tales of a girl in the city

juin 10, 2005


I'm currently having a very complicated relationship with love songs. At the nail salon today, up to my calves in lavender-bubbled water, I found myself having an overly dramatic interior dialogue about every one of the lyrics. "Yes," I told Roxette, "Yes. I will listen to my heart!" "God," I conspired with Ms. Benetar, overcome by her simple profundity, "Love really is a battlefield."

Believe me, I am aware that this is incredibly silly.

Even sillier was my reaction in Barnes & Noble the other day to The Beatles. There I am, standing in the poetry section paging through some perfectly written Mark Doty, and the song they're playing in the store starts to get in my head:

When I find myself in times of trouble, mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom, "Let it be."

"What?" I thought to myself, putting down the Doty book, "Hold on a minute."

And in my hour of darkness, she is standing right in front of me, speaking words of wisdom, "Let it be."

"Wow," I think, "The Beatles so did not get girls."

I find myself fighting the urge to turn to the person next to me and share my revelation. Instead, I listen further, becoming a bit indignant.

"No woman would ever say that. I don't care if she is a virgin."

Doty is back on the shelf at this point, and I'm just standing their listening and thinking to myself:

"Pffft. Women do not just "let things be." We obsess about them. Let it be? What is that? I mean, come on. And we certainly don't give out that kind of advice. I promise you, Beatles, no version of the following conversation has ever taken place:

'So there I am, walking by his place on the way home from a party, and I see him kissing that slut Lucy! I mean, we've been dating for four months. And I don't know. Do I tell him I saw? Do I not tell him saw? Do I tell her saw? I mean, for fuck's sake, she's my cousin! What should I do?'

'Stacy, I've got three words for you: let it be.'

'Wow. You know what? You're totally right. You're so great at this. I feel much better. Hug?'

If I had a problem and Em told me to "just let it be," I'd kick her in the teeth. And I'm sure that people felt the same way about Mary if that really was the kind of advice she was doling out when she was around. They maybe just didn't have the nerve to say it to her face what with the possiblity of facing the wrath of God and all. This is a stupid song."

The real highlight of the moment was when I decided to sing "My friend Gary" softly over the real lyric whenever it came on: I woke up to the sound of music, my friend Gary comes to me....and so on. I found it made me feel better.

Bottom line is, I'm not listening to any music for the next couple of days.

Also, it may be time for medication.