Sunday, January 23, 2011
Breakup Song Watch Sunday: Hope It Gives You Hell, by All American Rejects
What is the perfect breakup? Is it that fantasy where you both end it as friends who love each other but for some reason move on to new partners? No. That’s naive bullshit for high school kids and the White Stripes.
Better: Savoring everything about your new life that you couldn’t enjoy with your ex. Bonus points if you can work up a frothy lather of condescension for every way your ex differs from you in values, tastes, and habits.
But ask yourself: If she was such a greedy, bourgeois square, then why was I with her in the first place?
Ask yourself: If I’m so happy with my new life, why am I focusing so much energy on wishing revenge on my ex? Why did I feel the need to recruit my friends into broadcasting that fantasy?
Well, that’s just it, isn’t it? The whole problem with the relationship was how it undermined your position in your social cohort. Your buddies are cool musicians who reject the suburban 9-to-5 lifestyle and everything that comes with it. Your girlfriend embraced it. (Did she really embrace it? Or is that just you fudging history a little bit to make your point?) And now that you’ve eliminated your weak spot, you’re doing your utmost to solidify your place at the heart of the group by leading them to turn on the ex. It’s like Mean Girls, only with penises and electric guitars.