Age twenty-two - "Expectations," Belle and Sebastian
Unrequited love was really my thing during college, and consequently, I had a dry spell that made me turn to twee. I spent an inordinate amount of time playing this song to my crush, poring over the lyrics, loving the Britishness of it, and trying to convince him that music made you feel stuff, preferably stuff that would make him take his clothes off. Interestingly, he has recently become a music buff, though he's also succumbed to the "Expectations" Stewart Murdoch describes by becoming a banker. We've always remained clothed in each other's presence.


Age twenty-five - "No Surprises," Radiohead
For a while I had a very annoying ringtone that freaked out my boyfriend (the siren sound from Kill Bill), so he asked me to change it to something I liked for when he called. This is what I came up with. "No Surprises" will always be etched in my memory, right next to my blonde physicist boyfriend. Our relationship was a disaster from start to finish, but we went through a lot together and those opening notes still make me think of him (and subsequently, break down).


Age twenty-seven, "Sweet Thing," Van Morrison
While at my cousin's wedding I decided he had chosen the wrong romantic Van The Man ballad for his opening dance — this one really takes the cake. I started listening to this on repeat right after the wedding and tried to convince the nice lawyer I was dating that it was the epitome of wonderful. He did not agree, but did sing a hilarious version of it, so I slept with him anyway and then decided to find a more romantic soul.


Age twenty-eight, "Blame Game," Kanye West
I still really like My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. When it came out I liked walking to my internship, looking all-dolled up and laughing at the Chris Rock bit; a tall blonde in heels miming "Did you get it reupholstered?" It also struck a chord with the hip-hop enthusiast I moved in with, and whose place I quickly moved out of.


Age twenty-nine, "Be Good," Waxahatchee
Last week, it suddenly dawned on me that I've been hanging out way too much with this incredibly hot guy. I say "too much" because he really is just a hot mess. He would be disastrous boyfriend material. Every time we go out, he's mobbed by girls, most of whom flock right past me, apparently assuming I'm not even attractive enough to be his boyfriend. Like "Be Good" goes, "It's unclear now, what we intend / We're alone in our own world / You don't wanna be my boyfriend / And I don't wanna be your girl." It is a lot of fun to toy with the idea, though. Maybe I should change the song and give him a call.


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