#80 – Figuring Out the Lyrics To A Song

We all have that song (or, in my case, songs plural) that have lyrics that… for your life, you can’t quite decipher. One example that comes to mind is from the 3:18 mark in Mariah Carey’s “Always Be My Baby”. I couldn’t figure out what the fuck she was saying after “And we will longer on…” One day, after years of confused listening/ignorant singing-along, I finally paid close attention and figured out she was saying “Time can’t erase a feeling this strong” and the song has never sounded better.

The bigger example for the purpose of this post is the following song:

Once again, I had been generally stumped on a majority of this song. I knew the chorus, most of the lyrics, but there were bits that I just couldn’t understand, specifically the second verse. Then, I heard this version and for whatever reason it came in much clearer.

Now, of course, I know the lyrics I was missing were (I’ve bolded the parts I was particularly clueless about):

Trying to live without your love is one long sleepless night
Let me show you, girl, that I know wrong from right
Every street you walk on, I leave tear stains on the ground
Following the girl I didn’t even want around

The funny thing about this feeling is that while you now can enjoy the song on a totally different level, it’s almost incomprehensible to you how you ever confused the lyrics in the first place. I listen to this song (and others of similar confusion) and have a hard time remembering even which parts confused me.

Either way, what’s so nice is that it’s like getting lost and then suddenly finding your way—everything with the song suddenly clicks into place. If you don’t know what I’m talking about here you’re either lying to yourself or have supersonic hearing.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?:  Thinking you do know the lyrics to a song and belting them out as loud as you can in various places an venues, only to be embarrassingly called out about it in front of everyone.

#44 – Hot Shower on a Cold Day

This isn’t exactly what I had in mind, but it’ll do.

All throughout the country over the last two months or so, it’s been, in a few classy words, fucking freezing. While my apartment is no polar vortex, it is in fact a place with very little (I’d argue, absolutely no) insulation in the north eastern portion of the United States. Throw on top of that the fact that the place is wall-to-wall hardwood floor, and it all adds up to a pretty cold place from approximately very late December through February.

As I’ve detailed before, it’s not often I’m working really early in the morning. My job allows me to sleep in a little bit for about half the week (which, as a side note, I’d argue has done a fantastic job of helping me retain even a shred of what sanity I have left).

That said, it’s on the days of my morning shifts or, worse yet, when I’m substitute teaching when this feeling truly comes in to play. Let’s take the latter for this example.

I’m up anywhere between 5:30 and 6:30 in the morning and it is a tundra in my apartment. My first thought is to check the windows to see if, maybe in a dream state, I opened them completely in the middle of the night. Before I’m even out of bed, I’ve dismissed that notion and am now dreading the feeling of feet on floor. Ultimately, the meeting of flesh and wood has passed and I’m padding towards my bathroom. The soon-to-be scalding water offers an oasis those traveling in deserts could only salivate over.

It hurts at first, no question. But, it’s a good hurt. Soon the pain eases into a euphoric happiness to be fully enveloped in hot water, to have escaped the freezing depths.

That’s a great feeling.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: To me, showers have a very specific expiration time. For everyone it’s different, but the fact remains that there’s that strange fulcrum on which the entire shower rests. A minute too long, it becomes a chore. A minute too short and you’re unsatisfied. The polar opposite is that extra minute.

Bonus Polar Opposite: When you realize that, eventually, you’ll have to go back to the tundra. And, of course, actually doing it.

#113 – Starting a (Good) New Book

Unequivocally, this feeling tops this one.

No matter how you feel about finishing, starting a good one is great. You’re entering a new world of characters and places and dialogue. You have no idea where things are going to go or even how they’re going to get there. Additionally, and like the beginning of a good meal, the end is nowhere in sight so it’s all clear on the western front.

It’s honestly like being 40 years old and looking back at the version of yourself right after college or high school. All that promise, all that life in front of you. That version of you doesn’t know how annoying the ending of the book is going to be when the author just leaves it up to you to decide what’s going to happen. That version just knows that there’s so many pages out in front of you, so many things to figure out and discover.

If the book is a good one, you can’t put it down and that’s the proof in the pudding for this feeling. No matter how good a book is, like a relationship, the beginning, voracious portion of the experience is the best part. No one says, “Wait til you get to the middle!”

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Thinking this new book is going to be the one and it turns out it’s awful. And, because you’re a trooper, you press on for 100 pages, dredging ahead for some unknown reason with feelings of guilt, only to discover what you already knew—this book sucks.

#149 – Getting Sand Off You After You’ve Been To The Beach

I think these guys would agree with me.

I’m in the minority here, but I can’t really stand the beach. I don’t care for the lack of activities or the fact that I might not come back* whenever I go for a dip. I hate the drive down the shore and the parking. I don’t really have what you’d call a beach body and I’m not a particularly tan fellow.

It’s not my scene, as you can see.

But, above all these things, what I can’t stand most is the sand. No matter how little time you spend, it seems to always get in every single crevice, orifice and wrinkle on your person. It’s infuriating. You’ll be scratching your head three days later and out come a few grains.

I’m talking about that moment when you are able to finally get (most) of that sand off you. It’s finally not chaffing, not riding up, not itching, not invading every inch of your personal space.

If you were smart enough to not go in the water, all it takes is a really good brush-down with your towel and you’re home free.

Not to mention, has your skin every felt smoother than it does in that immediate aftermath of sand-removal?

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Thinking you’ve gotten rid of all grains, only to sit in your car and realize your ass is still soaked.


*Or get bit by a jelly fish, step on something sharp or simply deal with how incredibly fucking cold the water always seems to be. Even when people say “It’s not that bad!”, it is. It always is that bad.

#228 – Not Having To Do Anything For Valentine’s Day

OK, color me bitter… But I never really understood Valentine’s Day. On the one hand, I find it ridiculous that it’s some how become a second birthday for women across the country. On the other hand, it’s so silly that some (yes, I’m aware not all) women look at this as a way for her man to demonstrate his love for her.

As men, we typically are offered a raw deal. Not only do we not really get much in the way of gifts, but we are typically faced with a rock/hard place set of options. Some girls say they don’t want anything for Valentine’s Day, but secretly want at least something because… come on… Dana in accounting got a fucking bouquet of roses delivered to her desk! Other girls don’t find it odd to think there should be, at the least, a parade with rose pedals, life-sized teddy bears, breakfast in bed and an expensive (hard-to-get-a-table-at) dinner* all in their name. You lose, either way.

So, here I am, with no one to disappoint (aside from my mom, who has always been my Valentine and reminds me of that every year). I will buy nothing and get nothing. That might read as sad, but I think it’s a great feeling to not have to deal with it.

Frankly, it relegates Valentine’s Day to President’s Day or Arbor Day status. And, going from where it could’ve (and has) been for me on February 14ths of the past, that’s a good feeling.

I wanted to tell a good story or two about Valentine’s Days of my past, but instead, I’ll just refer you here… A free download of Chapter 19 of congratulations? Just click here and enjoy.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Picking the wrong option in the rock/hard place paragraph above.

*Why can’t people/couples just decide to celebrate the day, if they must, on Saturday, or Sunday or… any other day near there to avoid all that hassle?

#205 – Finishing a Book

A lot of readers would probably tell you this is actually a bad feeling. There’s that corny expression, “Finishing a good book is like losing a good friend” so that has to count for something in the way of how the public feels about book-finishing.

And, I suppose, I get it. I mean, when you’re really into a great book, it does kind of suck to have to be done with it, with the characters that you spent the last few days/weeks with. But, come on, it’s still a nice feeling to get to a conclusion.

There’s something nice about finally having figured out who the killer was or whether or not they’d get back together or if he’d make it in time to his own wedding or who was ranked number one. I mean, ultimately, what is the point of reading aside from finding out how things come together in the end?

I love a good book as much as the next person—and do feel a slight bit of regret to be done with the ones I love—but finishing is a nice feeling.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: When you fall asleep while reading and continually have to find where you left off because you never bookmarked the page.

Chronicles of the Single Man, Episode 10: I’ll Take, “Things To Do If You Don’t Want A Second Date” For 1,000

I remember the exact night this story occurred. It was September 8th of this past year. How do I know that, you ask? Well, I had spent my morning/day watching my favorite football team (the Tampa Bay Bucs) lose to the New York Jets in horrific, embarrassing, game-ending fashion.

Looking back on that day, it’s interesting to think there was a point in the season where I actually had hope for the Bucs’ season, but that’s neither here nor there for this post*.

Either way, as I went to the game with a couple of my friends and I’m no longer in grade school, we were not strictly in attendance to watch the football game. Tailgating started around 10:30 in the morning and seeing as how there were only four of us total, there wasn’t much to do aside from drink (and, occasionally, eat).

Of course, the game gets going and we don’t stop drinking. In fact, all the beer from the day is making us more aware of how rapidly ‘last call’ at MetLife Stadium is approaching, so there’s now a little urgency in each sip.

Once the game is over, mind you, it’s only four in the afternoon. It’s a gorgeous day out, I’m drunk but not wasted… I’m not ending my day here.

Now, as we all know, drinking tends to beget poor judgement and a little… shall we say… desire for companionship. So, like a moron, I begin scrolling through my phone for two things… First, someone (anyone) to continue drinking with once I returned to Hoboken… and Second, any girl in my contact list that I hadn’t already either burned a bridge with, insulted or otherwise ruined an opportunity for some sort of physical interaction.

I found the former in my roommate (who was actually going to be out watching the 4 PM games anyway) and the latter in a girl I had been texting with from CoffeeMeetsBagel. We’d discussed meeting for a drink at some point in the near future, but ol’ booze brain decided it would be a good idea to meet her that night.