“Jaw With John” – FYI 2+2=5

I am 65, a retired gay man married to “Jack,” who is 37, who is a musician and a medical researcher.

We’ve been together for 14 years. Yesterday a friend, “Drew,” came back to our city to visit. He came over for dinner. They spent the entire evening discussing music, bands of the ’70s, bands of the ’80s, bands of the present, who was influenced by whom, who the guitar player was in which band.

I’ll admit there were several decades when I did not pay attention to popular music.

I was raised with classical music and am currently studying voice. I felt totally cut out of the conversation.

Let’s face it. Radiohead was NOT influenced by Schubert. Once or twice I tried to interject a new subject, but I felt like I was making a non sequitur. Most of John’s friends have been very supportive of our relationship and have gone out of their way to accept me. Aside from politely excusing myself and retreating to my computer, I’m not sure what I should have done in this situation. Any thoughts? Thank you. — Who is Radiohead?

Dear Who:

Who is Radiohead? WHO IS RADIOHEAD!? Are you a creep? Are you a weirdo? Am I going to have to call the Karma Police?

Don’t leave me high and dry. This one’s optimistic…that you’ll be able to find a way into the conversation because I’m going to tell you how.

Firstly, how do you know Radiohead wasn’t influenced by Schubert? You gotta listen to them first! Don’t go about making broad statements without evidence. It makes you look ignorant. And THIS is how you can help yourself out in future situations: listen to the bands, artists, and musicians they mentioned and the next time it comes up you can contribute to the conversation. And since you are studying voice, you can add some depth to the conversation by bringing up your lessons and own musical background to add to the conversation.

This is just another jigsaw falling into place of the puzzle that is a relationship. Little by little you will find common musical interests and then it will all be OK…computer.

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