Saturday, March 6, 2010

Old Apartment

This song came up on my iPod yesterday on the way to the grocery store, and I listened to it three times in a row.

If you're not familiar with The Barenaked Ladies, I would recommend watching the video over reading this post. While probably currently best-known for writing and composing the theme song for The Big Bang Theory, they have a long history of really fine music with intelligent and often humorous lyrics. This particular song has been a favorite of mine for a long time. It's a wonderful reminder of the intensity with which love can sting, and how quickly that pain can take us to a dark and bizarre emotional place. This is especially true when we're young.

I have been cruising memory lane a good bit lately, what with recent Facebook activities and talk of various reunions, and this one took me straight to grade nine and LC. Not LC specifically, but to the breakup of our relationship. I had met LC at church camp the previous summer, and we dated through most of ninth grade. The bulk of this time was spent in her parents' basement trying to wear each others lips off. The intensity may have been enhanced because this was all happening in the shadow of her father's very impressive gun collection.

As I recall, LC decided sometime in the Spring that she was done with it. I couldn't tell you why. I doubt I ever thought to ask. All I knew was that it sucked more than anything had ever sucked in the history of things that sucked. I pleaded and railed. I walked in the rain. I punched walls and telephone poles. I made ill-considered phone calls at inappropriate times. Surprisingly, none of it worked. We stayed broken up forever. I knew I would never recover. And I didn't. At least not until I started dating Red a few months later.

It's not that we don't feel pain when we get older. My father's death hit me harder than I thought anything could at this point in my life. And I really hate to imagine what it would do to me if The Wife and I broke up. It's just that we (hopefully) eventually gain a tiny bit of perspective, and come to realize that what is happening to us is neither unique nor probably fatal, and that we will live to play/love/work/whatever another day. The lack of inertia in teen emotions is entertaining and dangerous, and a significant part of what makes it the time of our life we often remember best, at least in terms of minor triumphs and tragedies.


  1. love BNL and this is a good one (my fav is "Jane").

    i don't know about "pain management" getting easier as we age. my heart gets shattered with the compounded intensity of every break up i've ever experienced each and every time i get dumped... hence, my propensity to remain a free agent.

    we are who we were.

  2. I confess to being an old lady. I had heard OF the BNL, but I had never heard anything by them. Nice sound. I like.
    Also an excellent post.

  3. I've always enjoyed BNL...thanks for that!
    There is definitely more drama in a teenager's life...things tone down as we get older, although they can still hurt like hell.

  4. BNL is one of my favorite bands in the last 20 years. Those vocals give me goosebumps. I think I'm in love with that voice. And I'm old, BTW.

    I remember walking around in Boston several years ago and there was this weird-sounding band called Barenaked Ladies giving a free concert in Government Center. We skipped it but when I heard them later, I was very sorry we had.

    As for your pain, I truly believe each of these difficult times in our lives contribute to who we are. But there's nothing like young love.

  5. Really interesting post. From the start of the song to the memory of childhood (brought on by FB no less) and how we understand pain.

    I think that's what I fear the most.. losing someone I love. Nobody close to me has ever died. I know life goes on, but would feel like a part of my heart was left empty.