Monday, June 15, 2009

What it means to be Sandra

Sandra: haunting lyrics by Enoch Anderson and music by Barry Manilow. Today, I feel like Sandra. If you're a mother, a wife, a multi-tasker and perhaps a bit of June Cleaver from "Leave it to Beaver", you know exactly what I'm talking about. There are those days that you are pulled in a hundred different directions and you wonder what happened to the "you" that was hiding inside. Or, was there ever really a "you" to begin with?

Don't get me wrong, I love my family. And I wouldn't trade that aspect of my life for anything. But it seems somehow in being that wife, mother and all-around multi-tasker (event planner, vacation guide, nurse, financier, housekeeper, cook, counselor, etc. etc.) it's hard to hold on to your dreams and your goals. It's hard to say STOP and take a hard look at what you need and want. And even when you do, it doesn't always turn out like you planned it would.

I've often wondered how Enoch Anderson (a guy) understood the mind of Sandra. Did he have a mother that inspired that song? He had to know someone that shared those feelings with him. Because they are common to so many women and ring true in the deepest sense of our emotions.

She says, I swear I love my husband, I love my kids
I wanted to be like my mother
But if I hadn't done it as soon as I did
Oh there might have been time to be me
For myself, for myself
There's so many things that she wishes
She don't even know what she's missin'
And that's how she knows....that she missed.

Truer words were never spoken,
Texas Fan


Wayne said...

It seems to me that Sandra was trying hard to convinvce herself that she loved her husband and her family........that she was leading a life of regret for making, what she saw was a mistake (having a child/children) too soon.

As much as they are haunting lyrics and well played out on stage, to me it also shows a selfishness about a person.

I have a child who was born out of wedlock and I was fortunate enough to be able to raise her as a single Father, the Custodial Parent (as seen through the courts eyes).........I chose that and I never once felt burdened aor hampered or short changed.

My daughter was married last July and we danced to "I Am Your Child".....As I said to my Family....."that day was 25 years wrapped into 1 song"

texas_fan said...

I think there is some aspect of regret in that song, but I also think we all have regrets in life. Just because we feel that way at that moment, doesn't mean it's the permeating feeling all the time or that we feel our choices were mistakes.

I think if you never felt anything like Sandra did, then you're an amazing person. In all honesty, most of the time, it's a privilege to be a parent. But in truth, there are days that regret comes creeping in. It would be naive to think that every single day is perfect. I think to describe it as selfish is a bit harsh.

My daughter is getting married next year as well and she has brought me more joy in her 27 years than I could have ever hoped for. And I bet if you were to ask her, she would NEVER describe me as selfish, nor would she say that Sandra was either.

Micks said...

Did I get the sense from the song that Sandra that it was about regret and mistakes? A little. But it didn't feel to me like she was trying to convince herself she loved her husband and kids... she was just having one of those "selfish" moments when she wondered if it had been the right thing at the right time.
I think we all have those moments about marriages, kids, jobs, schools, friends... but they all pass if it's what's true and meant to be.
I know what it is like to be a wife and wonder once in awhile if it was the right thing to do. Is it selfish? Sure. For some, it's momentary and passes and they get on with whatever their version is of "happily ever after".
Some others figure out that they are in the wrong place or the wrong time with the wrong person. But that's just how life is sometimes.Then again I'm pretty jaded (I never got the happily ever after).
And I'm getting way to philosophical over a discussion about a song.

Survivor said...

The lyrics of this song haunt me now and then. I don't think it is about regret or being selfish. It is about being so many things to other people in life that somewhere along the way you lose sight of yourself and now and again you want to find that again. It might also be about something quite small that you gave up a long time ago and then found it again and realised that you gave it up for all the wrong reasons. I did that with Barry's music. My husband never did nor does he like Barrys' music so for years I never listened to it until about 5 years ago when I 'found' it again. I realised that was a part of me I gave up and wish I hasn't. Not sure if that makes sense!!!

texas_fan said...

I agree. It can often be about things you gave up for the wrong reasons. That's the hardest part of relationships: sharing things with the other person even though you might not enjoy them yourself. But, it takes two to make this work. It's never supposed to be just one giving up everything. Women tend to do it more than men because society used to deem it so.

Philosophical? You? That's what I love about you. Besides, Barry would LOVE this discussion. He wants his music to move us and this song certainly has done that. When a song can do that, then you've done so much more than make music. You've opened up minds and hopefully changed lives.

Wildecat101 said...

The first time that I heard Sandra was on Barry's first TV special. Although I'd always loved music, I wasn't impressed with most performers of the day. And I didn't know who Barry Manilow was. Frankly, the only reason I watched it was that I was in the middle of something when it came on (no remotes in those days!)

I liked what I heard, but this song was like a dagger to the heart. No, I wasn't unhappy, but I had gotten married straight out of college. And that was enough for him to make me feel for Sandra. That's when I knew that I wanted to hear anything that Barry wanted to sing. Angry - happy - sad - he could take me on any journey and make me feel whatever he wanted to convey.

I only got to attend one live concert - in 1984 - until May 22. When Barry once more sang Sandra, and the convention catchphrase - Welcome Home - couldn't have been more true.

texas_fan said...

That's what is so amazing about his music. It reaches down into our hearts and finds the emotion. It might be hidden, but it's there and once you hear that one song it comes to the surface like a volcano. There aren't many artists that can do that these days; make that connection with the listener. But Barry can every time. What a privilege to hear that song live. I can't even imagine how it would feel.

Survivor said...

I have to agree that I would love to hear that song live. However I had a mild objection to the way Sandra was portrayed by Keely. Very dowdy and stereotypical. Don't blame her as obviously it was an agreed part of the act but I certainly don't dress like that, maybe they tried to portray the time in which it was written?

Dawn Bushman said...

Yes, I like that song and can connect to it, even though I'm not a mother. I've taken care of other people's children, my parents, jobs that I've had and at the end of the day (or school year) you wonder where all the time went, and how much of it was for you?

I'm still trying to clean up at least 1 school year's worth of clutter around my home. I wanted to last summer, but my mother was hospitalized and there went my summer.

Thanks, Suzanne, I hope you have a wonderful week.

texas_fan said...

You don't? Gee. I do! I'm in my apron, dress, shawl and all right now. I think I look pretty snappy too!

texas_fan said...

Exactly. That song hits the fabric of our more than just the obvious ways.

Jill said...

I keep going back to "time for myself". I was "older" at nearly 24 when I got married. Most of my friend married much earlier. I waited five years for kids. Sometimes I think that I never had time for myself cause I gave everything to my husband or kids. I took nothing for myself.I do relate to Sandra.

texas_fan said...

I think that song causes all of us to ponder some things. And I also believe, that as women, sometimes we give things up when we really shouldn't be and we don't fight for our own dreams like we ought to. The good news is that it's never too late. It's time to grab those dreams and make that time now.

Anonymous said...

I remember my brother discussing this song with me. He was the one who brought the topic out. The song was not even playing on the radio. He probably brought the topic out just to have something to talk about. He said to me "Do you know that in the song "Sandra" Sandra killed herself?" So I replied "Why do you say that"? He said back to me "Well there is a line in the song that goes she cut her wrist quite by mistake". I have heard the song too many times prior to that discussion and could even sing it but it never hit me how sad Sandra was. My point is that it was a man(my brother) and not me (female) who understood the plight of housewives. I was still in college but my brother was already married with a 2-year-old daughter.
Years later I find myself being haunted by this song. Even though it was never mentioned in the song that Sandra's husband was a control freak, you will easily find yourself in the same boat as Sandra's if your partner is one. Unfortunately you can never be honest with a control freak because everything a control freak does is great and good for you and a hinting to your partner that you want something else even though there is no else is criticizing.

Anonymous said...

did Sandra kill herself by cutting her risk with a broken glass?

Anonymous said...

Today I feel like Sandra but not really wanting to kill myself and got married in my late 30s. Parenting is a two way street, but in my case I feel like a single parent sometimes. I don't have a problem taking care of my kids, I love them with all my heart but sometimes it is overwhelming when you're the only one doing all the the job in the house. Mostly men don't understand and will never understand how it is to be a housewife unless they experience it themselves. Maybe that's why Sandra took her life for her husband to understand how overwhelming it is to do all the housework and look after kids at the same time taking care of the husband too. But I guess men would handle it in a different way and they never have to do stuff for their wives alone. So at the end, Sandra's husband would still not understand since she killed herself and the husband would only look after the kids and probably just find a babysitter or a nanny.

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