This weekend, please don’t share your love life with the neighbors. Have some mercy. Don’t be that guy. I’m writing this now because our neighbor appears to think that tonight, he’s going out on a date with the woman who might be “the one.” I know this because – well, read on.
By the way, I don’t mean literally share your love life with the neighbors. That would be even worse. In this case, I’m talking about the soundtrack of your love life. Our neighbor’s love life can, I swear, be tracked by the music he plays. He plays it at an exceptionally high volume, and he plays it outside (on what device, I don’t know, because I can’t see him, although I sure can hear him).
Sometimes, his relationships are working out really well. This is when he plays happy music, maybe something uptempo like “Happy” (he’s pretty literal) or something a bit slower, like “I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You.”
When Your Love Life Goes Bad, We All Suffer
Inevitably, the relationship sours. But it doesn’t sour overnight; no, it generally takes at least two weeks of drama. This starts with loud arguments outside, devolves into sobbing (his and hers), and – of course! – sad songs. As Breakup Day approaches, the aural melancholy increases. There’s some mathematical relationship here, an inverse relationship between the song’s Sadness Quotient and the days left until Final Breakup Day. I bet I could devise an algorithm to predict exactly when she will storm off for the last time.
From Breakup to New Start: An Audio Timeline
Generally, the breakup period begins when the apology songs start; he might play “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word.”
When the apologies don’t work, he begins his descent into complete and utter darkness. These songs range from “Without You” (this version includes the written lyrics, so you can deepen your own depression) to “Bring Me To Life” – here’s a lovely version sung by a 14 (!) year old. Whether or not you find this song to be depressing is, I suppose, a matter of taste. Personally, I can’t listen to anything by Evanescence without wanting to throw myself off a bridge.
Depression on Repeat
If it’s a really bad breakup, he’s been known to play the same song over and over and over, and then a few more times, for good measure. Sometimes, he plays it 20 times in a row, as was the case with “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” which is a great song, and I enjoyed hearing it the first three times. After that, I’m pretty sure that if I still had teenage daughters at home, I would have sent one of them over there to comfort him; I was that desperate to make it stop.
On the bright side, none of the songs at any point in the first-date-to-breakup-continnum contain any of the expressions I hate. Small comfort, but I’ll take it.
How do I know it’s a guy? I’m sure of it. I can give you a pretty good profile, because I’ve painted an entire, complete picture of him in my imagination. Here he is:
- Pretty good hair
- A professional of some sort
- Somewhat of a renaissance man, given his wide variety of musical tastes
- Perpetually optimistic
- Difficult – or, he just keeps choosing unsuitable women
Should I Go Over There?
You may be asking yourselves why I haven’t gone over there, maybe just to chat with him and brighten his day, or to confirm who he really is. There are two main reasons I haven’t done this:
- At heart, I’m a voyeur, and if he knows that I’ve been tracking this, he may take it inside.
- If it turns out that he’s nothing like I thought, my dreams will be shattered.
Anyway, in all seriousness, good luck (again), dude. I hope you find the woman of your dreams soon, because I’m not sure I can take another breakup.⧉
*A word about the image: this is the album cover from “Mr. Lucky”, a fabulous Henry Mancini album from the CBS Television Series “Mr. Lucky“. If you’re a fan of the genre, and of vinyl, you can pick it up here.