Say What You Want and Then You Get it Maybe

I think Fuck and Run was the first time I ever heard I girl swear in a song.  I heard it on the University Radio station late at night so the song felt very special, like a forbidden secret that none of my friends knew about.  I had taped the song about eight times off the radio and listened to it very low in my bedroom mouthing the words, so no one could hear the lyrics.

I was enamoured with this song not because she said the F-word but because she was so blunt, unabashed, unapologetic about it all while maintaining her even, monotone demeanour.  Liz Phair  wasn’t an angry drug addict like Courtney Love, she wasn’t a depressed romantic like Sarah McLachlan.  She was a girl who made mistakes but had the balls to ask for what she wanted.  She didn’t turn inward when confronted with men that didn’t meet her expectations.  She wondered what was wrong with them not what was wrong with her.

And whatever happened to a boyfriend
The kind of guy who tries to win you over?
And whatever happened to a boyfriend
The kind of guy who makes love ’cause he’s in it?

I was 14 when I discovered this song.  I don’t think I had ever asked for what I wanted outside of asking for pizza for dinner or permission to go to the bathroom.  If my friends wanted to come over after school, I said yes.  If a teacher wanted me to volunteer for peer counselling, I said yes.  If a guy asked me out, I said yes.  I don’t think it even occurred to me to say no.   I had an irrational FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) before it became a celebrated hashtag.  I also suffered from an over-active obsession with making sure everyone liked me, even people I didn’t like.

It was around this time that I was discovering that you could express your opinions without saying anything through your fashion, your music, the way you carried yourself and the things you did.  This was an important step for someone like me at this time as I was still much too shy to come forward and speak my mind unprovoked.  But I dreamed of it.  I imagined telling my friends that I wanted to read about Wiccans and drip wax into my bellybutton instead of watching Ghostwriter  on PBS and eating wine candies.   I dreamed of telling my dad that I wanted to learn Broadway show tunes instead of watch wrestling. I dreamed gathering all the boys in my grade at an assembly and saying:

I want a boyfriend
I want all that stupid old shit
Like letters and sodas
Letters and sodas. 

Thank God I never followed through on those daydreams. Instead I developed an internal dialogue within myself.  I started thinking about what I wanted in ways I never did before. I started thinking about what I wanted to do; what I wanted out of relationships. I still didn’t ask for what I wanted out loud but at least I was asking myself.

You almost felt bad
You said that I should call you up
But I knew much better than that
And almost immediately I felt sorry
‘Cause I didn’t think this would happen again
No matter what I could do or say
Just that I didn’t think this would happen again
With or without my best intentions

Fuck and Run is from the CD Exile in Guyville and is one of the most underrated CDs of the 1990s.  If you don’t know it, I highly suggest you check it out.





About preetybird

Just another run-of-the-mill mysterious microcosm of magic, music, merriment and malevolence.
This entry was posted in indie rock, pop, punk, rock, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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