I was welcomed into a crowded bar last weekend by The Thong Song. I couldn’t help but smile as it thumped from the speakers and I was instantly transported back in time to a crowded middle school gym. A place where awkward 13- year-old girls, wearing Abercrombie t-shirts, danced in little clusters to a song about an undergarment their mother’s probably didn’t allow them to wear. A place where small, underdeveloped 13- year- old boys hovered along the wall pretending they were too cool to dance. Ahhh, how I don’t miss middle school or The Thong Song for that matter. I was hoping after 2000 I would never have to hear it again but there I was 10 years later being subjected to the corniness all over again. It’s just a slivers of pop culture, like stirrup leggings, that no matter how much you might despise, you cannot escape. Looking around the bar it struck me just how little had changed since middle school dances. Sure clothes might have changed and the beverages, of course were different (or at least legally being consumed), but the awkwardness was still there. A group of girls, dressed in slightly different versions of the same outfit, were dancing in a circle while a few guys hung around the edge, holding their drinks and trying to look cool.
I always thought, if I tried, I could develop a timeline of my life in music. Things like my 8th grade crush on the kid that sat next to me in math class would be marked with something like the band Slipknot. He liked them so I, naturally, thought I would like them too. As it turns out I’m not much for Slipknot but the band still reminds me of that kid (and of math, adding to my dislike for the band no doubt),solidifying it as a tiny dot in the timeline of my musical nostalgia.