Tuesday Tune Two-Fer: Out and Cringe

In honor of Pride month, two tunes from a time I wanted to forget but am now happy to remember

Dear Diary:

One of the things that might not be immediately obvious about coming out in your early 30s is that you’re a grown-ass adult having to go through a lot of the same awkward stuff that most people went through in their teens. In my case, that meant coming out with a huuuuuge crush on a guy that I’d met online, who decidedly did not feel the same way.

I should make it clear that there are no hard feelings at all; he was perfectly fine and supportive, and I don’t know how I would’ve handled the situation if the roles had been reversed. So everything here is making fun of myself, not anybody else.

Because I was infatuated. I’d save our chat logs and read back over them repeatedly, imagining that mundane conversations were the most witty and sparkling banter, and desperately looking for any clue that there might be some kind of spark there. Every story was fascinating, and I ended most conversations feeling like Marcia Brady after meeting Desi Arnaz, Jr.1I’m really, really old, is what I’m getting at.

And I got excited about “what’s your favorite song?” conversations, immediately going to buy the recommendations from iTunes.2Yes, this is back when you had to pay for music. See above. The first I remember was “Toxic” by Britney Spears, which was ubiquitous at the time, but I had somehow never heard in its entirety.

Purchasing this song felt like I was crossing some sort of threshold. By that point, I knew that I was gay, but I didn’t think I was that gay.

But once I got over myself, I came to the realization that “Toxic” is just objectively a banger, regardless of age, orientation, or snobbiness. The video is hilariously dated, stuck hopelessly in the early 2000s, but the song is still fantastic.

The other song, though, was “The Killing Moon” by Echo and The Bunnymen:

And again, I don’t mean any offense to anybody who likes the song, but man. That couldn’t be any less my thing unless it were death metal, or maybe “What’s Up” by 4 Non Blondes. Hearing it in the middle of an intense crush made my stomach drop like the first time I saw The Phantom Menace.

Hearing it now, though, just makes me happy. It’s a reminder of how hard it is to find the right person, how some people just don’t click no matter what, and how good things tend to happen when and if they’re supposed to. Twenty-plus-years-ago me was convinced he’d be alone forever, and he spent most of his time riddled with anxiety about everything. Now, I look back and realize… well, at least now I’m anxious about entirely different stuff.

  • 1
    I’m really, really old, is what I’m getting at.
  • 2
    Yes, this is back when you had to pay for music. See above.