I climbed into my car this morning and after driving for a few blocks, was surprised the radio was turned on. I paused the audiobook I was listening to (via Bluetooth headphones) and decided to listen to the show during my ride to work. As I drove and listened, I reflected on how my opinion of morning radio shows have changed over the years. I hated morning radio in my teens and young adult years, I loved it in my late 20s, and now I hardly listen to the radio at all.
Teens and early 20s
I used to hate morning radio in my teens and early adult years. No matter which station you tune the radio to, it’s all talk and no music. The whole reason for us young people to listen to the radio is to listen to the hits we love, not to listen to some middle-aged radio personality talk about the news and whatever the celebrities are doing.
And then in my late 20s, I started carpooling to work and the driver listened to the local radio stations. I started to enjoy a morning show called The Roula & Ryan Show on 104 KRBE. On Tuesdays, we’d listened to how people in our region got their revenge on coworkers, neighbors, and even members of their family. I remember speculating about the legality of effectively “poisoning” your lunch to get back at the office food-thief.
It was fun listening to all those insecure or suspicious relationship partners on Thursday morning’s “Roses” segment. Who will the guy send the free dozen, long-stem red roses to? Will it be the girlfriend or wife, or a mistress? Even if the guy sent the roses to the right person, those people have some relationship issues to work out.
My personal favorite “Roses” episode was when the guy sent roses to another woman, and it turned out to be his mother who was suffering from cancer.
The girlfriend was suspicious of her boyfriend because he was always leaving at odd hours. She called his job, but he wasn’t there a few times. When asked where to send the roses, the guy sent them to another woman (I don’t remember her name). The girl started accusing him right away.
“I knew it! I knew it! [All those times you were missing from work was being spent with another woman!]” The guy was speechless and confused by the interruption, and the hosts briefly explained what the show was about. The guy quickly explained that he sent the roses to his mother, who has cancer. His mother was in the car with him, and he put her on speakerphone. The mother’s response was priceless!
She sounded just like “Rose” the company executive from Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead. She said: “Veronica, I am deeply disappointed in you.” She continued by explaining that her son had been taking her to chemo-treatments and helping with various things when she called. She repeated that she was disappointed in her and she didn’t deserve her son.
“Veronica” was silent on her end of the conversation and the hosts apologized to the guy and his mother. The hosts quickly wrapped things up and said the caller should probably try to save her relationship.
We still sometimes quote that poor mother when we catch each other in a disappointing situation.
Now that I’m in my mid-30s, I have my own car and don’t carpool anymore. I listen to audiobooks, so radio doesn’t have as much of an impact on my life anymore. I can’t even remember when the last time I, intentionally, turned on the radio.
Well, there was that one time I turned it on when I bought my car to program the regional stations which played music I may enjoy. And then I remember tuning it to an Emergency Advisory Radio Station, solely because I saw it on a highway sign and was curious. It was on the AM-bandwidth!
What will my future entertainment tastes and habits look like in the coming decades? I could rekindle a passion for gossip-mongering radio shows, or I may completely forget the radio exists and continue listening to my various audiobooks. Who knows?
It truly is interesting how tastes and habits change over time.