Wednesday, September 22, 2010

my life is an avril lavigne song

I am not inherently cool. I have a blog. I write posts about my cat. I listen to top 40 radio. I cried when I saw Lady Gaga in concert. None of it bothers me enough to better myself, though. I am mostly shameless now because it's too much work to hide this stuff. I used to be way cooler.

Like many teenagers, there was a brief window of time where I really tried to be liked.

High school is usually the place where you change yourself to impress all the assholes who will never really care about you because they're too busy caring about themselves. Why are 'popular' kids so publicly revered when they're actually violently feared and secretly loathed?

Upon entering my freshman year, I decided others would perceive me as the weirdo: someone shy, reserved, misunderstood, insert Fall Out Boy lyrics here. but I wasn't creepy or determined enough to be much of an outcast, so I chose instead to relate to my fellow classmates in painstakingly transparent fashion.

I started showering daily and stopped being a social recluse. I feigned apathy, began swearing and stopped carrying my Hello Kitty CD player with me. I downloaded "good" music and shunned pop. I started wearing eyeliner. I applied it, in true 16 year old fashion, very poorly and resembled an angry panda for a few months, all the while thinking I looked totally badass, so rock n' roll, Joan Jett would be proud. Kurt Cobain was suddenly the coolest dude I'd never met and I lived my life by the book of Jimi Hendrix.

I genuinely fell in love with plenty of rock, grunge and classic rock, but I also faked interest in way too many bands I just didn't like. I still have Jane's Addiction and The Smiths in my iTunes from when I pretended to like them. It is so painful to pretend to like a band especially when you are me. I was dedicated to the lie on the off chance I could impress a boy, which meant listening to their entire discographies, constantly. I'm talking b-sides, Japan-only releases, live recordings. I used to be creepily determined to get what I wanted, despite much failure.

I also knew who I was supposed to be to make it more believable. I couldn't care about fashion, babies, books, joy, etc. What was my favorite color? Black. My favorite time of day? Night. My favorite season? Winter. Favorite emotion? Death.

so disaffected, so sad, so hip
Of course none of it worked, so I abandoned it all in frustration. Who cares if I listen to the All American Rejects? They have perfected the art of catchy pop punk and I am no longer ashamed. I aired out my dirty little secret, you're not the only who needs to know.

It is rare that I get embarrassed over stuff I like anymore. Justin Bieber is one of the few exceptions to that. I know everyone in the universe and my life thinks it's creepy because I'm like 8 years older than him and probably 8 inches taller, but if putting "My World 2.0" on repeat during finals week is wrong, then baby I don't want to be right. It is not entirely without shame, though, - the first time I downloaded "Baby" I immediately changed the artist to "The Beatles ft Ludacris" so my last.fm wouldn't out me to the world as a 22 year old Belieber.

Once it was discovered that I wasn't listening to a mashup of The Beatles and Ludacris, I just had to own it. I'm not hip enough to like things ironically. Besides, nobody really likes anything ironically anyway.  You listen to Miley Cyrus as a joke? No you don't.  Go ahead, put your hands up, they're playing your song. You know you're gonna be okay. It's a party in the USA
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