Oh Valentine’s Day. Perhaps society’s most emotional holiday, which is saying something considering the vast majority of this goddamn country celebrates another festive occasion in which their savior was tortured and murdered. Slowly. Yet, everyone still earmarks this one on their calendars–usually with a little heart. How thought-provoking.
In honor of Cupid and his contumelious nature, Cinema Blend writer Jessica Grabert and I have decided to join forces on the greatest mixtape ever created. Yesterday, we took a little field trip to Staples and loaded up on Post It Notes. Then we took meticulous, irreverent and sometimes pointless musings and wrote them down throughout the day on said little yellow pads of paper. Only the most steamy and judgmental made the final cut, and each of the chosen few were given their own accompanying song. Side 1 is all Jessica, and side 2 is all Mack.
1) Bitch by Meredith Brooks: On the bus, minding my own business, my iPod dies while I’m having this feminist moment and I’m subjected to the following conversation. Girl 1: “I know it’s only Valentine’s Day, but John just doesn’t like get it. I told him nothing under two carats this year.” Girl 2: tittering in a girlish manner, “Like he can’t afford it, Seth already bought me roses, but I can’t wait for tonight.” Girl 1: “What do you think he’s going to get you?” Girl 2: “I don’t know, but it better be something good if he expects any tonight.” Sick.
2) Let Go by Frou Frou: Between classes, I go home to grab lunch. My roommate’s watching the part of The Holiday that is offset by “Let Go.” She’s also canoodling on my chair with some boy I’ve never seen before. I think I liked it better when she had a steady boyfriend. I know I could have gone a full day without the blatant image of her bare tits bouncing while Frou Frou croons gently in the background.
3) Rape Me by Nirvana: Five minutes later, I’m eating a fiber bar on my bed and blaring this ode to everything unromantic through my speakers. I’m amused.
4) Stardust by Louis Armstrong: Comparative literature. A mixed breed of English, tin pan alley, and that basic kindergarten “Match Game.” The waste of life rich kids take over the back, playing on their laptops and writing notes to their friends. Yes, as if it is middle school all over again. I know this because I sit in the back, but only so I can read without being subjected to judgmental looks by my professor. Anyway, there are three I’m-killing-myself-to-tan clones in my class—a blond, a brunette, and a redhead, aptly enough. They typically sit in their own little cancer corner, filing away on their nails and chatting idly. Today, two of them are desperately flirting, almost cooing, rubbing, touching, and complimenting the posse of boys sitting near them. The queen bee redhead is sitting back, filing her nails as usual. I bet she already has a date, that bitch.
5) Boom Boom by John Lee Hooker: English. I’m busy writing “Notes 2/14/08” at the top of my crisp white paper, when I glance over. Instead of the date, the pretty boy next to me has written “Valentine’s Day!!" in bold bubble letters. He’s carrying around a single rose in the side pocket of his backpack. Funnily enough, we’re discussing sexual violence in Blues music from the Delta. I find it fitting.
6) Happiness is a Warm Gun by The Beatles: I don’t have a date. I’m dating someone, but they live practically halfway across the universe, making Valentine’s Day all the more uninviting. On the other hand, I get the privilege, nay, the pleasure, of waiting tables during this holiday hell. I’ve put on The White Album and am blaring “Happiness is a Warm Gun.” Not. Excited. At. All.
7) Don’t Talk (Put your Head on my Shoulder) by The Beach Boys: Walk into work. We’re crowded already, at least for early afternoon. I’m momentarily excited because Brian Wilson is crooning through the speakers. Then I realize what song is playing and come to the conclusion that the corporation who runs this joint has no idea what they are doing. Seriously, this is the best song a seafood chain can play on Valentine’s Day? I mean, this song is brilliant, but harrowing. Am I really supposed to pass out chocolate martinis with a sidecar of Hershey’s kisses while Brian Wilson is making me want to slit my wrists?
8) Yellow Submarine by The Beatles: I’m breaking the mix tape “no doubles” rule, but I can’t help it. My fourth table is a college couple wanting nothing whatsoever to do with me. C’mon, I just bring the food people. I’m momentarily irritated, until I realize the female half of the couple is all doe-eyed and misty looking—like she’s just gotten out of bed or…or possibly been crying. I think he might be breaking up with her. To think, all she has is Ringo for solace? I kind of wish The Beach Boys would get thrown back on.
9) 1,2,3,4 by Feist: (Note: this should never appear on a well-thought out mix tape. Ever.) There’s only one song I can think of that I dislike more than “1,2,3,4” and it’s about an umbrella, which is saying something. The point is, business was dying down and I assumed I would be sent home when I received one last table. Of course, Feist plays while the guy paying leaves me four dollars on a fifty dollar ticket. Four? That, my friends, is bizarre. I’m fairly certain he and Feist have some sort of number conspiracy going on, or maybe the man simply needs help counting. I don’t need this, the man was with his wife, but kept staring at my chest. He could of at least thrown out a fiver. It’s my firm belief that rednecks should be banned from eating out.
1) Summertime Blues by Eddie Cochran: It’s colder than a Yeti’s nutsack outside. Some poon clown told me it was supposed to get up to fifty-five today. Too bad that blind optimism doesn’t extend to my defrosters, which may or may not have decided to hibernate for the winter. At least my iPod will emancipate me from this godawful, hellish slavery. Nope. It’s chosen “Summertime Blues” by Eddie Cochran. Perhaps, this is Steve Jobs’ idea of a joke. God, I hate Apple.
2) Talk Dirty To Me by Poison: I’m in my Creative Writing class. We’re brainstorming words and phrases associated with St. Valentine and his economy-boosting debacle of a holiday. Candy. Cards. Chocolate. I throw out crying. My teacher laughs, no doubt repressing memories of her last five February 14ths, all of which likely ended in uncontrollable sobbing. Now, we’re being forced to write a six line poem. This’ll do...
I wanted to pick you flowers.
I wanted to buy you roses.
I brainstormed for hours.
But then I discovered.
The only gift I’d give
thrusted in your satin covers.
3) Turning Japanese by The Vapors: I drive to class everyday. Most people take the bus, but I’d rather pay a dollar seventy-five a half hour to avoid the proletariat. Plus, I get to park twenty yards from the building. The endless stream of cars waiting to pay look like early photographs of those heinous, long lines at Ellis Island. What the hell is the holdup? Oh my God. An attractive woman has just left the tollbooth. She has frazzled hair and a rose. You’ve got to be kidding me. The creepy Asian guy who collects tickets for a living is going to get more ass than me today? God and I aren’t friends anymore.
4) Mrs. Robinson by Simon & Garfunkel: I’m at the gas station, procuring my Mountain Dew for the day. I normally wait until the evening, but eleven thirty seems like just as good at time as any right now. The cashier is in her fifties. Her nails are freshly painted, and her cheery smile contrasts sharply with the sad eyes it half-circles beneath. I can tell she used to be beautiful, but decades of gradual disappointment and broken hearts have darkened her still slightly rosy cheeks. I want to make her feel beautiful, if only for a second. I want to excite the tired little girl inside her. It didn’t need to be like this. One or two different choices, and she could have been a trophy wife with two kids in Medical School. I make small talk–mostly about the weather and slippery driving conditions. Tomorrow. Tomorrow, I will tell her how gorgeous she is.
5) Splish, Splash by Bobby Darin: I just got out of the shower. I’m a huge whore for hot water hitting me all up in the face. Plus, it’s a temporary escape. Everything is always fine within the narrow, elongated confines of the bathtub. Bookend Bobby Darin’s goofy voice against the drain’s slurpy chortle, and it’s an instant pick me up on par with caffeine or cocaine, if you’re feeling swirly.
6) Boom Boom Boom by Vengaboys: The wacky tidal wave of senseless dancing has manifested itself into a typhoon of family room tomfoolery. If Norman Rockwell was resurrected, he’d surely ask for a second round of swift death after catching sight of my uncoordinated, 90s pop slice of Americana. Fuck him, though. His Prozac paintings mock my current level of ironic detachment.
7) Can’t Fight This Feeling by REO Speedwagon: I’ve given up, aborted the cynical fight and accepted the cheesy, melodramatic embrace of sappy love songs. And what better place to start than with Billy Madison’s favorite band? I always thought the third stanza contained the line You’re a candle in the window, on a corndog winter’s night. It never made sense, but I just went with it. The internet just told me it’s cold, dark winter’s night. I’m not sure why this is so depressing, but I feel lied to and violated.
8) Joy To The World by Three Dog Night: I’m suddenly in a phenomenal mood. Why? Because I fired up my hookah and packed in a large pile of mint tobacco. I’m not supposed to be smoking; in fact, I shouldn’t be inhaling and blowing fumes everywhere. I quit, well, am trying to quit. This’ll just be our little secret. I’ll probably be pissed tomorrow morning at relieving my agitations all over my self-imposed ban, but what else is Valentine’s Day about, if not immediate gratification?
9) Shelter From The Storm by Bob Dylan: It’s dark outside. I just got home from dropping a friend off at the impound lot. He told a meter maid to go fuck herself. Apparently, Rita and her coworkers don’t take kindly to that sort of abrasive jargon. Oh well. I’m finding comfort in Bob Dylan’s sage-like advice right now, and I’m glad to know in less than three hours, I’ll have found shelter from the shitstorm that is St. Valentine’s Day.