The weatherman says that when those of us on the southern mid-Atlantic coast wake up tomorrow, we can expect to see a dust-like layer of snow on the ground. I hope he’s wrong and it accumulates like hell so I don’t have to wake up at 8:30 for class. But realistically, it won’t happen. Wishful thinking has never seemed to work for me. Regardless, this rumored precipitation has led me to the conclusion that there is no time more appropriate than now to write about “It’s Cold Out Here” by Modern Baseball.
With nearly 500 plays in my iTunes library, it’s one of my favorite songs of all time, after “Semi-Charmed Life” by Third Eye Blind and “A Praise Chorus” by Jimmy Eat World, of course. But as Modern Baseball songs go, “It’s Cold Out Here” will always be my favorite.
For starters, it’s catchy as hell. The bridge of that song should be chanted at every high school football game, not the five words in Gary Glitter’s lame-ass “Rock and Roll Part 2.” It’s a shame the Couples Therapy split wasn’t released until May of my senior year; if the varsity pigskin players had heard “I told you to get out” at every home game, their season might have been less embarrassing.
I’m not even athletic and that crescendo in the last verse hypes the shit out of me. If my professional bull riding career ever takes off, I want that song to play as I’m lowered onto the bull from the ceiling a la Katy Perry in her Super Bowl performance. I would automatically win that competition because the steed would have to retire to start his pop punk side project.
Another reason my appreciation for “It’s Cold Out Here” exceeds some people’s love of Morrissey is because every single person I’ve ever showed it to has had nothing but positive feelings towards it. I’ve exposed the song to so many people that if it were the common cold, The Government would spread propaganda about a deadly epidemic taking place in Southern Maryland. But my incessant texts, tweets, and soapboxes in regards to the song worked out in my favor, and as a result I never have to worry about driving a Miss Daisy who doesn’t know the lyrics.
I’ve got a friend whose primarily listens to the Juno brand of indie rock; he’s got it on his iPod. I have another friend who could spend all day listening to Tchaikovsky; he’s sung along with me before. Hell, even my mom likes the song. Okay, I lied. She likes the 4-Way V-Day split version. But still. It’s my favorite Modern Baseball song because all of my closest friends appreciate it. Whenever we listen to it, we look like we’re trying to audition for the “Bohemian Rhapsody” scene in Wayne’s World. The song is just that damn good.
And that’s all it is to some people: a good song. But to me, it’s much more.
Two summers ago, I made the mistake of letting myself become romantically involved with someone whose track record for being a shitty person was longer than the wait period between Use Your Illusion and Chinese Democracy. I should have embraced my inner April Ludgate and detested the idea of tender human interaction, but for whatever reason, I was helplessly attracted to the idea of someone being interested in me. It started out really well at first, but in the words of Geoffrey Chaucer, all good things must come to an end. Except it wasn’t a good thing.
Okay, it wasn’t completely terrible. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy it at the time, because I damn well did. I felt like the protagonist in every sappy Man Overboard song, and it was a role I played well – until I realized that I was with the antagonist described in “The Absolute Worst.” It was just embarrassing that I didn’t come to that conclusion until months after it was all over.
When the romance-that-never-was came to an abrupt halt after a grand total of approximately 40 days, I was heartbroken. It sounds lame as hell – and it was, because They weren’t worthy of any aspect of me – but I was miserable, to say the least. The first person who ever actively pursued their attraction for me ended it just like that.
But really, it wasn’t just like that. Since They have the maturity level equivalent to an envelope of Bellis perennis seeds, They avoided the issue for about a week. After I forced the issue upon Them, They so poignantly cleared everything up:
“I never wanted there to be anything to end”
“Why didn’t you just say that you weren’t interested in me anymore? Why did you have to avoid it?”
“You’re a gem.”
That’s when I felt my heart crack like the James Frey novel. To cope, I spent a few days chain smoking Camel Menthols, listening to a playlist I labeled the knife emoji, and playing the role of Debbie Downer to all my friends and cats. Shortly after my period of self-loathing ended, I had an epiphany: there was more solace in “It’s Cold Out Here” than there was love in the “relationship,” or whatever it was labeled as.
Don’t call me now, I am in bed.
Towards the end of it all, They were full of excuses why we couldn’t hang out: They were tired, They had to work the next morning, They were cleaning the house. My personal favorite, though, was the simple ignoring of my phone calls. It’s nice to know I wasn’t worth the seven-digit letdown.
Lots of things you kind of ignored.
But They weren’t ignoring things; they were ignoring me. Depending on how you look at it, I guess I was nothing more than a thing: a thing that spent too much money and time on someone that didn’t care; a thing that was merely a self-esteem supplement; a thing that always knew the right thing to say.
It’s clear to you but to no one was it clearer than to me.
Based on the sudden lack of interest in all aspects involving me, They obviously knew that whatever it was that was going on between us was over. Of course, I didn’t know this at first – how could I have known? They never fucking told me anything. But with that thought-provoking “K” text, I kind of figured it was over.
I admit, though, that more than anything I wanted that to be false, because honestly, They made me fucking happy. It doesn’t seem like it, but when things were good, they were really fucking good. In retrospect, I don’t know if that’s entirely true, but damn if it didn’t feel like it was.
I spent the remainder of that summer and the first part of autumn trying to fix it and make it work, but deep down I knew whatever feelings They had were nonexistent. Two wrongs don’t make a right, and two broken beings don’t make a complete one, either.
I told you I loved you just outside your mom’s place. You laughed then you felt bad, as we sat there red-faced. I felt like a bitch, so I told you to get out. But I guess Bren was right babe, ‘cause who’s laughing now?
I personally don’t enjoy large, permanent lines of one’s body, but I would get this entire verse tattooed on my back in Comic Sans MS. Not even the finest English literature can make me feel the way these lyrics do. These lines do for me what the Bible does for Christians: they bring me comfort in a hopeless place. Rihanna and Eminem do that for each other, too.
Although it was incredibly painful at the time, I only grew stronger from the experience, as cliché as that sounds. The events that took place during that summer made me realize that I don’t have to play dumb for the sake of feeling loved; plenty of real people with real feelings give a shit about me. And as long as I have people like that in my life, I’ll never be the one who’s cold out here.