Don’t Snow Me In

Dearest Rachel –

For all the problems that I have with the secular version of Christmas, particularly the music that invokes thoughts of loved ones (who are, of course, no longer with us), I am always reminded that it could be worse – I could live in Japan. There, as you know, Christmas is a little more than an opportunity to eat fried chicken (because apparently in Japan, turkey simply isn’t a thing that exists, so the boys at KFC somehow managed to convince an entire nation that their place was how the West celebrated Christmas. You’ve got to give them props for successful marketing, but really?) and cake, and for couples to skibble off to the nearest love hotel to, ah, couple. Which simply makes it another holiday, like Valentine’s Day, to remind guys in either my or Daniel’s situation about how by being single, we are effectively second class members of society. If you aren’t in a relationship, if you aren’t in love, you are so missing out, boy!

And let me set aside the fact that it would’ve been nice for the two of us to go to back to Japan together (as opposed to having visited the country separately) and check out a hotel like that once or twice while we were there. Granted, we wouldn’t have been able to do so as part of a family trip, obviously, but I would sort of imagine that the two of us would most likely have lined up for our shots together, and – were we to mutually agree that Daniel could make his own decisions, and deal with the consequences – have already done some traveling together… which would include all the things you would expect to have happen with a couple in a hotel room.

I really miss not having that chance anymore.

So I think it should be plenty obvious that all those songs about how cold and snowy it gets around Christmas time – no, they aren’t Christmas songs as such, but the weather is pretty much part of the package; they call it the Christmas season, after all – aren’t all that pleasant for me to listen to for the time being. Not because of it being cold and snowy as such – although I admit to being no great fan of the snowy season, especially when I’m in my car – but because of all the happy couples ignoring the terrible weather outside to enjoy each other’s company inside. And probably the best example of the subgenre is “Let it Snow,” by Sammy Cahn.

The version I’m most familiar with, interestingly enough, comes from a happily married couple who managed to stay together for over 55 years – which, let’s face it, is an astonishing accomplishment in the entertainment business.

Considering that Steve lost Eydie some eight years ago, I suppose I shouldn’t get so upset about it all. After all, they’d been together – and he’s been without her – for so much longer than I have; what right do I have to complain?

And yet, it still hurts to hear the joy in their voices. It’s like an audio version of an old photograph, but it never seems like something from way back when, the way an old photo does. It never gets faded and washed-out; the voices still keep their vigor no matter how old the recording is. It’s the beauty of digital preservation, and the curse of it; they sound like this might have just been cut a year or so ago. They’re still so happy in this… and I’m not, right now.

I’m hoping that this emotion will fade over time – honestly, I hope I can find someone else to sing this with some day (and I hope you don’t mind that I say that), but for now, it’s still painful to listen to, regardless.

Meanwhile, there’s another non-Christmas song that comes to mind that’s more in line with my current situation, insofar as the male character (and yes, it’s a dialogue rather than a serenade) is trying to put the moves on his intended, while reminding her that “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”

To think that I’d have to turn into someone like the guy in this song is rather distasteful – as far as I can tell, this was apparently considered acceptable behavior back in the late ’40s and early ’50s when this came out, but now it would just be considered creepy and just this short of date-rapey (“What’s in this drink?” Seriously? This song isn’t even remotely subtle).

And even as I disapprove of his character and actions, I also find myself thinking I was never and will never be as smooth as this guy – although, considering this is Johnny Mathis we’re talking about (yes, I know what the captions said, but it’s Mathis and Margaret Whiting – the actual page on YouTube actually apologizes for the mistaken credits), it might not be so much for Ms. Whiting to worry about. Again, the entertainment industry, dontcha know.

But the thing is, they still wind up together by the end of the song… and here I am, left out in the cold, literally. Yeah, it’s not the sort of topic I feel like listening to right now. It doesn’t leave me a blubbering mess like “Toyland” does, but it’s still uncomfortable and leaves me wondering if I’ll ever be that guy again.

But with that being said, I probably should take the advice of a different winter-themed song for now, and just “Let It Go.”

Until next time, honey. Love you, and wish you were still here to keep warm.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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