FFWDing to the Best Part: “When You Were Young,” The Killers (2006)

When The Killers released  Hot Fuss in 2004, I thought at the time it meant bigger things for the landscape of popular music.  Not a full-on Nevermind-ish cosmic shift, but a change nonetheless.  With The Killers — and then The Bravery, the Kaiser Chiefs, etc. — I thought we were moving toward a new era of New Wave. Artistic and sometimes vague lyrics, a reliance on synthesizers, pretty boys in dapper outfits … as a (basically) lifelong Duranie, I was pumped.  And Hot Fuss was the first album in several years on which I liked every track.

And then came Sam’s Town. While not a certifiable “sophomore slump,” it sure was — for me anyways — lacking in the fresh excitement of its predecessor. It’s been a slow trickle downhill from there for Brandon Flowers and the boys from Vegas ever since.  But the opening track (what we would have called “Side One, Track One” back in the day) on Sam’s  is a good one.  A good one that has been tainted for me somewhat by the following story:

Right around the time of this song’s height of popularity (spring 2007), the world was active on the community blogging platform LiveJournal. This was right before Facebook had caught on with the masses.  So people would “blog” on LiveJournal, and the friends “following” them would comment.  It was a hotbed of meme activity, and one week, everyone was listing seven songs in heavy rotation in their iPods/Rios/MusicMatch libraries.

My friend Blair, her new boyfriend Chuck, and I all happened to put “When We Were Young” on said list.  Commenting in lyric form on Blair’s posting (below a post from Chuck), I merely quipped, “He doesn’t look a thing like Jesus.” At which point Chuck’s ex (who wasn’t in a terribly good place at the time), fired off “Blair, why did you tell [Lucy] that Chuck looks like Jesus?”

Lost in translation. And maybe that’s why she’s an ex.  KNOW YOUR CULTURAL REFERENCES.

Anyway, I think about that every GD’d time I hear this track.

Best part?  (Note, this isn’t accurate if just straight listening to the track, as the video contains a 90-second prologue of sorts.) At 3:47 (which would be ~2:17 on the regular single), the musical theme swells out of a subdued bridge and pulsates into the final choruses. It’s the type of moment in a song where you want to just push the pedal to the ground. Assuming I ever drove above the speed limit.

It’s this type of musical surge out of an island of serenity that’s often the “best part” for me, isn’t it? Soon these posts will just write themselves.

 

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Awkwardness at the Movies (In Which It’s Probably Hugh Grant’s Fault)

Did I ever tell you about the time I paid $25 to see Two Weeks Notice?  Back in 2002? When I still had a student ID and could buy them at a discount?

Two Weeks Notice, Sandra Bullock

I know, Sandy. I know!

As it turns out, I bought a ticket for me ($5), one for a friend of a friend, and then paid said friend of a friend $15 for the pleasure of watching the movie with me. This was all an innocent mistake, an awkward situation, but one that I remembered a decade later when at the Chicago Bulls game last night.

Aside: you know at ball games when people pass money in exchange for beer/cotton candy/etc. down an aisle of strangers? Does anyone just ever pocket the money or keep the beer? I doubt it, because if it ever happened, it would have certainly happened to me.

Moving on.

So I had actually bought tickets for about five of us, being the only one with a valid-looking student ID (so I was slightly scamming the system. It was Two Weeks Notice, people).  We get to the theater, take our seats. Everyone pays me the $5 they’re blowing. The friend of a friend, let’s call her Tracy, two seats down from me.

“I only have a twenty,” she says.

“That’s fine, I have fifteen,” I say.

I hand her the $15 via my friend that sits in between us.  The movie darkens for the previews.

She doesn’t hand me the $20.  In-between friend starts whispering incredulously.

“No big,” I think.  “She will give it to me after the movie.”

She doesn’t.

“No big,” I think. “She will give it to me at the bar we are going to, or at least buy me a couple of drinks.”

She doesn’t.


Nope, I never saw that money she pocketed a cool extra $15. Not to mention seeing what was a pedestrian romantic comedy – for free! And here I didn’t even get a hug at the end of what was apparently a date.

Not that I remain irritated by it or anything. Not that the $20 I’m owed plus a decade of interest would buy me at least 12 boxes of Triscuits.

The thing is, Tracy is a nice person. I’m sure this was not calculated in any way nor did she realize it happened. I do find it odd that she tucked away the $15 I handed her without reciprocating, but it was just one of those situations where your brain and your manual dexterity don’t quite align. Sort of like when I use nail polish remover instead of astringent. Sure.

And I, as is always the case, preferred simmering silently rather than confronting the issue. If you see something, say something. Or don’t.

I saw Tracy years later when we were seated at the same table at our mutual friend’s wedding. And I totally stole the pashmina she had with her. Ahhh, I’d be so much cooler if that last part were true.

…and the Other Gold (In Which I Wine and Dine with my Oldest Friends)

“I never had any friends later on, like the ones I had when I was twelve…Jesus….does anyone?”
–Stand By Me

Last weekend, I trekked down to suburban St Louis (technically Southern Illinois) for an all-too-brief mini-reunion with my oldest friends. Some exposition: I met Rebecca on the first day of kindergarten in 1979; I linked up with Karyn and Emily in Jr. High band (they played clarinet, I trombone) at some point in the fall of 1987. I met all other members of the gang in the interim. Our friend Callista lives in Swaziland, Africa, and was therefore unable to zip to Illinois for a weekend, but the rest of us met up for laughter, food, wine, and Erasure-soundtracked dancing.

So, yes, I’ve known all members of this 8-gal posse for at least 24 years. Ooooof. Is that really possible?  Not that we’ve aged so much since meeting, but that we remain so close-knit despite the miles, the life shifts, and the simple reality of the human condition.

It’s especially amazing considering I moved away from these fine ladies in the summer of 1988, when my Dad took a job in Chattanooga, Tennessee. A transplant to the buckle of the Bible Belt immediately before beginning high school?  Seemed like an unmitigated tragedy at the time, but I quickly took the Girl Scouts’ advice and made new friends while keeping the old.

I kept in close touch with my StL-area gals despite the lack of email, the expense of long distance, and the scarcity of visits. We made mix tapes. We wrote actual letters. We talked when our parents allowed. And I have never taken their friendships for granted.

Anyhoo.  Last weekend. Our friend Mike (one of the honorary male members of our gang) joined us as the founder of our feast. He and his wife are both professional chefs and split time between Dubai and Dallas, Texas (I’m not sure how they tell their differing homelands apart).

Mike prepared pounds and pounds of beef tenderloin along with cod for the non-red-meat eaters (i.e., me).  He also made simple preparations of interesting produce that allowed the flavors to shine. Mike introduced us to the wild world of gourmet salts, treated us to Hungarian dessert wine, and reminded me how I tried to cheer him on at a seventh-grade track meet. (He still placed last, but I refuse to believe this was my fault).

Rebecca’s girlfriend Lori, shouldering (literally!) four lbs of beef tenderloin

Mike cooks while Nicole looks pretty

My enviable plate (clockwise from left: roasted Jerusalem artichokes, cod, artisan bread, spaghetti squash, Brussels sprouts, green salad. Melange of mushrooms in the middle (prepared as a topper for the tenderloin but I partook of a taste)

Not bad for a bunch of late-30-somethings

Dance Party USA, proving that some things never change as you age

Our little group has always been, and always will until the end.  It’s a blessing to have a group of friends that has known you forever. And thanks to my geographical upheaval at age 13, I actually have two. This is something for which I will always be thankful – I know it doesn’t happen for everyone.

Mediocrity is All Relative (In Which I Share My Favorite Analogy)

The holidays are over, New Year’s Eve has come and gone, Christmas parties are in the bag.  All we are left with is the cold reality of winter, which in Chicago can last until mid-May.  My North Face puffy coat will be working double-time for the foreseeable future. Literally, on January 2nd, I walked out into a 6-degree wind chill, could barely take a step against the gusts, and thought I might have no recourse other than to lie down on the sidewalk and freeze to death.

So I’m a little melodramatic.

But I’m not here to talk about the weather or proper cold-weather wear (which, ladies, is not flats with no socks). I thought it as good a time as any to share one of my favorite analogies, courtesy of my pal Andy. Andy is a hella smart, wryly funny, deeply cynical music and film snob aficionado who keeps me around as a friend despite my appreciation for Kelly Clarkson music and refusal to watch The Empire Strikes Back.  

Back when we worked together, we would IM about important topics such as the death of Corey Haim (which I still can’t reference without tearing up) and the monotony of Beyonce lyrics.

One day I asked him: “Who is worse, Collective Soul or Creed?”

CLASH OF THE RIDICULOUSLY NAMED, DIME-STORE PHILOSOPHIZING, DRIPPY ALT-ROCK TITANS:

His response, which I wish I’d saved verbatim, was something to the effect of: “Creed is worse, but that’s like saying 60 degrees below zero is worse than 40 degrees below zero. One is slightly less bad, but either one’ll kill you.”

Brilliant!

Of course, I agreed with him.  Creed is totally worse, if only because of Scott Stapp’s vaguely faux-religious pretentions and blistering arrogance. Also, ‘The World I Know’ and ‘Gel’ and maybe even ‘Shine’ are all better than the best thing  Creed ever did (‘My Sacrifice.’)

I’d put Collective Soul at about 15 degrees above zero, in fact.

This analogy can be used for a number of scenarios, as I have already demonstrated here previously. Any debate of what’s bad versus what’s even worse – Two and a Half Men versus Rules of Engagement?  Jack and Jill versus any other later-era Adam Sandler flick? A McDonald’s Filet o’ Fish versus Burger King French fries? The freezing-to-death analogy works like a charm.

What’s your favorite (or least favorite, as it were) bad-versus-really bad debate?

Crash Into Who? (In Which I Revisit One of my Many Public Humiliations)

A few weeks ago, when reflecting back on the least-impressive 21st birthday celebration ever, I alluded to another anticlimactic experience involving Dave Matthews and his Band of merry makers.  Here is that story, updated slightly from when I originally told it on June 2, 2005.   

Went to the Dave Matthews Band concert last night with my friend Anne. History: while DMB isn’t my favorite band, or even in the Top 30, there are definitely some songs and album(s) I very much like. And I feel a certain kinship with the boys, as they got their start in Charlottesville, VA, in the early 1990s, when I was an undergrad at UVa.

The show? Was a little disappointing. Dave and the boys remain extremely musically gifted, and good for them. But the set list adhered to the following pattern: three songs from new album; 20-minute “jam” session; two songs from new album; ‘Too Much’; 15-minute “jam” session; a cover of ‘Time of the Seasons.’ And … scene. Under the Table and Dreaming was sorely unrepresented. And while I know they want to live in the now, how about giving something back to the little people who knew you when.

So speaking of “knew you” …

Anne and I attended the show with friends of A’s mom (Dr. D) who, according to their own reports, are likethis with Mr. Matthews. Have dined with him and Mrs. Matthews numerous times. Have enjoyed backstage tours in multiple cities and swapped recipes with Dave’s personal chef. Their entry into this rock-and-roll lifestyle, should anyone care, was via the band’s sound guy, who was in a serious relationship with one of the friends’ daughters.

And the woman in the couple had told Dr. D that — should we all go to the concert together — we could totally get backstage, and hang, and possibly meet the band. After the show it’s the after party and after the party it’s the hotel lobby.  And so on and so forth. Sound guy, let’s call him Skippy, would be alerted to our seat locations ahead of time so we could be properly set up like the VIPs he would know us to be. And so Anne bought four, not two, tickets, and gave them to her Mom’s friends free of charge. Anne agrees to drive Dr. D’s friend and one of her daughters (not the one who dated Skippy) as our guests.We are set!

On the long and circuitous ride to the venue, Close-Personal-Friend-of-Dave Senior says they haven’t gotten in touch with Skippy, and in fact have not seen or spoken with him in four years. Interesting. And vaguely unsettling. Close-Personal-Friend-of-Dave Junior says she has a cell phone number for her sister’s former paramour, but the number is old, and he never used to answer it anyway. Anne and I, we are rapidly rolling downhill. A snowy, snowy hill of deception and megalomania.

Now … I don’t care about meeting Dave effing Matthews. The whole encounter might have been sort of embarrassing, as I know none of the band members’ names, know nothing off their new album, and am just not the kind of superfan who deserves to meet them. But Anne looooooved them in high school and college. During her formative years, she saw them in concert more than a dozen times, bought every CD, etc.  The opportunity to meet and greet warmed the cockles of her heart as a prior superfan.  So the gross and shameful misleading we were victims of was so much more shattering to my dear, sweet friend.

After the show, which, as aforementioned, was disappointing, (even to Anne), Close-Personal-Friend-of-Dave Senior and Junior decide to mosey down beyond the concert barricades and try to connect with Skippy. They do. And they stand there and chat with him for at least three minutes before thinking of introducing Anne and me. And when they did notice us standing there like jerk-offs, they said: “This is Anne and … and … [forgetting my name] … ummm, they drove us here.” Well, that’s fantastic. We shall never be Close-Personal-Friends-of-Y’ALL. Let me tell you, folks, that the 180 seconds prior to the shoddy introduction was TORTURE. Standing there, in a place we shouldn’t be, like a couple of pathetic sound-guy-groupie hookers.

And then? Needless to say, Skippy goes on his merry way, with no mention of a backstage tour, or a Fresca with the band, or anything.

This humiliation was followed by almost two hours spent gridlocked in the parking lot and on the highway with Close-Personal-Friend-of-Dave Senior and Junior in the back seat. Throughout the journey home, Close-Personal-Friend-of-Dave-Senior had a personal connection she felt compelled to share for any celebrity that was brought up. “Sarah McLachlan?  Oh, my other daughter designs her evening gowns.  Hanson?  My best friend from high school plays cards with their Mom. Tom Cruise?  Poor, misunderstood Tommy?  Oh, he  worked at the ice cream shop I used to frequent. Always gave me extra sprinkles.’ It took all the self control I could muster to not bellow, ‘LINCOLN?  ABE Lincoln?  Do you know him?  What about Moses?  Charlamagne ?  Hmmmmmm?’ 

A-holes.

And did I mention that my AARP card is coming in the mail any day now because during the show, while so many girls in front of me danced like free spirits without a care in the world, I was in my seat, calmly enjoying a cardboard container of NACHOS. They went well with the second-hand pot smoke wafting down from the lawn seats behind me.

Totally pathetic.

This ant’s marching out.

My Karaoke Life in 17 Pictures (In Which I Question Some Former Hairstyles)

I greatly enjoy cooking, reading, (very) (occasionally) jogging, playing trivia, writing, watching the MLB, and partaking in a number of other rather passive pastimes. But when it comes to pure unadulterated fun, there are few activities I like more than karaoke. And it’s not a phase, ladies and gentlemen. I’ve been on the karaoke circuit (if there is such a thing) for more than a dozen years, have more than 100 different song attempts under my belt, and am always in search of the newest venue or the latest song to challenge my meager pipes.  Now that I don’t having a driving commute, however, I’ve lost my practice venue, so some of my song attempts are totally on the fly.

While relaxing over Christmas, I was looking through some Facebook photos, and realized that karaoke was a very consistent theme. Some of the pictures below are bittersweet for various reasons, but there are universal truths that haven’t changed. ‘Baby Got Back’ done expertly by a couple of white chicks will still impress the right crowd, ‘The Rose’ should NEVER be performed — EVER — and while you may think alcohol can help your skills, all it can do is make you sloppy.

Without further ado, here are some high- and low-lights of my karaoke life, in pictures. Please excuse the gap between the early 2000s (when everyone was getting married and had professional photographers on the scene) and 2010 (when everyone had cell phone cameras at the ready).

January, 2001.  Childhood BFF Amy (who will show up a lot) and I sing ‘Baby Got Back’ at fellow BFF Rebecca’s wedding. I was about 19 red wines deep at the time. I appear to have cornrows and may or may not be a vampire, if we’re using my skin tone to judge.  This song led into a solo rendition of ‘Baby, One More Time.’  In unrelated news, my boyfriend at the time broke up with me about 36 hours later.

April, 2001.  Amy and I at it (‘Baby Got Back’) once again at Amy’s bachelorette party.  Believe those are still cornrows, ladies and gentlemen.  And who wears a white shirt out on a night that involves drinking on a bus?  We won’t begin to discuss Amy’s outfit – it was a bachelorette party in 2001, am I right?!

October, 2004. My bachelorette party.  Believe I’m singing Duran Duran’s ‘Rio.’ And I appear to be slightly more into it than any of my friends and relatives. The Bud’s chubby in my left hang is clinging to my pinky for dear life. THAT?  Is passion, ladies and gentlemen.

April, 2005. Zapata’s Mexican Restaurant in Collinsville, IL.  Where once I entered a karaoke contest so unashamedly rigged it made Idol’s inclusion of Sanjaya in the top 10 seem entirely legitimate.  And speaking of Duran Duran, this is the first exhibit of me singing karaoke while wearing a Duran Duran tee shirt … 

May, 2005. … and here is the second. Simon & John & Nick & Andy (sniff) & Roger. With a jean jacket and a red SKIRT, and the DEVIL HORNS UP HIGH, everyone.  Rep-re-sent.  This was at Ole Morales Tacos in Alton, IL.  Because when you sing karaoke at a Mexican restaurant in suburban St. Louis, you must wear a tee shirt honoring one of the biggest British New Wave bands of the 80s. It’s a known rule.

July, 2006. Yes, that’s my Hanson tee that I still wear to this day.  And my faded jeans that may or may not have had a hole in the knee.  That’s also my karaoke machine on the fireplace, which brought joy to no fewer than two dozen high school friends at this impromptu lake house reunion one summer in Chattanooga.

September, 2007. Me and the lovely Dr. Christine belting out … I have NO IDEA.  ‘I Touch Myself,’ maybe?  I think?  No recollection of this happening, but I look vaguely terrified. And am so ready to run that I’ve brought my purse on stage with me. This was Molly’s pseudo-surprise 30th birthday party in Atlanta. What bar are we in?  No idea.  Probably a Mexican restaurant.

November, 2008. Back to Zappata’s.  Back to ‘Baby Got Back’ with Amy. I appear to be doing a Corona-enhanced jig.

March, 2010. At my friend Ken’s wife’s surprise 30th birthday party. I’m with Ken’s cousin Claudine here, scared out of my wits as (I think) I was just conned into singing ‘Party in the U.S.A.’ and had no interest in moving my hips like anything in a room full of relative strangers.  I sang roughly 75% of all karaoke songs performed that night.  Yeah, I’m that party guest.

May, 2010. With Cincy pals Kelly and Leslie.  Leslie is ROCKING. OUT.  Can’t remember what we were singing, but the KJ appears more interested in playing with a metal turtle than listening to us.

August, 2010.  Ahhh … Four Trey’s.  The pride of Roscoe Village, Chicago. Note the Christmas lights.  In August.  And the trash can right by my feet, suitable for karaoke-induced vomiting.  My Chattanooga-turned-Chicago-turned-back-to-Chattanooga friend Amy (different Amy) and I used to enjoy wowing the crowd with little-remembered Wham! ditty, ‘I’m Your Man.’  This photo was snapped during her solo.

September, 2010.  Woo hoo!  Live band karaoke at the 10 High bar in Atlanta for Molly’s 33rd birthday. Bringing a bit of Illinois to the Peach State, I attempted some Cheap Trick – ‘Surrender,’ to be specific.  Kind of difficult with a key change right off the turnbuckle.

December, 2010. Okay, so this may look like a hot mess, or a party for nerds in someone’s basement circa 1993.  Neither conclusion is exactly wrong.  This convergence of attitude and outfits was at Lincoln Karaoke, the Asian karaoke stop north of Chicago that features private rooms, neon tambourines, overpriced draft beer, Solo cups (apparently), and more fun than should be allowed on any given evening. We are all wearing our 90s finest (I’m in a plaid-on-plaid-on-long-underwear tribute to Angela Chase) and if you look closely, the song we’re all singing is the Spice Girls “Wannabe.”  From left to right, that’s Molly, me, Suzanne, Taylor, some rando dude that was in our group somehow but didn’t get the dress-code memo, and Christine.

June, 2011. Jump!  For my love!  JUMP. IN. I shall, friends.  I shall.  This is at my friend’s Julian’s lake house, the best adult playground on the planet. Some like the jet-skis.  Others, the shuffleboard table. I prefer the less potentially deadly entertainment of the do-it-yourself karaoke roulette wheel of shame. Sometimes you discover songs in your wheelhouse that should be brought out for public consumption.  Other times (e.g. Fleetwood Mac’s ‘You Make Lovin’ Fun’), you grow to accept that some songs should be left to the original artists.

August, 2011. St Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands.  One of two places I’ve done outdoor karaoke – the other was Vegas. Here, Leslie and I are attempting to rock right now with Rob Base (and DJ E-Z Rock’s) ‘It Takes Two.’ Was not the crowd for this attempt, folks.  Was not the crowd.

November, 2011. Alice’s, in a remote area in northwest Chicago.  Hipsters, bikers, and Bruno Mars enthusiasts, all friendly, all talented.  Karaoke Fred likes his singers talented, his crowd relatively sober (despite the bar being open until 4:00), and his inflatable instruments neon-colored.  This is a magical place, despite the trend of everyone getting just one chance per night to sing.  Here I’m doing a standby, JCM’s ‘Hurts So Good.’

December, 2011. The Blue Frog, a wee itty bitty, super classy, karaoke dive spot in Chicago’s Gold Coast.  In the right-hand side of the foreground, John and Lauren are intently reviewing the relatively pristine karaoke books.  I’m in the background in a silver skirt, rather dressy for the venue but it was my birthday (observed).  Later in the night, I would get my hair attached to those Christmas decorations you see behind my head there.  While singing Ke$ha. Not my proudest moment. The party don’t start till I walk in.

Thanks for indulging me in this trip down karaoke’s storied memory lane!  And this gallery, sadly, doesn’t even include shots of three of my karaoke mainstays – Lebo’s in Cincinnati (every Friday, 1998 – 2001), MLT (also Cincinnati, every Tuesday, same years), and Martini Bar (Chicago, many Thursdays in 2011).

And last but not least, I’d like to share  a photo of my pal Marilyn.  This is from a few weeks ago at Tostada’s (another Mexican restaurant!) in Cincinnati.  I first met Marilyn in the late 90s at Lebo’s, where she would sing anything from Reba McEntire to Joan Jett. She had her standard comfort-zone favorites, but also wasn’t afraid to add something new to the mix.  Everywhere she goes she makes fans and friends, and always has her supportive husband by her side, switching places at the table when she takes the stage  so that she can watch the singers the rest of the time but he can watch her when she’s got the mic. Marilyn has to be pushing 80 these days.  So as far as I can figure, and God willing, I’ve got at least 40 or so good years of John Cougar Mellencamp, Ke$ha, and Sir Mix-a-Lot ahead of me. Stay tuned.

Sting Concert, Old Friendships, and More (In Which I Daydream About Lyrics)

One of my oldest friends, Sendil, had a quick trip to Chicago this weekend, his new lady-friend in tow. Sendil and I go way back – more than two decades – here’s proof!  That’s him, far left, with the Members Only jacket.  Forgivable for 1991.  I’m in the middle, rocking the too-big suede jacket and overly curled mushroom haircut.  Not as forgivable. Nor is the alien/phallic/Halloween-themed-in-September balloon hat rising out of the background.

Oh, the 90s

Here we are, older, wiser, and more attractive (even in workout gear), running the Chicago Gay Pride 5K in June.  (Sendil isn’t gay, not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I don’t want to crush his game unnecessarily).

The combination of Sendil’s visit and the main event of the weekend – an amazing, musically progressive Sting concert – got me thinking about the power a songwriter can wield over the object of his or her affection.  Seriously, what lady wouldn’t like to be told that ‘Every little thing [you do] is magic?’

Sendil – always purely a platonic friend – is the only guy to have ever serenaded me. But to be clear, it was at a high-school talent show, I was pulled up on stage with no warning (while wearing a tucked-in flannel and jean skirt, as I recall), and the song directed my way was ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic’s ‘Good Enough for Now,’ which features such lyrics as:

You’re pretty close to what I’ve always hoped for
That’s why my love for you is fairly strong
And I swear I’m never gonna leave you, darlin’
At least ’til something better comes along

‘Cause you’re sort of everything I ever wanted
You’re not perfect, but I love you anyhow
You’re the woman that I’ve always dreamed of
Well, not really…but you’re good enough for now

Still, it was nice just to be included.

While every girl dreams of being serenaded (like, for real), only the rare and the proud ever reach that utmost pinnacle of rock-and-roll legend: the songwriting muse. Pattie Boyd. Dave Coulier. Pattie BoydWarren Beatty or whoever. Rosanna Arquette. Pattie Boyd. Damn, girl.

Note that the songs written for women are earnest and sweet (save the hints of sarcasm in ‘Wonderful Tonight.’)  ‘You Oughta Know’ and ‘You’re So Vain,’ however? Skew heavily toward the bitterness side of the scale. Ladies be crazy.

Other than perhaps a mean-spirited parody or two in fifth grade, I must say I don’t think a song has ever been written about me.  But here are a few lines I wish had been:

Dizzy, Goo Goo Dolls

You’re cynical and beautiful
You always make a scene
You’re monochrome, delerious
You’re nothing that you seem
I’m drownin’ in your vanity
Your laugh is a disease
You’re dirty and you’re sweet
You know you’re everything to me

This isn’t even that complimentary.  Cynical, vain, unpredictable, potentially misleading.  And yet the stanza wraps with a “you’re everything to me” despite it all.

Rio, Duran Duran

You know you’re something special
And you look like you’re the best 

So she’s confident, right? The titular heroine of the song already knows she is one of many special things but the singer assures her that she is, in fact the best.

Ain’t That Unusual, Goo Goo Dolls

See I’d love to be you 
‘Cause at least then I’d see you 

Yes, another GGD song.  It’s a sickness. Probably because singer/songwriter Johnny Rzeznik and I were BFFs for about nine seconds once:

This line is so gut-wrenchingly pathetic that you just have to laugh. And then cry. And then curl up in the fetal position with a bag of pita chips.

Love Song, The Cure 

Whenever I’m alone with you
You make me feel like I am fun again

Was Robert Smith ever fun, really? Still a sweet sentiment.

Ladies (and gents), what song lyric do you like to pretend was penned about you?  I’m really hoping here that no one quotes ‘The Purple People Eater.’