My brother Donald was a person who walked to the beat of his own drummer. He even had Little Drummer Boy as a music box in his teddy bear. He was willful, stubborn and shockingly never wrong in his 48 years on the earth. You could ask him; he would tell you.
When he went away for his first year of college, I did the expected older sister thing and bought a bottle of Scope, emptied it, poured in bottle of peppermint schnapps with some green food coloring and made him a going away present. I mentioned this in my eulogy at Donald’s funeral and my dad came up afterwards and said I did not know that! (There was quite a bit my dad was spared of the details of my life and Donald’s).
Donald goes to school; I am 900 miles away and my mom is an empty nester. A few months into his freshman year, I get a phone call that went a bit like this.
Mom: I am worried about Donald.
Kristan: uh huh, why now?
Mom: Well, I am worried what he might be doing at college. He might be drinking!
Kristan: uh huh, probably.
Mom: And he is listening to that music.
Kristan: what kind of music?
Mom: That bad music, you know that one group …that group, you know… Chains & Rabbits
Now I did pause, it took me about 15 seconds to translate in my head Mom-speak to everyday human words.
Kristan: Do you mean Guns & Roses?
Mom: YES! That! I knew it was something bad and something good.
I did go on to explain that Guns & Roses was fine music, not likely to cause any of the horrid destruction she had envisioned, and I have spent the rest of my life every time a G&R song comes on thinking about them being Chains & Rabbits instead.