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Home / Articles / Culture / There She Goz /  Fighting age with bad music
. . . .
Wednesday, Aug 08, 2012

Fighting age with bad music

How cheesy songs helped kick my not-so-fresh feeling

By Alex Zaragoza
alex-web Alex Zaragoza

I am not Carrie Bradshaw. I never looked up to her impeccably styled columnist character on Sex and the City, who often “had to wonder” about shoes and how they relate to the rich dude she was boning at that time. However, as a female writer, I’ve often had people use the reference: “Oh, look at you, Carrie Bradshaw.” “Damn, girl, you’re livin’ the Carrie life.”

If I’m their Carrie Bradshaw, well, that just makes me feel bad for them. My jeans cost $10, often go unwashed for weeks at a time and have mostly ended up on the bedroom floor of painfully underemployed guys who somehow tricked me into paying for the pizza through clever loser wordplay. The closest I am to being a Carrie involves wishing I could light a high-school gym full of assholes on fire with my mind.

I expect that as I start writing this column, I’ll get “Carried” more often. Or perhaps I’ll get some of what my good friend Paul calls me, “Latina Fey.” That at least seems slightly more true-to-life, as I am prone to making dick jokes, wearing sweaters and enjoying my fair share of night cheese.

When the opportunity for my column came about, our associate editor, Kelly Davis, said she wanted to get the perspective of a “young, hip female writer.” I remember feeling the same as when people make the Carrie reference. Me? Young and hip? Surely, you don’t mean Alex Zaragoza, the girl eating three-day-old spaghetti at her desk while watching YouTube videos of strippers falling off poles.

For some reason, at 28 years old, I’ve begun to feel kind of tired and old. And to all of you 30-and-up people managing to read this even though your eyes have rolled back into your skull, I say, yes, it’s possible for someone without kids, a husband or the ability to truthfully say they saw the original Dallas when it was on TV to feel a bit old. I still know who shot J.R., and I still get sleepy at 10 p.m.

It’s a constant joke amongst me and my girlfriends who are also starting to feel the sag of being on the wrong side of 25: “You know you’re getting old when your sexy underwear is the same as your work underwear.” “You know you’re getting old when you get a boner for the dad on the TV show instead of the hot son.” It’s basically our You might be a redneck joke. But if it makes you feel better, I despise anyone born in the ’90s. Get out of my bar and learn what Twin Peaks was, you fresh-faced, iPhone-fondling brat.

I’ve done some living in my 20s. There’s the requisite drinking, partying, mild drug use and sleeping with questionable people that’s part of many people’s coming-of-age story. I also lived in England and Mexico, got married, ended said marriage, lost jobs, lost a parent, moved back in with my mom and, before this tiny sad violin breaks from whine-overload, had a lot of fun. Let me pause for a quick mental flashback. Ah, so good.

Even though most nights I flirt dangerously close to Nana status, enjoying $2 wine, Netflix and the freedom to wear no pants in my apartment, I admit that I still do some living. Most questions that start with “Hey, there’s this weird thing happening tonight” are usually met with a hearty “Yup, I’ll do that.” I just have to take into account whether or not I want to feel like death warmed up the next day at work.

So, I’m using this column as an opportunity to kick my inner Golden Girl in the wrinkly butt and share some of the fun, random stuff going on in this city. This time, I’ll try to do a better job of not disappointing my mom. While I worry about health insurance and savings for my future more than I ever used to, I never want to grow up all the way. So, let’s get weird.

The first thing I thought to do was rekindle my glory days of weeknight partying and go to the Whistle Stop’s night of aural barf known as Worst Music Ever. It’s pretty straightforward: The DJs play songs that are widely considered to be steaming piles of turd. With a playlist featuring Crazy Town’s “Butterfly,” a throbbing (in the bad way) dance remix of 4 Non Blondes’ “What’s Up” and “Thong Song” by the poet laureate Sisqo, it’s hard to argue that the DJs don’t have it right. But often you hear someone yell out, “This isn’t bad!” or “Aww, that’s messed up!” when they throw out a divisive zinger like Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven.” I personally go for the crappy ’90s dance and R&B portion of the evening. You can find me shaking it hard and singing along to The Real McCoy’s “Another Night” or R. Kelly’s “Ignition.” However, I have to ask myself: Am I being ironic if I still listen to this bile in the privacy of my home or work space? Cue Alanis Morissette. It’s ironic, but not really.

When I walked in and started chatting with an acquaintance who’s been raging at this night since way back, he said, “You’re like a Worst Music Ever veteran. You were here four years ago. You’ve been gone a while, huh?” Yes, sir. My stretchy pants and I were partially retired. I’m glad I haven’t been totally forgotten. I took this as a sign to bring it, and bring it hard. I fueled up on whiskey, the high-performance motor oil of the human party bus, and headed to the dance floor, where two friends were roller-skating for no particular reason. Seeing acts of tomfoolery like that warms my heart.

I worked up a sweat and blew my voice out singing along. It felt good to be there again. I didn’t even think about my Netflix instant cue. 


Write to alexz@sdcitybeat.com. You can also bug her on Twitter.



 
 
 
 
 
 
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