You Got Lucky

So, this has been a sad and disturbing week.

I wanted to write something funny. I wanted absurd and silly.

This isn’t the week for that, is it?

I can’t get my head around 586 people shot in a matter of minutes. I don’t understand why we aren’t talking about gun control 24 hours a day. I don’t understand why we don’t focus on mental health. I am tired of feeling like I somehow transferred to an alternate nightmare reality.

I don’t even know what more to say about the tragic loss of life in Las Vegas. I’m just so goddamn sorry and disheartened. Please, if you are so inclined, talk to your elected officials and ask them what they plan to do about gun violence in our country. We must admit what we are doing now does not work.

Then, on the heels of this horrific act of terrorism, we had to say goodbye to an icon. Twice in one day.

I fell in love with Tom Petty when I was in high school and have been unwavering in my devotion ever since. I am happy I saw him perform live, both shows were incredible.

I wrote last week about painting a cedar chest given to me by my high school boyfriend. He was not a kind person. Which is an understatement big enough to have little understatements orbiting it.

I remember when the song You Got Lucky came out, I used to change the lyrics from “you got lucky, babe” to “you got lucky, Dave” because that was his name. It would annoy him to no fucking end when I suggested he was lucky to have me. So, I changed the lyric all the time. Tom Petty had my back.

I’ve been working extra this week and have been heads down in my work. I can’t concentrate unless I’m listening to music in my big,honey bee cushy headphones. I had my work playlist playing on Spotify when the intro to the song Honey Bee started. Tom Petty saying “Alright, here we go. This a little number we call “Give me some sugar, little honey natural bee”. I wasn’t expecting his voice in my ears. Honestly, on any other day, I probably would have kept writing code without paying attention to what I was hearing.

But not today.

Today when I heard his voice, I felt pain. I felt gratitude. I felt comforted. He still has my back.

I’m sorry he’s gone.

Let’s just hope next week gives us a break.

We need one.


Photo courtesy of Mike


Add your comments below. Profanity is encouraged, but not required. ;)
  1. Harry says:

    I have a lot of albums, but somehow I don’t have any Tom Petty albums. Still, his death really hit me this week. He had so many great songs and they were so ubiquitous, and somehow, he was a rarity in that all of his songs all seemed to come from the same place and be in the same voice.

    What a legacy.

  2. When our kids were small, I used to play all my heroes from the 70’s and 80’s in the car as long as there were no dirty lyrics that I’d have to pull over and explain.

    They remember, and “have a soft spot for” everything from the Grass Roots, to Madonna, to Cheap Trick. But they loved Tom Petty. They loved him because of his good-guy-kicking-ass-persona. Wise, salty, impish. And he wore sneakers, jeans and great half-knotted ties and top hats.

    Refugee. I won’t back down. You don’t know how it feels. Runnin’ down a dream. Walls.

    My kids texted me even before I knew: “I’m so sorry. Are you okay?”

    Your memory shows how much these figures mean to us. They get us through, they make us dance and sing and change lyrics. They connect us to our kids. They leave little holes in our hearts where they found their way in.

    I’m sorry, I’m getting flowery. But you’re a Tom Petty fan like I am, and I have no choice but to punish you with flowers.

  3. I hear ya! Keeping my head buried for now!

  4. Val says:

    Great minds think alike. I’ve had “You Got Lucky” bouncing around in my head since last night… (Trying to cultivate that “attitude of gratitude” after a shitty nonstop grind of a day at work; I’ve damn well EARNED this weekend off!)

    • Michelle says:

      Last weekend wasn’t good because I just could NOT get the anxiety to dissipate. I am hopeful this weekend will be better. Next weekend is going to be horrible.

  5. Terri Lee says:

    After that horrendous attack on innocent lives in Las Vegas, it was just that extra kick in the gut when I heard about Tom Petty. This is all coming at the same time the two year anniversary of my husband’s passing is approaching (October 15th). Paul and I loved Tom Petty’s music. I’ve been wrestling with this feeling that when Paul died, suddenly, it seemed as though this whole world began falling apart, piece by piece. The election year, the actual election (HOLY CRAP), Nazis, white supremacists, this batshit crazy administration, the shit going on in other countries, the devastating hurricanes, etc. One situation after another, it’s like the decent world is disintegrating and a toxic nastiness is taking its place. Talk about feeling as if you’re “Free Fallin'”. And yet, I still have it better than many others. I can’t even begin to imagine what they’re going through. Maybe I should buy some extra paper towels. That seems to be the magic cure, right?

  6. It’s been tough for me to process the passing of Tom Petty, especially since I’ve heard so many people say what a humble guy he was. That makes me think he’d want us to focus on the bigger events, but after letting it sit on the shelf for many years I’ve been enjoying his album “Southern Accents” all over again and reflecting on how lucky we are to have had him.

    • Michelle says:

      Yes! Randy and I watched some videos this evening and I had to stop because I was getting teary. I said “I can’t take losing something so pretty when so much is so ugly.” And Randy said “That’s how people felt during prohibition.” Which made me laugh. I’ll take it. Any laugh in a storm.

  7. Haralee says:

    The folks that code my company’s website always have to have music in their ears too. Must be a coder thing.

    • Michelle says:

      For me, I need something to distract the part of my brain that just won’t settle the fuck down. Music gives it something to focus on and then the rest of my brain writes code.

  8. Lizzie says:

    Loved Petty. So glad I got to hear him live. The I think I remember most about his concerts is how everyone knew all the words to every song he played. It was just incredible. Once I saw him wearing plain brown corduroy jeans and as I got closer to the stage I could see that just at the seams he had the tiniest rhinestones. That was Petty.

  9. Christine says:

    Brought tears to my eyes. Losing Tom Petty really felt like that final straw. I’ve turned the news off this week, and just been playing Petty on my way to and from work. Combination sanity break and tribute.

    Oh, and by the way, Michelle- we got lucky, when we found you.

    • Michelle says:

      Thank you, thank you so much. I am struggling like crazy this week and I need all the kind words I can get. I had to step away from the news (almost) because it’s driving me mad.

  10. I’m right beside you, Michelle re: the horrific massacre. I’ve gone on a rant over at my blog. I’m fuckin’ angry.

    Tom Petty defined our generation. He really did. You Got Lucky was one of his best (it’s true Dave). There’s no one out there like him, before or after. Never will be.

    • Michelle says:

      It’s just been so weird and nightmare-y this week. And no, there will never be another Tom Petty. I am just grateful to be here during this time in history to experience him as he happened.

  11. Barbara says:

    It’s starting to feel as if every week is full of chaos and hate. I find myself numb and wanting to simply disappear for a while. I am 67 years old and have never experienced anything like this before. It has to stop!

  12. Shani says:

    Someone said (to paraphrase) If we have to wait after every violent gun episode to have a debate about gun policy we would never be able to have it because it happens all the time. And as far as I’m concerned we shouldn’t have to have a debate. You hunt? Though I don’t get it, fine you have your hunting gun. You want self protection, okay fine, you have your one “normal” gone. People should have to pass a background check before getting a gun. Period. There is no need for people to have piles of guns. No need for silencers. No need for semis or semi autos or whatever.
    There were a number of people I really felt connected to on some level through their art who died in 2016 (2016 sucked in so many ways) and I understand what you’re saying. Freefalling was the first Tom Petty song I remember. I loved it and played it so much when Tom Petty died my mother was unsure of who he was but when I mentioned Freefalling she rememberd exactly.
    I sadly don’t know too much of him but what I remember is that he seemed like a genuinely nice person. And I do know his music will effect people for generations. He was that kind of artist. Tom Petty spoke to people that I do know.

  13. Doug in Oakland says:

    I don’t have many real regrets in this life, but one of them is that I never managed to see Tom Petty even with all of the hundreds of shows I attended.
    So I’ve been watching my favorite videos of him again, like the one where he sang “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” with Prince playing the final guitar solo, and the video of him and Stevie Nicks singing “Stop Dragging My Heart Around” , and the one Susie Madrak posted on her blog of him performing “Breakdown” where the crowd does most of the vocals.
    He was also in a kinda crappy movie called “The Postman” and Berke Breathed drew a Bloom County comic to honor his passing that didn’t even have to mention his name.
    It’s on his Facebook page which I believe is right here:
    It’s like the third comic down from the top.
    And let me agree with everyone else here who said that we all got hella lucky when we found Rubber Shoes in Hell and the amazing woman who writes it.

  14. KK says:

    This week has truly been a sad one. The world has gone mad and the news of Tom Petty’s passing affected me very badly, on top of all the violence and insanity.
    I so wanted to see him and Stevie Nicks at Hyde Park this summer, I have loved them both for a lifetime but I just couldn’t afford it and now it will never be.
    It’s funny that I always thought I’d get to see them one day but now I never will.
    Gutted but at least I still have his music!
    I do hope that next week is a happier one for all.

    • Michelle says:

      I hate that. One of my biggest regrets was having the chance to see Roy Orbison and then seeing Crosby Stills and Nash instead because that is what a friend wanted to do. And yes, we get to keep his music. It’s still super hard to listen to right now.

  15. Kate says:

    No words on Vegas. Just numb and processing, so I hear you on not finding the funny this week. Tom Petty: man, what a cool cat. I loved his cameo in Waterworld. His music was familiar and distinctive at the same time. It was like home.
    My daughter chose Wildflowers for her dad/daughter dance at her wedding. I thought the song was an odd choice at the time, with its emphasis on being free, growing wild, etc. As it turned out, it was prophetic. She realized she’d made a huge mistake two months in and got out, vowing never to pledge her life to a man that way again. We’ll see. But the dance was incredibly sweet. 😉

  16. Connie says:

    Someone asked why would God take Tom Petty and not Trump? I said “wouldn’t you”?
    (Hope this doesn’t piss anyone off)
    This was a shitty, shitty week….

  17. Margo Mitchell says:

    You are appreciated. And this, a bit of brilliance: “Which is an understatement big enough to have little understatements orbiting it.”

  18. So now I am envisioning a large understatement being orbited by other smaller understatements and this visual is amazing. Thank you.

  19. mydangblog says:

    Free Fallin’. That’s my fave. Keep on keeping on, my dear:-)

  20. Mary-Anne says:

    Alas, no break this week. A woman I taught with a few years ago had moved back to Chicago. She loved Chicago.
    Last friday she was shot and killed by a stray bullet as she was walking a block from her house.
    She was 64.

    What. The. Fuck.

  21. Kristina says:

    This may have already been said, but I don’t have the time to read everyone’s lovely comments as I’m trying to get ready for work, I just read the two posts and you just light me up with your humor. And on the most unexpected one – “You you got lucky Dave” something inside me just- that tickled, you tickle me! It is very uncommon to find humor like yours. I so appreciate you, rock on!