I just started dating this guy and he’s really sweet and cute and all that stuff. Problem is, he is very dedicated to his band and making it big in music. It consumes a lot of his free time and he works really, really hard at it, which is fine. The issue is I HATE HIS BAND. I’ve seen them play a couple of times, but now I just make excuses for why I can’t go. Of course, I tell them they’re “great” and he doesn’t know I secretly think they’re worst than Richard Marx on a stick.
So do I tell him I don’t like his music and would rather stick a lit cigarette in my eye than hear another note, risking a break-up? Or do I bite my tongue and wait around for what I’m certain will be the band’s failure to move beyond basement parties and small club shows playing for 20 people?
Torn, here’s the cold hard truth: Most bands suck. The art school folky screeching owl Nebraska octet that Pitchfork decides to propel into greatness with a 9.3 rating sucks. Coldplay? Sucks. Even U2 sucks. So in the world of dating guys in bands that suck, you aren’t and will never be alone (see Heidi Klum).
In fact, I consider myself an expert in this field as I spent a majority of my teens and very early twenties romantically involved with and physically on top of musicians in sucky bands — empirically speaking. (It all started when I showed Brian Penick my boobs sophmore year of high school.) I’m talking like mid-level Orange County/Long Island Pop Punkers with styled hair, studded belts and lyrics about breakups and bleeding on shirts and those Hardcore guys who do the internal vulture scream thing.
Eventually some of them wound up being radio friendly (really good for them), but back then I spent most weekends behind Bogart’s smoking cigarettes, drinking pink wine and wearing camouflaged mini skirts and trucker hats.
Looking back, I realize it was because I had low self-esteem and somehow making out with the guitarist from Home Grown in a tiny tour bus bunk made me feel better about myself and very skinny. (I can’t believe two grown humans can fit in those things … like Japanese people in drawers.) And while these groupie memories are met with a certain sense of nostalgia and lost adventure, some of them I’d rather forget and most of them I should have been drunk enough not to remember.
So, in reality, dating a guy in a “bar band” that only people in Wilder, Ky. and Fields-Ertel are going to hear is a whole hell of a lot less embarrassing than owning up to the fact that you were on Shifty Shellshock’s tour bus hooking up with Crazy Town’s merch dude. OK? OK.
I never did that,
I’ve been reading your column for a couple weeks and have found your advice to be really helpful because I can’t make decisions on my own and know very little about anything. But your advice last week really fucked my shit up. Here’s what happened: I, like your reader “Lonely and Employed in Loveland,” have a crush on a coworker who is a subordinate. Like him, I’ve been having trouble asking her out because I’m scared to get written up again for harassment (the first one was a complete misunderstanding, seriously). But I thought that the “Check yes, no or maybe” idea was vague enough even if she realizes that what I’m asking for is to wear my Boomer Esiason helmet while we have sex on my boss’ desk.
The problem is that I wrote this on the back of a reused sheet of paper faxed to us by that crazy church in Kansas that protests soldier funerals, and it really freaked her out. Now I’m wondering if you’re even real or if it’s just a joke to make stupid people do stupid things and ruin their lives. If that’s the case, it’s unconscionable and you’re a total dick.
— Fired and Sad in Fairfield
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