i need somebody to make me a mixtape. i might even be willing to tell you exactly what to put on it to achieve maximum giggling heartswooning meltiness, but you gotta find a boombox and some blank cassettes and lock yourself in your room figuring out which songs to put in what order. i used to really, i mean really really, get into my mixtapes. i would try to time the songs so that nothing got cut off and make these painstaking inserts with all of the artists and titles neatly printed within, then listen to each one on my drugstore walkman to make sure that it flowed the way i wanted it to. you know, because i had messages to convey. deep, lusty messages simmering with hormones. LIKE THOSE FOUND IN UNREQUITED CRUSHES. man i miss those days, when you could pour out all your soppy little tender lovefeelings onto a memorex cassette and if the object of your affections was grossed out by them you could save face by claiming you just wanted him to notice how amazing those chord progressions were. i mean, duh.
a sampling of my teenage angst:
ben harper "forever."
juliana hatfield "congratulations."
they might be giants "women and men."
faith no more "land of sunshine."
tribe called quest "jazz (we've got)."
fiona apple "carrion."
cranberries "i still do."
smashing pumpkins "soma."
the roots "i remain calm."
pj harvey "fountain."
hole "softer, softest."
ben folds five "missing the war."
the breeders "mad lucas."
k's choice "not an addict."
sinead o'connor "gloomy sunday."
ida "little things."
pearl jam "off he goes."
tori amos "the wrong band."
ani difranco "hour follows hour."
90s era sam was emo as fuck.
YESTERDAY WAS MY GODDAMN BIRTHDAY. i know you don't give a fuck because today is valentine's day and that imaginary boyfriend you've been lying to your friends about either needs to materialize bearing an armload of expensive flowers or be killed by some wild shit like a bear or an army of weaponized bees. as much as i despise heart-shaped cakes and unimaginative glittery red cards, my birthday has long provided a welcome distraction from all of the anxious hand-wringing inspired by cupid and his satchel full of arrows. thank horus for getting older.
valentine's day really stresses you regular people out. i feel kind of bad for humans not born on february 13 with those of us who get to ride a sugary birthday wave until we crash against the shore somewhere around the middle of next week. single people: chins up. nobody has a good valentine's day. if you're with someone, guaranteed that asshole is going to do something irritating to ruin what was supposed to be your perfect day. it's inevitable. the more you hype a thing, the higher the likelihood that it gets ruined. when i was a kid my mom made a super fucking huge deal about picture day. hot combs, bobby pins, straighteners, rollers: THE WORKS. she would walk me to school bound in a straight jacket, threatening my premature death at her hand the entire way if my pictures didn't reflect the concerted effort she'd put into my appearance that morning. and every year i failed, playing as hard as i could all day before tumbling into the makeshift lifetouch photo studio at two o'clock covered in scrapes and dirt and pieces of lunch. that's what valentine's day is like: paying fifty bucks for a picture of a dirty six-year-old who never picks up her toys and feeds her vegetables to the dog.
and if you're not with someone: MORE PANTS OFF DANCE-OFFS ALONE IN YOUR APARTMENT. it's just you and hulu and the delivery dude from that filipino place you love so much, and that motherfucker is only going to be around for 45 seconds max. the problem with this stupid day, obviously, is that romance is dead and everyone is an idiot. plus our expectations are too goddamned high. i'm not saying you have to lower your standards in order to better enjoy the feast of saint valentine (YES I AM), i'm just saying that olive garden is delicious and affordable and unlimited breadsticks > a teddy bear from walgreens any day. don't be let down today by this garbage holiday because no one proposed to you with a blood diamond so expensive it's going to get him evicted, just remember that almost everyone you know is sad and poor and of limited imagination. in the meantime: ROMANTIC SHIT WE NEED TO BRING THE FUCK BACK.
1 lovemaking. maybe i'm old. scratch that, i'm probably old. I AM THIRTY-MOTHERFUCKING-FIVE TODAY. and you know what i wanna do on a friday night? let me set the scene: i wanna drag my tired ass home after a grueling week of making the white man money, swap my pajama-style work clothes for my work-style pajama clothes, order $37 in takeout from grubhub, SOB THROUGH AN EPISODE OF SHARK TANK, fall asleep while waiting for my dinner, sleep-eat on the toilet, drink half a bottle of wine standing over the kitchen sink, then pass out awkwardly in my desk chair. what i don't wanna do? get fucked. ever again. you don't have to interlock my fingers or stare meaningfully into my eyes, but i can't have bitches climbing on me like a goddamn jungle gym. I'M KIND OF OLD, OKAY. and so are the rest of you. now get down off that chandelier in your fancy lingerie and ask that dude to make gentle love to those swollen ankles.
2 breakfast in bed. okay, i'm definitely old. i want to eat my frittata like i'm in a fucking hospital bed, propped up on four ice-cold pillows with a catheter of saline dripping at a steady clip into my thirsty veins. i can't get enough goddamned rest. i had to go into the hospital for a sleep study last week because for the past eight months i've been hitting my head and burning myself on the radiator while sleepwalking, and every time my alarm goes off it feels like the beginning of a bad dream. i'm tired of new shit happening to my body. every time i look in the mirror new moles and skin tags are waving back at me like, "HAY GIRL HAY!" when do we get a break!? all of a sudden half my hair is gray and i'm allergic to a bunch of shit i wasn't two weeks ago. IS THERE TRULY NO REST FOR THE WICKED. i don't need a wilting rose, just put the toaster on the right setting and hand that shit to me without blocking the tv for too many seconds. viva la romance!
3 handwritten letters. pictures of boobs are okay and everything, but they're just, you know, hanging there. or propped up on a clavicle. or rolling into a stubbled armpit. i like tits in my phone, for sure, but what i really like is handwritten proof of undying devotion. the next time you drop your phone in the toilet without having uploaded your most recent cache of sexts to the cloud you're gonna wish a bitch sent you a couple hallmark cards. it is the very best feeling.
4 know what kind of shampoo i use. the honeymoon period only lasts so long, my dudes. there are only so many months i can keep my toenails clipped reasonably short while simultaneously remembering to take all my trash out every week and maintain my image as the shea buttered, poreless clean freak you encountered the very first time you entered my apartment. i can keep that up for two maybe three visits and then SORRY HO, THERE'S A RING AROUND MY TUB. i'm a real person. but the nicest thing someone can do for you is make life easier, and if you're at target and buy me a tube of eucerin sensitive skin cream i will wash your feet with my hair. who needs a horse-drawn carriage when you bring home a bacon egg and cheese biscuit with a coke (extra ice) because you know that shit's my jam!? NO ONE, THAT'S WHO. swoon city.
good luck, everybody. i hope you know how much i love you.
valentine mixtape, what.