3/52 Relationships Trump Things—"Blue Light, Red Light (Someone's There)", by Harry Connick, Jr.


THE SONG:Blue Light, Red Light (Someone's There), Harry Connick, Jr.

I live in a tiny closet
A lukewarm cold water flat
With room for a couple of cinders
A mouse, a hole, and a trap

I don't worry about the flights
Or count the stairs 'cause I know
Someone's there

I took a high paying sweeping-up job
Dusting after somebody else
Seeing that there's clean on the windows
Convincing the snow to melt

I don't worry about the ride
Or the subway fare 'cause I know
Someone's there

One day we'll move uptown
Or even out to the country side
And for every leaf on a tree
We'll add one cub to the pride

Who cares if the floor ain't level
Or if the ceiling falls in
Haunted by the devil
And ghosts and bogeymen

I can't be concerned
Why should I care
No place I'd go alone would compare 'cause I know, I know
You're there


Dear Kara,

Well, I guess this is where it all started: My love affair with music that made me think of my love affair with you. I remember we got this CD while we were dating and listened to it a LOT. I have many good memories listening to this with you in “the Dungeon” apartment where Steve, Charlie and I lived with the beast Capone. It’s now more than 18 years later. While more money and a bigger house would be great, none of that could make me happier than being with you.

“Who cares if the floor ain’t level, or if the ceiling falls in…I can’t be concerned. Why should I care? No place I’d go alone would compare, ‘cause I know you’re there.” Knowing you are there means more than anything in the world to me.

Do you remember when we lived in DeKalb and we were poorer than poor in graduate school? At one point we were both in the bathroom talking of our dire straits and we just began laughing at how simply pathetic it all was. I remember then holding you and telling you I was glad that if I had to be poor I’d most want to be poor with you, or something like that. Not that “misery loves company” but simply because we could both see the humor in such a tough situation. You have always been good at having the faith that things would work out and get better. I love that about you. I love you.


The P


Relationships Trump Things: When we focus on things and tasks we gain things that fade and a to-do list that will remain un-done long after the tombstone has been placed on our grave. Further, when we make things primary we lose the relationship.

However, when things stay in their proper place—secondary to the relationship—the relationship wins. Too many couples fight over things to possess and tasks to get done. For example, if a couple can balance the checkbook and stay in love great. If they can't then they need to focus more on treating each other well anyway instead of using the checkbook as an excuse for treating each other poorly.

As my kids remind me sometimes of my own saying, "People are more important than things."