Hey folks, sorry for the lack of updates. I've been simultaneously lazy and busy at work, and haven't been struck by anything to write. Today's topic goes backwards to Thanksgiving and forwards to Christmas and all other holidays where you gather with your family and find time, in the midst of being annoyed by them, to enjoy their company and remember how much you love them. While this is something that is suffered/enjoyed by people of all musical tastes, it's a particularly interesting time to be a Dead Head.
It all starts when your aunt asks you something about music and you casually mention something about the Dead: "Well, Phil Lesh said...," "The Dead played there once...," or the one that really gets everyone going, "Jerry Garcia..." You see, your non-Dead Head family members already made up their minds that you're hopelessly lost in some kind of Garcia Cult, and that nothing else matters to you musically. God help you if you mention you have a blog devoted to the Dead, because then the eye rolls become so big it could be a health threat to your family. The eye rolling really is inevitable, but hopefully that's all you get. You know that it will happen, so you try your very best not to mention the Dead, any of its members, or the last concert you went to, because you're trying to get your family to forget your musical biases so you can happily talk about politics, family gossip, and the wonderful meal you're about to eat.
But it doesn't work! And do you know why? It's all because your family, despite their judgments, is really very curious about your obsession with this band, but they can't admit it. So while your sitting there happily eating turkey and drinking your wine, your aunt is sitting across the table trying to probe your brain. They keep bringing up Dead-related questions, or steering topics towards Jerry Garcia or Phil Lesh, and while you do your best to half-answer these questions and change the subject, that isn't good enough for them. They want your full answer, but you know they aren't ready for it! If you start describing the intricacies of the Wall of Sound and its evolution from their sound system in '72, your Grandpa's probably going to have to go to the hospital from pulling a muscle in his eye from rolling it too far back in his head. So you give half-answers again and again until they push you too far and you vomit Dead trivia all over the table; and then suddenly you're the bad guy! Despite their inherent curiosity about your love of the Dead, they really have no capacity to store or evaluate whatever answers you give, so they default back to eye-rolling and sideways glances to each other.
So be careful out there, friends. Your family will judge you based on your musical obsession with the most interesting band in the world, and no matter what you say, you'll still be the weird one. But remember, if any of them are not put off by your answers, they might be Dead Heads ripe for the making! You can be the one to turn your cousin into a rabid fan, and then next year at dinner everyone will point their questions at them!