Thursday, March 26, 2009

How Come Everyone Knows Everything I Don't

When I was a cheerleader in high school, we were assigned a football player who was the recipient of our secret "spirit" gifts. My football player, of course, had to have been the littlest guy on the team, probably playing offense for a few seconds each game. I was supposed to give this guy, from my small coffers of baby-sitting money, a gift each week during football season. I don't even know why I was a cheerleader to begin with; I would much rather have spent my Friday nights reading J.D. Salinger instead of jumping around in a mini-skirt, avoiding the bats that swooped the stadium lights of the football field... only to end up with demerits from my cheerleading coach because I wore the wrong socks or something.

I dreaded Thursday nights because I had to come up with something to give my shrimpy football player. For the first gift, I took some mints from my mother's handbag (purse she calls it) and stuck 'em in an envelope I decorated with quotations from Great Expectations. How embarrassed I was when I saw other cheerleaders giving their players cookie cakes and countless liters of soda. How did they already have a football gift-giving aesthetic?

How come everyone innately knows how to pretend to be an adult and I don't? It's really starting to piss me off. Take Midlake, for example. I'm so into their beautiful music right now. I've listened to "Roscoe" so many times in a row that it has surpassed "Decatur" (Sufjan Stevens) which was stuck on repeat when I was taking a bath. I even played Midlake for my old man's mother, who kept saying, "What is this beautiful music?" Everyone I talk to about Midlake responds with, "Oh yeah, they were really big last year" or something like that. Even my old man listened to them in the supposed last year and I wouldn't have known about them if he hadn't put them on when we were cleaning the house the other day. 

I'm here to tell you that I like Midlake. I read somewhere that members of this group are studied, which is totally sexy because rock 'n roll isn't all that complicated and it's a relief when someone makes it so. Layered, as they say. I don't care if they're already discovered because they're new to me. Am I some dumb impenetrable orb of a child because I choose discovery? Is this what I spent my whole life growing up for--to act as though I already know everything, like a cheerleader waiting for first down? Daylight is approaching, but I've been up long enough to know that every pillow in the house is uncomfortable. If I were a proper adult, I would've known which pillows were the good pillows.     

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