Seriously. From the Apple II in the corner of the first-grade classroom to the latest PeopleSoft upgrade, I've had a knack with software, hardware, middleware, and sportswear. And I AM the only person in my office not secretly terrified of Microsoft Access. But despite that, until April, I was still running Windows 98 on a seven-year-old laptop; I don't want a forty-two inch HD TV, and I think the Blackberry is a cruel joke perpetuated on humankind by some twisted soul whose outlook puts the Marquis de Sade to shame.
I call it being frugal, doing without, saving for the future. Others use the word "cheap".
At any rate, I got my first iPod at Christmas (yes, I won it, but we won't split hairs), and have been re-acquainting myself with my inner DJ and songs I used to spin and love -- melodies of life, loves, and one too many boilermakers.
There are numbers in the iTunes list where you kinda want to cover the display screen, though, and one of them is Britney Spears -- Stronger. Not exactly what you would be expecting a reasonably-butch cub to be lip-synching to, eh?
Yes, there is a back story. That song came out during the breakup of my very first long-term relationship -- which I had, naively, expected to be "the one". My friends, bless their hearts, had been subtle, nicely pointing out that we were two drastically different personalities, that our core values weren't anywhere close to each other, and that there was a very good possibility that his main interest in me had more to do with my Oaklawn apartment and my bar comps as a means of escaping his ex-wife and child in the 'burbs.
But of course, your dreams and the intoxication of first love outweigh the drab reality, the signs that get louder and louder, more and more insistent..........and before you know it, you're sitting next to a smouldering fireplace with a half-empty bag of Doritos and a box of Puffs, checking the phone for the umpteenth time to see if the ringer is still on and working......worst of all, wallowing in the overwhelming conviction that it is your fault, that you're nothing but a fat ugly geek with pimples and a peon job that no man could ever love. If you'd not been so stupid, if you'd only put out more, if you'd just given in more often, if you'd said nothing when you knew he was out catting around, he'd still be here, his arms around you........maybe if you just called, left another message, apologized again....
Britney was my lifesaver.
But now I'm stronger than yesterday
Now it's nothing but my way
Loneliness ain't killing me no more
Now I'm stronger
Here I go, on my own
I don't need nobody, better off alone
Here I go, on my own now
I don't need nobody, not anybody
Here I go.....
And with that, I learned something, a very valuable lesson that many people never do.....if you are ever to have a good relationship, you have to learn how to be happy without one.
Britney, in the off chance you're reading this...thanks.
And keep that last lesson in mind.