Tag Archives: relationships

Hannah Hunt

I’ve been thinking a lot about writing a “Best Albums and Songs of 2014” list as a blog post, which I will invariably have to make because it would be a tragedy to you as the internet to not hear what a 24-year-old music snob considers the best few minutes of instruments and voices to be released this year, and also because this was actually a year in which two of my favorite musicians of all time put out highly-anticipated new albums that both gave me a lump in my throat upon listening. However, before talking about the good, I guess you have to talk about the other stuff, right?

I didn’t make a “Best Albums of 2013” blog post last year, but if I did, I’m sure Modern Vampires Of the City would be on it. MVOTC is an album that came out last year by a band called Vampire Weekend that has probably been the butt off too many “so-called” hipster jokes (but also one I personally never wrote about, so I guess not every hipster joke, right?). It was well-received in the indie music circles that obsess over 4-piece scruffy white dude bands and way-too-highly paid music critics who work for Rolling Stone and SPIN alike. It was a slightly different sound for Vampire Weekend and I know that there’s some technical term that escapes me for the way the audio engineer mixed the tracks, but suffice it to say that it sounded more “recorded” and “new age”. It still had bouncy melodies and tribal drums and nonsense lyrics that were fun to guess like Vampire Weekend’s older 2 albums and it ended up as a huge spring-to-summer playlist pick of 2013.

I guess it was a small bit personal, too.

I remember that you bought the album before I did, since you were always reliable at doing so. My memories are a little shaky, but I would almost go so far as to say that I think you preordered it on vinyl, as that was a habit that only solidified our chemistry, because we both valued tangible old-school technology and actually paying for music we loved. Living in Nashville at the time gave us this automatic veil of respect for the art of an album that we carried like a banner everywhere we went, and liner notes were our bibles. “Music City” is a nickname we hate but love in its simple perfection, because it fit our favorite thing to talk about. This unbridled passion for talented artists and very lifeblood of discussing new songs we heard on the local radio station that were about to blow up or how every band was trying to be the Lumineers in 2013 (which sucked) or how the Grammys were a joke yet somewhat important fueled our conversations at Tennessee coffeehouses and off-the-highway dive bars, which were, coincidentally, also full of other critics and songwriters drinking and discussing and karaoke-ing, too.

But, I digress.

Before I purchased Modern Vampires Of The City, a good friend of ours had told me that she’d nearly been moved to tears upon the first listen, which wasn’t an uncommon compliment in our musically-saavy community, but still stuck out in my mind. A few days later, you had listened to the whole album one night (with a glass of whiskey nearby and the candle I convinced you to buy at Target burning) and told me all about it over the phone in a tone of almost-reverence. It may not have been the most important album your well-tuned ears had heard, but you convinced me that I needed to listen to it because it was really something. 

And so, I did listen to it in your car the next day. We were driving around Interstate 440 with multiple people in the backseat- naturally, I was riding shotgun, as my neediness was in full swing- and Modern Vampires Of The City was playing as our background music, which isn’t terrible, but, as we both agreed, isn’t ideal for the first listen of an album when you’re trying to analyze it and see if it stands out. Oddly enough, you kept skipping Track 6 with little explanation, just mentioning that neither you nor I was  “ready” for it. About an hour or so later, we’d dropped off our caravan of riders and were alone the car. You looked at me with a seriousness that felt odd for a midday drive, and then you skipped to Track 6 with the dashboard controls.

“It’s time. You ready?”

(Sidenote: This was always something I admired about you: how you let things speak for themselves. I always feel the need to upsell my favorite things to people before letting them dive in, as if they require rationalization, but you were convinced great things held their own weight. I would have given a speech on why Track 6 would change your life, but you just pressed play with a confidence and the tiniest hint of a “you’ll-thank-me” smirk.)

It began. We listened to 3 minutes and 58 seconds of indie-music-somewhat-love-song bliss in full with the sun shining through the car windows, like we were scoring the soundtrack our own poorly-directed episode of Girls or a dollar-store imitation of Garden State. It was my first listen to this particular track but it sure-as-hell hit me. This was so different for this band we’d both loved- it sounded so personal. With the speakers up high and Ezra Koenig’s voice pleading with me about being afraid of growing older and trust and time and money, I felt very 23 and just a little emotional. Suddenly, at the 2:39 mark, the song just changed oh-so-slightly and that was it- I was hooked. I wanted this song in my back pocket at all times and I wanted to hear it again and I wanted to talk about it, but also not talk about it right away as to not ruin the magic or the moment.

You sighed pretty heavily as it faded out and simply said, “…and that’s Hannah Hurt” after the song finished playing, and we drove around some more without speaking for a few minutes, as if it was still all sinking in. I’m sure eventually we changed the conversation to Instagram or other records out that week or where we wanted to eat that night, but I remember that 3 minute and 58 second nothing-but-music moment as clear as day. Oddly enough, your original song title was actually incorrect. The song’s name is actually “Hannah Hunt” but your substitution of “Hurt” was an interesting quirk and a point that I’d try to write into every later story of us I told, but could never do successfully, as if it was supposed to be foreshadowing or mean something deeper.

It didn’t.

Regardless, “Hannah Hunt” (/Hurt) would stay with me heavily for several months, whether I wanted it to or not. It would be a song that I would turn to if I wanted to think about you when you were gone, a song that I’d play if I wanted to cheaply exploit my own emotions, and a song that I’d listen to on repeat on both good and bad days. Every time I heard it I went bittersweetly back to your car and that lazy afternoon and listening to something beautiful and sad that I loved all at the same time, with someone I loved at the same time who was a little sad and beautiful, too.

I heard it again last week and it wasn’t the same. I was driving home from work on a particularly windy Austin road and my shuffle-mode iPod decided to grace me with the same quiet beginning and light driving piano I know oh-so-well. I instantly remembered that day over a year ago in a different state and I remembered sitting shotgun in your car and I remembered seeing your face and your haircut I loved that you got after we’d met, but it wasn’t overpowering. It was simply a song that brought something back and though my heart still swelled in my chest at the 2:39 mark, I was okay after it ended. All the hard stuff about reliving the past and relationships ending and moving on and moving away wasn’t attached to it anymore. It was just track 6 on Modern Vampires Of The City, a track I liked, a track I could singalong to and talk about, and most of all, a track that told a story and let a memory exist again for 3 minutes and 58 seconds peacefully. You know, without hurting.

My eventual “Best Songs of 2014” List is full of singer-songwriters and high-rated indie releases that I’ll claim took the most out of me these 12 months and captured my attention and ears and heart, but I’m sure that tucked into the mixtape of songs that really stuck with me this year, “Hannah Hunt” will exist, as it has for over a year now.

And, maybe just as a personal gesture, I’ll go for a drive with it playing and think about sunshine on dashboards and breathe in every note, because I can, and because things are okay. Time changes your favorite things but also heals them.

Plus, when you really think about it, my car speakers are just as loud, there’s a lot of road ahead, and the album doesn’t stop after Track 6.

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Things We Need To Start Complimenting Each Other On In Our Twenties

That parallel parking job you did was so expert! The whole time you were googling the restaurant before we left to see if they had a lot and then when you found out it was only street parking, you tried to casually suggest somewhere else for brunch, but regardless, when we arrived, you pulled between two large oddly-spaced vehicles with such ease, never losing your cool. You even kept the in-car conversation going, pretending as if you weren’t internally panicking about accidentally backing up 3 centimeters too far and totally embarrassing yourself! You’ll surely be able to get out of that spot, too, without having to walk home. Kudos!

Way to go on your salad! We all saw you chomping down on several green leaves of lettuce at lunch and could actually manage to still make out the colors of the vegetables present, instead of only seeing a pool of ranch dressing. We hope this isn’t too forward, but are you going all organic? Are you participating in a clean eating challenge on social media? Regardless, your choice in lunchtime wellness is truly an inspiring choice to us all. Get yourself a pizza for dinner, you health guru, you.

You put on actual pants today! I know you had the option to walk out of your house in pajama material or stay home and disregard them altogether for some terrible Lifetime made-for-tv movie that somehow sucks you in every time, but you, by an act of your own selflessness and determination, truly took it to the next level and wore actual fabric with a zipper attached out into the world. Your extra effort to clothe yourself will never go in vain. We are all proud of how you pulled it together and put on a professional front…and back, technically.

Your email response time was impeccable! You may be a pro at avoiding long work message-chains that require a thought-out and spellchecked response, but you tackled this one with sincerity, speed and aplomb, instead of letting it hang over your head all afternoon. I don’t want to presume anything, but are you going to check your voicemails next, too? An overachiever like you is hard to find, so keep up the perfect pace.

Congrats on not bringing up your past failed relationships! I know that it was really tempting to harp on your ex that you can’t forget or share your breakup stories again at a volume that the whole rest of the coffee shop could hear, but you managed to politely continue the conversation without resurrecting your emotional baggage! Even when those friends you were with brought up engagement rings and babies, you kept smiling like the token “cool girl” from a movie that doesn’t have insecurities, and remained somewhat calm in your own single skin. Hip, hip, hooray for you and your heart!

How about that fancy drink you just consumed?! We may still be young, but you truly pulled a sophistication card by ordering something other than PBR, bottom-shelf wine, and “just whatever is the well liquor”. Did you just ask for a cocktail that didn’t have “bomb” in the name and decide to also sip on a water at a bar that has some actual lighting instead of only neon signs? Adulthood looks good on you.

Let’s hear it for you NOT bailing on plans! First pants, now this- wow! Fighting the temptation to stay in and watch another season of the ever-addictive Game Of Thrones (because, dragons) is a tough task, but you actually followed through with the invitation to be outside your house- in public!– and faced the fear of not knowing enough people where you were going or being over or underdressed, and you did it in style. Think of the memories you made tonight, think of the Instagram-worthy moments that happened, and think about how even if you still watched an episode of Game Of Thrones when you got home, you still maintained a friendship or two just by showing up. Good job, pro.

You made a thing! You put effort and time and your own talents into making a business plan, a painting, a screenplay, a big event, a comic book, an album, a poem, a casserole, a thesis, a fun youtube video, the first draft of a novel, a cheap bookshelf for your apartment, a killer resume, a handmade gift, an important speech, or just a great outfit, and you made that thing with your own two hands. You might have had help, you might have failed once or twice (or forty times) getting it there, but you actually created in a world that tells you that our generation doesn’t create anymore. It doesn’t matter how small an accomplishment, because you crafted and labored and put actual thought into something beyond yourself, and for that, the best compliment I can give is, Fantastic! Splendid! Delightful! Delicious! Crazy-Good! Life-Changing!

Now, go do it all again.

A Bittersweet Follow-Through

You can’t brace yourself for heartache.

You just can’t. You can’t will yourself to feel sad when something hasn’t happened yet. No matter how many Ryan Adams, Aretha Franklin, Damien Rice, and Feist records you spin, you can’t transport yourself to a lyrical place that doesn’t quite exist. You can get close, if you really try. You can almost pull the covers over your eyes and shut out all the light and pretend you’re overwhelmed, but it’s not worth it, because that little bit of light will peek in, and you’ll remember that there’s no reason to be upset yet. There’s no reason to worry and shut down in anticipation. There’s no reason to jump to conclusions, because, especially when you’re a type-A sentimental sap, the feelings will come.

One of the greatest people I’ve ever met is moving, and this should be nothing new to me. My dumbed-down advice to anyone in your twenties is: be prepared to move, in every way. You’ll leave college, you’ll move away from old trends and to new ones, you’ll watch friends pack up and go, you’ll say goodbye to your parents, goodbye to your family pets, and goodbye to towns you made your own. But you’ll also leave temporary jobs that didn’t fit, you’ll run from bad relationships as fast as you can because your baggage is light, you’ll float around with less responsibility, and you’ll find joy in moving as well, as you move closer towards becoming the person you want to be. It’s a lot to process, never feeling like you have roots, but there’s an exhilarating freedom at the same time.

Bittersweet- isn’t that always it? There’s a fear in watching your taillights drive away and not knowing when I’ll see them again, but there’s such a joy in knowing that you’re going after something you’ve worked almost 25 years for and that you truly care about. I want to be sad, but that’s too selfish for this, because you’re leaving on the best terms.

You told me almost a year ago that you were watching Arrested Development and I invited myself over. You told me 2 weeks later that you were planning to move away to Seattle to chase a dream, and I told you okay. You grew a mustache, I applied to a million jobs. You took all your past scars and turned them into well-crafted music, and my cynicism of relationships melted away. They say the truth will set you free but first it will piss you off, and Lord knows you learned me well enough to make me a better woman, even if sometimes it took bringing up the worst to get there. Now a few hundred cups of coffee (yours: always black, mine: dirty blonde), tambourine solos, late night walks, glasses of good whiskey, rambling phone calls, concerts (yours: sad/longing, mine: loud/obnoxious), celebrations, dances in the kitchen, cheese plates, midnight kisses, endless talks about the best recording gear and/or speakers, bad jokes, new friends, and nights of enduring my Beyoncé singalongs later – you’re following through, and I couldn’t be prouder.

So I won’t rush it. I won’t fall apart nor act overly tough- I’ll just let it be.

I couldn’t brace myself for you arriving, and I can’t brace myself for you leaving, but for now I can at least save the bitter and relish in the sweet.

Because unlike so many people who promise and never deliver, you actually did it, and what a thing it is.

Things Girlfriends Do

I was never given the manual on this.

You know, “The Girlfriend Manual”.

I was never told how many days I wait before I call you ‘official’, before I move you to my phone’s “favorites”, before I see something at a store and mentally bookmark it as a gift I want to buy for you later.

I was never told if I’m supposed to draw your name with hearts on my notebook, steal your jacket to wear, if I’m supposed to change my Facebook profile status, or put “#blessed” as the caption of every photo of us.

I don’t know the appropriate responses or have the scrapbooking material for “The Story Of Us” and I don’t know where to get them.

And then, of course, there’s the rules.

If I make you dinner, I’m revoking all my feminist powers. If I lean over to kiss you at a stoplight while it’s red, I’m too touchy-feely. If I agree with you, I have no opinion of my own, but if I disagree too much, I’m mean and bitchy. If I call you daily or, heaven forbid, text you two times in a row before you respond to the first one, I’m clingy. If I make you a mix cd, I’m cheesy. If I make you pay, I’m old fashioned. If I ask to split the check, I’m not grateful and am insulting your job and manhood. If I offer to pay, I’m emasculating you. If I buy you clothing, I’m too mothering. If I introduce you to my parents, I’m moving too fast. If I don’t introduce you to my parents, I’m not interested at all. If I like what you like or try to understand your interests, I’m trying too hard. If I don’t like what you like, then we have nothing in common and are doomed to fail. If I ask who that girl was, I’m jealous. If I don’t ask who that girl was, then later on I’ll be told I “should have seen the signs”. If I talk to other men that aren’t you, I’m a flirt. If I don’t like your friends, I’m a horrible person, but, if I try too hard to “bro” out, then it’s fake. If I get excited and call you my boyfriend and enjoy spending time with you and actually maintain a somewhat traditional stable relationship, then I’m a sucker and just “one of THOSE girls”, but if I’m not interested in a relationship, then there’s something wrong with me.

So it’s a bigger society issue, I guess.  This really is a bigger, more in-depth blog post that I should take more seriously. I should really investigate culture’s laws for “women in relationships” or the way pop culture tells you to be a “girlfriend” or the constant criticism of young women that makes growing up or raising a daughter in this twisted world seem terrifying, but really, I just wanted to say that I’m glad I never got the manual.

Because, from what I can tell, you haven’t read it either, and that puts me at ease.

So, you do you, and I’ll do me, and we’ll figure out ‘us’.

And I ‘ll try to stop writing about it so often, because, that’s probably something girlfriends do.

That One Red Sweatshirt

I really like being warm.

I am consistently cold. I don’t know if it is that I just am part amphibian and have cold blood, or if I am like Superman and need to charge in the sun to gain my power, but I’m consistently freezing. I am a little bundle of shivers most days. Any weather under 85 degrees is a struggle for me.

I frequently live in scarves and leggings and furry vests, not only for style, but for layers. I love wearing boots and obnoxious ponchos and I steal the covers like nobody’s business. My parents gave me a Snuggie for Christmas and I use it 100% seriously with no irony. I bundle in blankets and sip hot coffee and tea like it’s going out of style.

So, I try a lot of methods to get warmer, but most notably, now that I’ve moved to Nashville, I wear your old sweatshirt that I borrowed from you one time and never gave back.

Remember that red hooded number?

It’s almost a prize to me and by now, I don’t know if you even remember it. You wore it in high school, its red “Abercrombie” logo proudly displayed (LOL, Abercrombie & Fitch) but the most significant thing to me is that you primarily wore it before we ever met.

Is it too cheesy of me to think about the days you spent in it before I stole it? I just know that the last time you wore it consistently you were young and you were probably writing screenplays and listening to Interpol and maybe feeling like you didn’t quite fit in. I know this because I was feeling the same exact way, only I was on the other side of the city, writing blog posts and listening to Ben Kweller, and wearing a sweatshirt with some stupid graphic that you’d probably make fun of now.

Somehow this sweatshirt accompanied you to college, where we met and where most of your wardrobe either spent a lot of time with me or near me or living below me. (I mean, your plaid shirts and I have practically had whole relationships, but that’s another story altogether.) But, I’m sure I was cold one night, as usual, and you gave it to me so I’d stop complaining or maybe I took it because I felt entitled as your best friend and considered your things basically mine. Either way, I have it, I brought it to Tennessee, and I wear it.

I wear it because it’s roomy and when I’m feeling too lazy to carry a purse, I can put everything I need in the front pocket. I wear it because it makes me think of college and because it’s easy to find in my closet. I wear it because it reminds me of you, and right now I miss you so much that it physically hurts most days.

But I think the main reason I wear it is because I’m sentimental and in some stupid way, wearing it makes me feel like you’re gonna come walk through my door and demand it back, even though I know you’re in Texas.

(And besides, even if you did demand it back, you’d be bluffing, because we both know you’re all about cardigans and real coats now.)

So thanks for keeping me warm, even thousands of miles away. I owe you some mittens or something.

Hello From HelloGiggles!

YALL, BIG NEWS.

(Well, ‘kind of’ big news.)

Some of you may be staring at this lovely website (it is lovely, right?) because you found the link via HelloGiggles.com, who so graciously published a post by me today, titled “More Realistic Facebook Statuses” and that makes me so excited!
It’s no secret that I’m a major fangirl of HelloGiggles and read it nearly daily, loving and reposting things from them, so to be on their site, even a tiny little article, is so exciting for me and I’m so stoked about it!

Anyway, if you found yourself here today because of HelloGiggles, HELLO! HOWDY! IT’S SO GREAT TO HAVE YOU! Pull up a chair (a comfy one) and stay a while. Thank you for reading along. Let’s be besties and braid each others’ hair and watch Rocky Horror Picture Show and do the “Time Warp” and bake cookies and text message each other gifs and play with puppies and celebrate life together.
But seriously.

Oh, and if you’d like, I wrote a little follow-up post a while back called “More Realistic Facebook Statuses, Part 2”  and I mean, what kind of blogger would I be if I didn’t promote that one, too?

As for the rest of you reading this who’ve been around here before, you’re always awesome. Your love and support and comments and shares make me feel warmer and sweeter than a perfectly-stirred pumpkin spice latte. And I love you so dearly. I have so many stories and ideas to write about and I promise I’ll stop living on instagram and publish new posts soon.

Keep roaring. Xoxo.

We Met In A Baggage Claim

I’m very hesitant to write about anything super-personal on the internet.

LOL, JK.

Well, false. I actually share my neuroses and anxieties with y’all all the time, internet, and I wax poetic about my quirks and problems and shortcomings, but I am hesitant to write about anything personal that involves someone else, because then I’m that girl. I’m that girl, airing my relationships for everyone to see, whether the intended party signed up for their name to be strewn across a webpage or not.

But.

I mean, I tried this time.

You see, there’s this little buzz in the back of my head that’s been itching to write about this for a while. Nothing overwhelming, not even the beginning of the whole story, but still something. So, here goes.

The Chicago airport is not where I expected anything significant to happen.

The Chicago airport was supposed to be a stop that didn’t matter, literally, a go-between and maybe a few minutes of me reading an InStyle with an overpriced latte while instagramming a photo of my shoes out of boredom.

But, it was significant.

We met at a baggage claim, which I think describes us maybe better than anything else could. A place that was full of people, full of distraction, and full of constant change. You’re not supposed to spend a long time at a baggage claim, you know. Just grab your bags and move on. By all intents and purposes, we shouldn’t have met. We should have just kept walking across the terminal to our respective locations. I mean, I know we were headed to the same place and probably would have run into each other anyway, but there’s something about suitcase carrier 5 that seemed to change things.

So, we met amidst so many ridiculous things.

I can, of course, remember my outfit and remember my hair color and style at the time, but I don’t remember the first thing you said– only that it made me laugh, and that you continued to make me laugh and distract me from important things. So everything else – people, appointments, cups of coffee – got half of my attention that weekend and even though that might usually cause me anxiety, I thought nothing of it. I’m always all-talk, but you could keep up and you could play along with all my puns and singalongs. We compared things in common and made far too many of the same references and got mad when we agreed too much.

Because, let’s face it, the whole thing was somewhat sickeningly adorable, and you and I were much too cool for that sort of thing. We were both chasing after being independent and renegades and maybe one of us was wearing a ridiculous graphic t-shirt that said “Free Spirit” and taking it a little too close to heart, but still. We were not the sort of people to read Nora Ephron books and believe them, to let romantic comedy plot lines become reality or to take stock in a one-time meeting.

We were supposed to be moving on. Getting on the next plane. Taking our suitcases with us, not opening them and unpacking our lives and talking about important things and agreeing so much.

So, we met in a baggage claim, and I still don’t know what to do about it all.

And now, a couple months and a couple thousand miles later, when you look at me and sing, “we found love in a baggage claim” to the tune of Rihanna’s “We Found Love (In A Hopeless Place)” like you always do, I’ll still roll my eyes, but hey, maybe one day I’ll end up writing it all down and it’ll seem less crazy and less cryptic.

But, probably not.