So, recently I got engaged. Yeah, it’s been a real ball — especially for her, as she’s already three to four Google docs into planning — but it’s also changed things. Our parents now have each other’s phone numbers, I can’t be honest with my feelings and say stuff like “Christ, your sister looked great tonight,” and I’ll never be able to watch Singles again without having a nervous breakdown. And for some reason, you find yourself innately pestering your close friends with idiotic questions like, “Oh, when are you two making the jump?” Granted, it’s only been a month. And two weeks. And a couple of days.
This week, I’m a bit lost on Valentine’s Day. It’s always been one of my favorite holidays. (Third only to Halloween and Thanksgiving.) However, it all feels pretty trivial at this stage: What the hell does a card mean anymore? Flowers? Chocolates? Mixtapes? Aren’t these behind us? I’m sure every loved one would scream back a big “HELL NO”, but yeah, it’s just not the same.
Though, I’m not the same anymore. Since the “big question” — and the shortly-followed “bigger answer” — my mind’s been a broken Rubik’s cube, shifting uncontrollably between the (ir)rational fear of infinite closure, the injections of excitement over the suh-weet ceremony, or the recurring Bluth conclusion.
As a result, I’ve escaped into different mediums. I especially enjoyed all five seasons of Friday Night Lights namely for Coach Taylor’s relationship with his wife (Wouldn’t that be nice), I’ve been listening to Fleetwood Mac in a whole new light (Wouldn’t that be awful), and I’m sickly gung ho about grocery shopping (Wouldn’t that taste good).
Still, I couldn’t not make a mixtape for St. Valentine. As I’ve come to learn, some habits will never change, but the content certainly has. Below, you’ll find what I consider to be the essential playlist for the eternally engaged, aka those endlessly dissecting their decisions, reupholstering their futures, and seeking solace with their instincts. Let it soak, gather your thoughts, and then, seriously, get a card, flowers, dinner, or something for your loved one.
p.s. Heather, I hope you dig this.
Valentine’s Day for the Eternally Engaged
01. The Replacements – “Little Mascara”
Leave it to Paul Westerberg to scribble the most telling poetry: “All you ever wanted was someone to take care of ya.”
02. Wire – “Sand In My Joints”
This one’s a little on the negative side, especially with that final line. Again, it’s all about the motions, people!
03. The Choir – “I’m Going Home”
I’ve been on a real retro garage kick lately. This one “spoke to me.”
04. Sonic Youth – “The Neutral”
It still bums me the fuck out that Thurston and Kim aren’t together anymore. Perhaps she grew tired of the dreamer, singer, and poet. Or maybe he did.
05. T.Rex – “Hot Love”
I’ll always aspire to be her “two-penny prince.” How lovely, huh?
06. David Bowie – “Be My Wife”
Lost on vows? Here are a couple ideas.
07. The Tears – “Lovers”
Nostalgia can make or break one’s thoughts — even if it’s sappy memories about “the silly things we do.”
08. The Flaming Lips – “When You Smile”
If I live to be 55 and can say each lyric here without an ounce of irony, I’ll die a happy man at 56.
09. Fleetwood Mac – “Think About Me”
“But if I’m the one you love / Think about me.” #realtalk
10. INXS – “Don’t Change”
True love should feel as impacting as each guitar note in this song.