When I was a little boy my dad usually had Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Charlie Pride, Roger Miller or various other country singer's album turning on the big console. At times I listened to country music in high school and through my twenties. There were a lot of good drinking songs and I liked to drink so it was a good fit. I don't drink anymore. Every now and then I'll get a hankerin' for it (the music not the beer) especially when I'm driving across I-70 through Kansas. I don't chime in with drinking songs except I still can't resist busting out to 'I was drunk the day my momma got out of prision' with David Allan Coe.
But this isn't a post about country music. It's about Denise Jackson and her story. Her husband is Alan Jackson, country music super nova.
Celebrity books are like that ever present box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get. For me, 'It's All About Him' was one of the better pieces--ah, I can't do that chocolate thing--the book was good.
Denise Jackson and her co-author, Ellen Vaughn did an excellent job of weaving important themes of relating throughout. The premise is; Georgia small town kids marry young, move to Nashville, struggle, hit it big, get lost in the cash, glitz and glam, separate, go through hell, return to the faith of their youth, reunite, develop deep relationship with each other and God, live mostly happy ever after. She does tell it well.
So many celebrity books read like; this happened, and then this, and then, and then, and then and it feels like I'm going through the drive through in an Ashton Kutcher movie hollering, "No and then!"
It's All About Him is crisp. There are plenty of Newnan, Georgia details for committed Alan Jackson fans. I enjoyed hearing about their meeting at the local DQ and high school days. Denise deftly touched on the themes that ran through the course of their relationship and eventually contributed to the problems in their relationship after Alan was welcome at the Opry.
In various ways over the course of, It's All About Him, she showed how she was like the Runaway Bride who didn't even know what kind of eggs she really liked. In that movie, Julia Roberts always preferred her eggs however her current beau liked them. Eventually, Richard Gere challenged her to figure out how she liked them. In other words, tell me who you are and what are your desires.
Denise was similar. Her life revolved around 1st making her daddy happy, then boys she dated happy, and of course making Alan happy. Examining her life in the last few years she began to see that she was clingy and shallow. Her life was all about Alan and making sure that he was happy. It was also about looking good for the media or whoever was there. There's nothing wrong with looking good but she realized for her it was primary and not secondary or tertiary. It was also just about the surface not about a deeper, richer inner beauty. The inner beauty developed the difficult way following the fracture in her marriage.
I'll do another post about the themes in their relationship and a third one on how they dealt with rebuilding trust after infidelity. But go ahead and buy the book already. You get a two song Alan Jackson CD with it to boot.
Excuse me, my song is still on ...
'And I went to pick her up in the rain
But before I got to the station in my pickup truck
She got runned over by a danged ole train'