This is an open letter to anyone who's attempted to shame anyone for their taste in music.
I suck at online dating. It’s like regular dating but more embarrassing and cringeworthy. Let’s start with the basics. I don’t know what a good profile should be. There are plenty of opinions on what’s the correct vibe you should be giving through your picture and bio, but most of these just seem like tricks to come across as someone else. Then there’s the texting that happens once you get a “match.” It’s so awkward that I start getting worried that either I’ll come across as a serial killer or that I’ll end up a victim of one. Finally, the face-to-face date that more often than not is a bit of a downer or a great excuse to drink your way to a mediocre night.
Actually, if we’re being real, I hate dating in general. There you are, pretending to be this fake person, in order to be liked by this stranger who has probably not gotten over their ex yet. But what I dislike the most is how this person you’ve just met will begin to dissect and make assumptions based on stuff that isn’t even their business. This can be politics, religion, or just opinions that they might tactfully try to fish at by moving the conversation towards a controversial topic to see how you respond or react. But the biggest turn-off is when they go all music snob on you and ask who’s your favorite artist or band in order to decipher what kind of person you are.
I’ll be completely honest. I am the least cool person when it comes to my playlist. I have a little bit of everything and it’s almost always likely that I’m late in the game to the newest album or star. My taste in music is not unlike a comfy blanket. It’s intended for moments when I’m feeling a little nostalgic, need a pick-me-up, or for nights when I want to dance in my kitchen with a mop. I can see how for others music is a way of telling their own story. Just like, for some, it’s the way they trace the moments as they happen. But there are those who love to use music as a status symbol.
So here are 6 songs you might find on my playlist that some Tinder date, or a regularly sourced one, might try to make fun of. These all tell moments in my life. They’re there for me when I need them so I can sing their lyrics by heart.
Brand New – “Okay, I Believe You but My Tommy Gun Don’t”
This is one of the few tracks from my teens that continues to have a place on my playlists. It’s bitter and angry, and I can see how anyone who wants to come off as a connoisseur will say that Brand New’s best album was the one that came after Deja Entendu. Yet, to me this is the song that represents the consequences of confusing infatuation and sexual attraction with love. We end up in a messy situation where both parties can’t stand each other but still want the other one to give up first in order to not lose face.
Michael Jackson – “The Way You Make Me Feel”
A classic. I dare anyone to hear this song and not want to dance. I don’t care how fancy you think you are, try telling me this isn’t a great song. What’s more, try to make the case for any Michael Jackson song not being cool anymore. If you don’t believe me, put this song at a party where everyone’s been swaying to some boring beats while pretending they’re so into it.
Rilo Kiley – “Silver Lining”
This song has the power to make me smile, cry, and sing, all at the same time. It’s one of the sweetest songs about the end of a relationship. It’s about knowing that it’s all going to end soon but being sure you’ll be able to move on in the end.
Finch – “What It Is to Burn”
This is the story of dangerous self-destructive loves we’ve all had. A little voice in the back of our head tells us to stay away but we can’t help ourselves. Sometimes we need to walk in the fire to discover what we’re willing to endure for desire and pleasure.
One Direction – “Stockholm Syndrome”
I have a feeling this is the one for which I’d get the most looks. Yet it’s also the one that most of those people have never actually listened to. Before judging, you need to hear this track about discovering you’re neck-deep in a relationship you never intended to be a part of. But even after you figure it out, you realize you kind of like it.
Ella Eyre – “Two”
Ever been in a situation where it all seemed to be going well and then, out of nowhere, you find yourself alone and wondering what happened? One person feels it’s all going too fast while the other is worried that it’s all taking too long. Eventually, as attracted as both parties are, you have to let it go.
Just like these, there are plenty of other tracks that might get some looks or eye-rolls. But look, if I can be polite about your super secret nobody-has-heard-of-them-yet pop-metal-dance-fusion band, then you can leave my Def Leppard and Phil Collins tracks as well as my Yellowcard and All Time Low special mentions. If you truly want to get to know me, ask me about the songs. There’s more to each lyric and catchy chorus than meets the eye.
Main image by André Josselin