vetted all my options. But you can’t go back, can you? You make the best decision with the information you have at the time and move on. I didn’t regret it.

No, Leanne wasn’t the big fish that got away. That came a year later.

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