Thursday, January 10, 2008

Life According to Kenny Chesney

My man Kenny Chesney (who even three months ago I would have derided but who I'm now comfortable calling my man) sings this song "Beer in Mexico" that's been fairly constant in my head over the past couple months. The idea is that Chesney is at this crossroads of his life (he even says as much...actually those are his exact same words) and is trying to figure out where to go next. He's too old to be wild and free but too young to be over the hill. He's asking all these questions before feeling overwhelmed (my interpretation) and saying "screw it, I'm going to sit on the beach, have a beer and worry about this tomorrow."

Anyway, the song builds to a point where Chesney asks "Should I settle down and get married or stay single and stay free?" I'm not sure if I'd ever admit it, but I've totally felt these lyrics before. Marriage = social death. No more friends, no more staying up late. Buying houses, having to spend like $200 on things like blinds and shower curtains. Dinner parties. Pot luck. Shopping. Talking about my day. Was it a good day today or a bad day today? Well what kind of day was it?

Staying single = freedom. Doing what I want. Spending money on me. Eating foods I like, never devoting more than 11 minutes to preparing a meal. Coming home and watching four straight episodes of Prison Break not because I think it's a great show, but just because I can. Emailing for hours. Reading blogs. Occasional loneliness but it's certainly offset by the freedom.

Um...what has become very obvious to me (and which is even more obvious on e-paper) is that "freedom" isn't so much being free as it is being self-centered. Me me me. I can't get outside of myself. Yikes.

This is not to say that marriage is the answer to avoiding self-centeredness. As I learned (or at least heard a sermon about) long ago, marriage is not the answer to all of life's ills. Instead, I need to focus on drawing closer to God. True freedom lies in giving my life to Him, not in being able to play video games whenever I want. What I'm doing is not good enough.

Mike Pacchione
(Mike blogs at

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