Feeling Old

Some days I feel more like an old person than others. This past Friday was one of those days, spending time with girls from our youth group as we decorated for a surprise birthday party. They had the radio blaring, which was okay because… I don’t need loud noises to feel energetic, but sometimes it’s fun, and they loved it, so I kind of settled in a happy place in my mind and focused on the task I had at hand.
My complacency was shaken though, when TGIF by Katy Perry came on. Radio overwhelms me sometimes because so much new music is SO skanky. And it’s awkward for me to listen in on artists bragging about how drunk they were when they slept with so many strangers and how they can’t wait to do it again. “It’s a blacked out blur, but I’m pretty sure it ruled.” Thanks for that Katy, please, keep sharing your “artistry” with young people. If everyone keeps acting like that’s what grown-ups do, then eventually it will become self-fulfilling prophecy, and anyone who gets burned can just feel like losers for having regrets.
I remember a girl I used to work with who frequently had bad reactions to alcohol and would black out if she drank too much. Did she drink less? No, because what is the fun in partying without drinking? One day she came to in a strange part of town with no underwear and her pants on backwards. Proof of a great party, I guess.

So my happy place slipped away beyond my grasp when the girls started singing along to the next song, Give Me Everything by Pitbull. “Excuse me, but I might drink a little more than I should tonight, and I might take you home with me if I could tonight, and baby Imma make you feel so good tonight, cuz we might not get tomorrow… Can’t promise tomorrow, but I promise tonight.” I decided to make a compromise with the OLD lady that was freaking out inside my head and instead of lecturing these poor girls about filling their minds with trash I just said that if they ever get hit on by some guy saying he’d like to get drunk and take them home, then they should call me for a ride and I will come pick them up.

It’s “just a song” I know. And I remember being 16/17, wishing desperately that I could be one of those girls who is sexy and powerful and desirable and in control. Singing along, dancing around my room, dreaming of the day when I could be a woman who gets noticed and wanted and isn’t afraid or awkward about the attention.

But falling in love for real, growing up and finding yourself, becoming strong sometimes – this is all so much better in real life than in a shallow club hit. Why this is the music that makes billions of dollars while artists who tell stories and weave ideas and create beauty and improve the world are so often sidelined.

So I am officially an old person, I guess – grossed out by sweaty-sounding songs about bottles and bodies. If it’s a true portrait of some people’s lives, that just makes it more awful. And I hate that people I care about listen to this crap for hours a day and don’t think anything of it.

And with my rant concluded, I will now blare some Taylor Swift while I clean my apartment 🙂

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