Saturday, June 06, 2009

Sweet Home Alabama

When the girls and I go out dancing. there is one song that always gets us up on the dance floor: Sweet Home Alabama. It's one of "our" songs. Our other no fail song is "The Joker (Space Cowboy)."

I think it's cool that we all rock out to the same song, although I know our reasons for loving the song are all different. For me, the song always takes me back to Aschaffenburg, Germany - my first duty station. I was in a room with four other girls, and one of my roomies hailed from Mobile, Alabama.

Her name was Mary, and she was supposed to be my "sponsor" when I first arrived. She wasn't happy with that assignment, so she often pawned off her duties to someone else. I thought she hated me - in the end, she turned out to be my best friend.

Mary was a bit of a partier, and rarely did a Friday or Saturday night go by without her leaving the barracks to go to the Enlisted or NCO club. She used to take a long time getting ready, and spent most of that time blaring music on her stereo. "Sweet Home Alabama" was one of the first songs she played after her shower - it was the song to get her in the mood to go out.

When she decided she liked me enough to start including me in her forrays out to the club, I was excited beyond belief. After our showers, we headed straight to our room to finish getting ready. As soon as we had finished blow drying our hair, she'd put "Sweet Home Alabama" on the stereo and turn that baby up high. As we rocked to the beat, she would sip wine (I didn't like it back then - yeah, really I didn't) and I would go through my meager collection of civilian clothes to find something feminine to wear.

The music promised a night of fun and excitement. And the promise was almost always kept. Once at the club, we'd dance and have a good time. She always found someone to make out with. I always found someone to dance with. And when we got home, the music still pulsating in our soul, she'd whip out the forbidden cooking paraphernalia she hid, and make us macaroni & cheese and peas with white sauce. Over this early morning meal, we'd rehash the night's activities and giggle until the need for sleep overrode the need to talk.

'Til this day, the song "Sweet Home Alabama" always feels like home - while it may be Mary's actual home, it's most definitely my spiritual one.

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