Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Lyrics of the Day

"Ex Week" continues...

Remember the tale from Monday about the Catholic school teacher who called Tom Petty a "total druggie?" Well, the relationship lasted another five or six weeks, which was actually pretty long by my standards.

We were going to get together Friday night on Thanksgiving weekend. She was supposed to call me at my parents' house, and I was going to pick her up at her parents' house (also in the suburbs -- it was set to be our first date where I drove). By 8 PM I hadn't heard from her. I was sure she had lost my parents' phone number or something (we weren't carrying cell phones back in 1994). I checked for messages on my apartment answering machine, just as I had every hour all afternoon. Although I knew she wasn't supposed to be there, I called her apartment. She answered. She said something about deciding to return to the city instead of staying at her parents'. I asked why she hadn't called me, and she brushed it off. Never one to take a hint, I asked about getting together. She danced around it and spoke vaguely without committing to anything. As we made smalltalk to close out the conversation, I recognized the song playing on her stereo in the background:

I wrote her off for the tenth time today
And practiced all the things I would say
But she came over, I lost my nerve
I took her back and made her dessert

Now I know I’m being used
That’s okay man cause I like the abuse
I know she’s playing with me
That’s okay cause I got no self esteem

We make plans to go out at night
I wait till 2 then I turn out the light
All this rejection’s got me so low
If she keeps it up I just might tell her so

Yes, it was "Self Esteem" by the Offspring, the tale of a pathetic, desperate guy who lets his gal walk all over him. Months earlier, a friend at work had joked that it should be my theme song, and, well, there I was.

I left a few phone messages for her the next week (in retrospect, that was really pathetic and desperate), but I never saw or spoke to her again.

By the way, for anyone familiar with the rest of the song, the lines, "When she's saying that she wants only me/Then I wonder why she sleeps with my friends," have no relevance here. In fact, I've never been in that situation, which is one good thing about having very few friends.

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