Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Surrender, But Don't Give Yourself Away

Got my Kiss records out.

On paper, I should have loved Cheap Trick. They had catchy songs, solid harmonies, enough power chords to keep things interesting, an offbeat sense of humor, and they had to go to Japan to become stars. Plus they worshipped the Beatles.

But in reality, I never quite cared for them. They always seemed to be one tattoo away from heavy metal (and I wasn't a huge fan of heavy metal). And thousands of screaming fans in Japan weren't going to change that.

Then there was the bizarre way they looked: Bun E. Carlos seemed more like your Dad's accountant than a drummer, Rick Nielson seemed like he was constantly pissed that his picture wasn't in the dictionary under "irony," Robin Zander seemed like couldn't wait for the 80s to invent hair metal, and Tom Petersson always seemed confused that he hadn't wound up in a band like Wings. (Link for Gmail subscribers.)

On paper, Sheila and I should have been a couple. We were in several classes together and we always had fun hanging out. But we had no chemistry. (Plus, we had almost no common ground musically and therefore had little chance in my eyes.) Still, I was young and didn't really know much about these things.

In Junior High and High School, these negotiations mostly involved third-parties. So one day, a mutual friend took me aside and asked me how I felt about Sheila. And I had to think. I liked her, but I didn't like-her like her. But maybe I could grow to like-her like her. I don't remember what I told the third-party negotiator, but it was wishy-washy. I don't remember if it was because I really didn't know or because I just didn't want to hurt Sheila's feelings. Or maybe the idea of a girl having a crush on me was such an ego boost that I didn't mind trying to force my own feelings into a box they didn't fit into.

And then the next morning, Sheila asked me if I'd been listening to the radio the night before. I hadn't. I'd been trying to finish my homework and listening to late-night talk radio from Canada. She said she'd dedicated a song to me -- this song (embedding disabled, so you'll have to click here).

She wanted me to want her. And I wanted that too. But what works on paper doesn't always work in real life -- whether or not you walk in on your parents (or whether or not they're listening to your Kiss records -- ironically or otherwise).

And while I was young and didn't really know much, at least I knew that.


Who Am Us Anyway? said...

Like many people, i guess, I've been on both ends of that kind of situation, and while they're all painful, I think having to disappoint and hurt someone you like is the worst deal ever.

Alex said...

Yeah. Plus, there's the fact that teenagers almost never handle anything well...

Kinky Paprika said...

You've finally helped me figure out why I don't like Rick Nielsen:
He's trying too hard.

(I feel like Charlie Brown at Lucy's psychiatry booth, when he yells "THAT'S IT!" and Lucy goes spinning ass over teakettle.)