Sunday, January 2, 2011

Breakup Song Watch Sunday: You Oughta Know, by Alanis Morissette

Alanis Morissette’s breakout song is so raw, so angry, so . . . what’s an adjective that describes how you feel when someone steals something precious from you?  Boned.  So incredibly, irretrievably boned.  And not the good kind, like you want.

Does she know how you told me you'd hold me
Until you died, til you died
But you're still alive

You sense that she wishes the song itself could reach through the radio and punch her ex in the kidneys.

An older version of me
Is she perverted like me
Would she go down on you in a theatre

So you see why she’s so angry.  A girl expects some respect after fellating her boyfriend in the theater!  As ridiculous as that sounds, it’s a universal experience.  You do stuff you’d never have considered, except that he’s so dreamy, and you love him so-o-o-o-o much!  You want to demonstrate your love by doing this special thing for him that no other woman will do (ha!). 

Dan Savage has great advice for women whose boyfriends/husbands/partners ask them to do something that crosses a boundary:  Absolutely, lover.  Only, you go first!

(Incidentally, what do you think it was like for every single guy after 1995 who wanted to ask Alanis out for “dinner and a movie”?)

Does she speak eloquently
And would she have your baby
I'm sure she'd make a really excellent mother

So the ex enjoyed the perverted sex with Alanis, but preferred a more conventional partner in the long run -- one who may not give semi-public BJs, but who will be cool changing diapers, playing Candyland (and not the good kind like you want) 5 bajillion times, and pulling carpool duty. 

Well, this, too, is part of that kaleidoscopic experience we call life.  I’ve said it before, you can’t have a wonderful relationship until you’ve endured that really shitty one and all the painful lessons it bestows upon you, making you so much wiser, more discriminating in your taste in friends, and an altogether better partner.

That is, as long as you don’t punish the new guy for the sins of your perfidious ex.  Which, by the way, is exactly what Alanis promises to do:

And every time I scratch my nails down someone else's back
I hope you feel it...well can you feel it

Let’s hope she got all that out of her system before she married Mario “MC Souleye” Treadway, with whom she had a baby last week.  Little Ever (I know, right?) doesn’t need the stress of that psychodrama!

Here’s the Dan Band with a very up-tempo cover of You Oughta Know.  They’re the dudes who perform the over-the-top wedding reception song in The Hangover. 

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