Eating your lunch outside sounds like a pleasant, almost romantic way of going about the ingestion of food. But unfortunately, the scenic nature of this moment was likely ruined by the plethora of wasps drowsily throwing themselves at your stir fry. Lazy wasps can only mean one thing: summer is coming to an end. As their peers and business associates pack it in for the winter, the wasps try to get whatever small victories they can as their time to shine extends past it’s expiration date. Like a kid on Christmas Eve waiting for santa, the wasps struggle to keep their eyes open. They lower themselves onto unsuspecting broccoli, hoping against hope when they wake up the next day it will be July 1st all over again. But they lose the battle and finally admit defeat, closing their eyes one final time, dreaming of pollination.
Flick the dead wasp off your broccoli and turn your attention to the fact that soon it will be time to return to real life. Real life is a terrifying phenomenon. No longer will it be appropriate to wear the same pair of shorts for over a month. People will begin noticing, even commenting on the botched haircut your little sister gave you at your family’s cabin. With summer over, it’s time to return to your clique. It could be in the hallowed hallways of high school, clutching your brightly colored binders and scoffing at those below us on the social scale. It could be around the water cooler, pocket protectors fastened tightly, mocking Shirley for wearing last season’s patented Michael Kors orthopedic flats to work for the third day this week. It’s unavoidable that September will make you a little more judgemental, a little more protective, and a little introspective. In an effort to bring self awareness upon even the most adamant of mathletes or sneakerheads, here is a mini playlist with a song for every clique member. Listen, learn, and try not to forget that just last week, you and that loser doing extra credit were wearing matching gas station flip flops and making flower crowns.
You, my limber friend, must experience the song “Poor Little Rich Boy” by Regina Spektor. First of all, it’s pretty insensitive to assume all athletes are wealthy. “The Blind Side” and all. But unavoidably, if we are conforming to normal clique standards, those who are graced with the speed and agility to participate in physical activities are rich in many things: the potential to make out with someone, the gift of never fearing a wedgy, and the freedom to say and do questionable things but pull it off because they are adored. For this, be grateful. Don’t get caught up in who’s the star forward or whatever. Just sit on your high horse and thank your lucky stars that you can coordinate your feet long enough to run. You’re young, you’re flexible, and you have the respect of your peers, so don’t waste your time trying to prove yourself to people. Enjoy it.
Your song is “Lucky Number Nine” by the Moldy Peaches. You’ve probably already heard it, given the nature of your stereotype, but please take some time to really listen. The hipster sub-culture has a nasty habit of insisting that life is an artistic statement instead of a complete joke. Don’t take yourself too seriously. And don’t avoid things and people you genuinely like for the sake of street cred. Chances are that Justin Timberlake song you listen to when no one’s around will come back around in style pretty soon, so why not be a trendsetter. Let your Futuresex Lovesounds ring loud and proud. PS. Don’t worry about running out of ethnic friends.
The lack of moral high ground around here must be killing you by now, but if you’ve made it this far you might as well just listen to your song: “You Make My Dreams” by Hall and Oates. You can play it at the elderly home you volunteer at 5 times a week and listen to it in the free time you have walking between “Russian History Represented Through Tolstoy’s ‘War and Peace’ 101” and “Advanced Biochemical Engineering As Implied By Davinci 103.” The lyrics of this song are not relevant to you (how could you have time for such arbitrary things as love and dreaming when you have to finish Pre-Calc online in less than two days?). This song is merely for those little moments of time to yourself, when you press play and dance through the streets, carefully organized papers blowing in the wind. This is the perfect song to listen to while writing an essay at three AM and imagining your life as a super-fun academic montage. Let the stress and pressure dissolve as you do your regular impressive deeds while participating in a fun 70’s pop-rock beat at the same time!
Put on your spectacles, fasten your suspenders, and listen up, ya frickin nerd. Your song is “TMNT Mask” by Chad Vangaalen. It can be hard finding other people who are into the same niche subjects as you and this can lead to ostracization at the hands of your peers, just because they just don’t understand how fun Dungeons and Dragons can be. But wait it out and soon you’ll find your fellow Doctor Who fanatics or math loving brethren. Just be careful you don’t let your specific interests block you off from potential friendships. Remember, you can like comic books and do track and field. Heck, show your teammates “The Avengers,” and they’ll probably eat it up. Until that happens, take this song, go sit by a river, eavesdrop on some conversations, and maybe go dancing by yourself.
The Mean Girl-
Your song is “What’s The Attitude?” by Cut Chemist feat. Hymnal. Because girl, WHAT’S WITH THE ATTITUDE? How can you expect people to know what’s the right thing to say or the cool thing to do when you don’t know yourself? This September, let go of your perception of others a little bit and look at the little guys as people to learn from. Maybe those below you on the social scale actually have the most to offer in terms of being fun and interesting. Although it may not be the cool thing to do, in the end that doesn’t really matter, because cool doesn’t exist. It’s a made up thing; there is no generalized definition of cool. The word is seen differently by every user. So be nice to your friends, be nice to your enemies, and be nice to strangers. You never know who you’ll meet when you stop second guessing their shoes. Put on those sensible sneakers your grandmother got you for Christmas last year and dance your way through the halls of what used to be your kingdom in a sweater from Costco. It might actually feel pretty good.
Oh, my sad, sad friend, take off the Joy Divison vinyl you bought at Urban Outfitters and turn instead to the song “Tom Ford” by Jay-Z. We all know how incredibly talented and influential Jay-Z is. He has made a lot of really beautiful and thought-worthy music. This is not one of his most beautiful or thought-worthy songs. That’s why you, whose eyes are smudged with runny black liner, should grab some tissues, stop thinking about your life (or Ian Curtis’ life), and listen to this bangin’ song. It’s so catchy you’ll probably find yourself mumbling along and attempting to twerk in a residential area. Save crying over your problems for your blog, abandon your worries and heavy shouldered nature of existence, then focus instead on a song about really expensive clothing and club drugs. It’s a lot of fun. Although it may not move oceans or solve your mommy issues, it will inspire you to at least giggle. Did you hear Beyoncé at the end of the song? Goddamn. She’s as hot as the satanic god you probably worship.
Every Single One of You-
Here is a song for everyone in a clique: “I’ll Try Anything Once” by The Strokes. It applies to all of us. “Everybody plays the game, and if you don’t you’re called insane,” just as the song goes. Belonging to a group that has similar interests or values is virtually unavoidable and not bad at all! The key is to remember that people who don’t belong to your group, or have opposing interests or values, are definitely scary and harder to talk to, but aren’t your enemies. Let natural separation occur. There’s no need to be best friends with water if you’re oil, but don’t look at H2O and say it sucks because it doesn’t have canola qualities. Here is a song to find common ground over: you both like music you can dance to.