Full disclosure: someday I will marry Robert Earl Keen.
I’m not saying I’ll marry him long, but you know, just enough for us both to get some good material out of it before I leave him for his best friend, Lyle Lovett.
When I first moved to Austin ten years ago last November, everything was new and wonderful and it was SEVENTY-TWO DEGREES ON CHRISTMAS DAY.
Back then, I used to get lost on purpose, just to learn the town. Of course, Austin was a lot smaller and cooler back in those days so you could drive for miles without seeing anything other than low rambling mesquite and the occasional palm or prickly pear, wrapped up in white lights.
I was toodling around town in my trusty old chartreuse Volvo station wagon marvelling how I’d never seen so much NOTHING in my life and feeling a little maudlin for Virginia which was snowy and beautiful and didn’t have ANY cactuseseses, light-wrapped or not.
Then this song came on:
and I just burst into tears, which is ridiculous because it’s a funny, funny song. I guess it reminded me of why I moved to Austin. It was the antithesis of the perfectly repressed East Coast Christmases of my youth.
Now the mesquite has been replaced by condos with silly names and my volvo station wagon is one of those sporty numbers. I’ve been to parties with Robert Earl Keen and have enough friends in common that it’s not entirely inconceivable that he might know my name, but I’ll never forget Christmas of 1999 when the world was new –or at least not covered in condos and dog bakeries. Hallelujah, everybody say cheese.
Click to buy the song. You know you want to.