Oh, I really should have known
By the time you drove me home
By the vagueness in your eyes
Your casual goodbyes
By the chill in your embrace
The expression on your face, told me
Maybe, you might have some advice to give
On how to be insensitive
That’s Jann Arden, “Insensitive.” She wants advice on how to be insensitive. That’s an easy one! go out on a date with a beta who’s really into you. There is a saying that I am not translating gracefully: w tym caly ambaras, aby oboje chcieli na raz — “there’s the rub: if only both desired the same, at the same time.” Other songs:
Lay down with me, tell me no lies
Just hold me close, don’t patronize
— Bonnie Raitt, I Can’t Make You Love Me.
I know that living with you baby was sometimes hard
But I’m willing to give it another try
— Sinnead O’Connor, Nothing Compares to You.
I really feel that I’m losin’ my best friend
I can’t believe this could be the end
— No Doubt, Don’t Speak.
And there is Jewel, Foolish Games. The song is a lyrical portrait of the lover she’s losing. I heard that ballad on the car radio with my then-girlfriend in 1997, when it was just released. The melody was nice so we listened to it in silence. She turned to me when the song ended and said with a lump of emotion in her throat, “That guy is so you.”
You’re always brilliant in the morning
Smoking your cigarettes and talking over coffee
We were on the outs not long after. She gave me the marriage ultimatum. Men propose. Women hint, then they test you with a fake missed-period scare, and then they do the ultimatum — to which I said No.
I said it with seriousness, given the gravity of that moment in both of our lives late that night. She was good to me. A year younger than me but already working in her field as I was belatedly finishing college. I had let school work pile up from procrastination, all of it due that week. And that evening she put on a pot of coffee and told me that she will keep me company all night as I get my work done. And she had to be at work the next morning.
I didn’t want to marry her and my reasons were my own. I left her after that ultimatum and not long after, she met another man whom she married pretty quickly. He was a brash up-and-comer who tried locking horns with me as though he feared, absurdly, that he’s her second choice. I haven’t had any contact with her since the ’90s but a mutual friend tells me that they’re doing well, living at the other end of the country.
Young people’s foolish games make for great songs and sometimes, things work out right for everyone. Open thread.