Tonight's episode of the The Office ended with Michael (Steve Carrell) and Dwight (Rainn Wilson) singing "American Pie" in a cemetery. They had no sooner hit the line "I know that you're in love with him" when Rose and I began frantically texting each other.
Rose and I have been friends since first grade (that's 21 years, for those of you who are counting) and "American Pie" is one of our favorite songs. The obsession began after Rose moved to Bad Axe, MI (that's in the thumb, for those of you who want the hand map) when we were in fourth grade. Although we were devastated at the time, Rose moving 2.5 hours away actually provided me with a week (or two) vacation every summer, much to the dismay of her younger brother and the annoyance of her father.
The first or second summer Rose lived in Bad Axe, her family had a satellite dish - they were the only people I knew who actually had one. This was when satellite dishes were bigger than the trampoline they had in their back yard (another awesome part of staying at Rose's house - trampolines didn't have guard rails back then).
The Peruskis got all sorts of weird channels via satellite, including one called "More Music" which apparently played concert videos and cheesy music videos from the 70's and 80's. Rose and I were especially taken with "Fernando" by ABBA and spent hours singing (screaming) it on the trampoline. However, another song in frequent rotation on More Music was "American Pie."
I can't even tell you at what point the song became a tradition, but we sang it every summer, sometimes making up our own words. For instance, after Tim O'Malley taught me how to polka at the Ubly Summer Homecoming Dance (note: the whole town is Polish and the polka is played at all events, including high school dances - they learn how to do it in gym class up there) we changed the line "I know that you're in love with him because I saw you dancing in the gym" to "I know that you're in love with Tim because I saw you polka in the gym."
If Rose and I were a couple and had "our song", no doubt it would be "American Pie." Sometimes we forgot that other people were not really in on the joke, like the time (approximately four or five years after the polka lesson) that we thought it would be a good idea to bake a pie for Tim O'Malley and leave it on his doorstep with a note saying something to the effect of "Did you write the book of love?" We found it clever; Tim found it annoying and creepy.
(This was also the summer Rose and I spent afternoons rollerblading up and down Main Street - the only street in Ubly - past Tim's house, which after passing, we would immediately turn around and rollerblade past in the other direction. Tim liked us at the beginning of the summer, but he was permanently done with us after about two weeks of this nonsense.)
So while Michael and Dwight singing "American Pie" in a cemetery might seem humorously odd to some, to me and Rose that song is appropriate anytime, any place.
Happy New Year!
3 years ago