Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Curious Case of the Missing Billy Joel CD

Alternative Title: A Love Story - Electronic-Style

Late October 2004: On my second date with Husband, we were driving down a street in Uptown, near my apartment. I remember the moment when he turned to me and said, "Want to go away for the weekend?" Second date, people! Interestingly, I wasn't creeped out, just intrigued, so I said yes. We looked at some places and decided on a super posh log cabin, 6.5 hours north of the city.

[Husband's comment: I'm like Wrangler jeans you know what I mean? I'm one tough customer and I know what I like when I see it...Wrangler.]

[Laura's response: WHAT? WHAT? Oh, I get it now. You are so old.]
November 2004: Husband and I are dating, but have not told people at work. We do not work together directly as we are each with a different lab, but do see each other in the break room. Our co-workers get suspicious when we are both going out of town the same weekend to the same place. The gig is up.

Early December 2004: On the drive up to our cabin, we stop in Duluth for lunch. I remember the giddy feeling - not only because we were on vacation, but we were on vacation together. We ate at Grandma's Saloon and then stopped by Electric Fetus (the terribly named music store) for some tunes to get us through the next four hours of the drive. We decided on Billy Joel's Greatest Hits. We sang it the rest of the journey up and I remember thinking that the song For the Longest Time was just perfect for the occasion. We have a fabulous weekend together and are firmly in love, even if it hasn't been said out loud or consciously thought quite yet.

Early January 2006: **WARNING: Living in Sin Alert** Husband and I moved into our townhome on a snowy winter's day. This is my first time living with a boy (but Husband's second time living with a girl - DOUBLE SINNER!), so the process is a bit weird when it comes to putting away our stuff. In the end, we unpack as best we can and then have to switch gears and prepare for our trip to India that will take place two weeks later.

February 2006: "Where's that Billy Joel CD?"

April 2006: "Hey, do you have that Billy Joel CD? It's not in my car, I checked everywhere..."

Summer 2006: Laura searches through every single CD in her & Husband's collection. Hm...

September 2006: The Great Bed Bug Incident of 2006. I can't talk about it. Maybe I will never be able to talk about it. It was, and remains, just too, too traumatic. However, during the dealing with the bed bugs, our house was turned upside down and every nook and cranny had to be cleaned. Billy Joel remained missing.

2007: Billy, where are you???? Gone. You must be gone. Husband notices other CDs are missing, but can't remember if he actually bought them. He feels crazy.

[Husband's comment: I rarely, rarely lose something that I want to keep. For instance, today as I was cleaning out my t-shirt drawer I noted how I still have two t-shirts, circa 1989 and 1992. They're my favorite and are super soft and amazingly have very little wear despite 1000s of wearings/washings and oddly enough neither has a seam on the sides. How is that? Can someone explain? It's just a very comfortable tube shirt, I feel odd.]

[Laura's response: For the love of all things tangential. Tube shirts? Wha?]

[Husband's response: It's stream of consciousness. It made William S. Burroughs famous.]
2008: A life without Billy Joel in Husband's car is a difficult one. We are forced to listen to Husband's terrible car music until I give him a CD with dance songs that I'd made for a party. Unbeknownst to me, he listens to it everyday for the next few months and shocks me with this one day.

2009: Billy is forgotten. We have moved on.

February 2010: Husband and I are watching a DVD on a Friday night when, right at the end of the movie, the DVD player coughs and sputters and dies.

[Husband's comment: This DVD player was a present, more like a purchase to assuage guilt, by a former lover of Laura's: name to be withheld. I thought about calling him and asking if he'd be willing to replace it now, since it was broken. This has been a running joke since day one of our dating.]

[Laura's response: Yeah, kinda funny about that DVD player. Dude gave it to me all awkward - it wasn't wrapped - for my birthday and then soon after was out of my life. To be fair, though, it can be hard to find the perfect present that says, "I'm cheating on you and about to dump you." In the end, it was awesome as Husband and I have thoroughly enjoyed it for our entire relationship.]

[Husband's response: Yeah, got about as much use as those two t-shirts I mentioned. We watch a lot of movies.]
Today: Husband tries to fix the DVD player, but it's really broken. We decide to toss it and I remember the broken VCR that we've been hanging on to, so I add that to the trash pile. Then I decide to pull out all the VHS tapes to give away, since we won't have any way to watch them anymore.

And then I see a stack of CDs, shoved in the back of the drawer. I flip through the stack quickly and there, in the middle of the stack, lies Billy. Turns out he was with us this whole time. And it turns out Husband isn't crazy and he actually did buy those other CDs.

I grab Billy, bring it upstairs where Husband is playing with Bella, and put it in the CD player. After a brief, but loving squabble about who was to blame for the lost CDs, I hit play and Piano Man starts. I pick up a squealing, happy baby and dance with her, while Husband watches us with a smile. We haven't heard this song for the longest time.


  1. Ha! Great Story. Love Billy Joel! River of Dreams was one of my very first CD's...I think I bought it along with Eric Clapton Unplugged. Good stuff.

  2. That's fantastic! My husband and I are currently searching for the CD of our dating years...1998 Grammy Nominees. We miss it during car rides also :)

  3. I love this post!

  4. Katie - My very first CD was the Reality Bites Soundtrack. I still love that CD.

    Angie - Check by your videos!

    Heather - Glad you liked it :)