Reminds Me Of You: 10 Songs Dedicated To All The “Loves” Of My Life
I never could relate to the jokes young girls used to make about boys having cooties and being gross and what not. I never found boys disgusting…never. Instead, I was obsessed with having a boyfriend. At five I solicited my “godbrother” for the role. Not that I liked him but because I was on a quest to be grown. And what was more grown than having a boyfriend? It was a huge check marked off my to-do list. Perhaps my early thirstiness is the reason I’m well into my twenties and still haven’t had a real boyfriend. But that’s a story for another day. Point is, I got really into boys, crushes, romance and love. And I don’t know about you, but all of my “love” stories–I use the word very loosely as I was mostly in love with having some business– had to have theme music. So here are the songs that remind me of my boos.
Seeing as how I had my first little boo thang at 5 years old, by the time I got to second grade my hormones were raging. I wasn’t checking for the babies in my class though, I had my eyes on Alec Harrison.* He was a fifth grader I met in gym class when he and some of his classmates volunteered to help with us little kids. From the moment I saw him I was hooked and my mission had begun. I found out his first and last name, what class he was in and just a bit of his life story. I dreamed about kissing him and having conversations with dude. And as if that weren’t enough, I sent him anonymous candy grams pretty much everyday in February. So it only makes sense that my theme songs for Alec, my first crush was:
My Boo- Ghostown DJs
The first lines of the song were my life. I did have Alec on my mind. I was his secret admirer and I had certainly been watching him.
With Honorable Mentions by :
After Alec graduated from elementary school, it was a while before I could find someone else worthy of my secret affections. But in fifth grade, I developed an intense liking for Ronald. Interestingly, enough I knew Ronald in third grade but couldn’t stand him back then. But two years later things had changed. Homeboy was fine. He was funny…witty even with expressive eyes and faint freckles. And though he was smart, he was a bit of a bad boy. At the time I brushed it off as no big deal but I’ve since heard that Ronald was held back and had been arrested for some dumb stuff. But you know, I couldn’t see into the future. And at the time Ronald was probably the muse for sexual awakening. I laugh now but I remember how real those feelings were. And my dreams had transitioned to more than just kissing and hand holding like they were with Alec. Much stronger those days. So, Ronald’s theme song:
Softest Place on Earth- Xscape
With an honorable mention by:
The more appropriate: Are You That Somebody – Aaliyah
Oooh Ewing. By the time I was in middle school, there was no convincing me that I wasn’t an adult forced to attend school. You couldn’t tell me nothing… I had a locker now. I was grown honey. Anyway, I met Ewing on the first day of middle school. He was my locker neighbor, pretty much from sixth grade until high school. I’m sure I thought he was cute within the very first week of middle school. And it wasn’t long before my pre teen’s intuition told me that he was feeling me too. Everybody knew it. But you know how crushes go, it’s easier and more special to let them exist entirely in your mind. That way you can overanalyze every word of every conversation, find new ways to stalk folk and daydream about how awesome it would be to actually be with that person all without the commitment and stresses a real relationship bring.
Ewing used to sit at a lunch table right behind me with his friends. And one day his friend Joseph turns around, taps me on the shoulder and asks, “If Ewing were to ask you out what would you say?” I was shocked. And I know I sat there, eyes darting back and forth between the both of them, mouth agape. Finally, Ewing, having gotten impatient said, “Just answer the question.” And in a mixture of fear and indignation at him telling me what to do, I heard the word “no” escape from my lips. It was a boldfaced lie and I regretted it immediately and for months after. Who knows if I had been honest, Ewing and I could be married with kids by now. And so, in all of my melodrama, his theme song became:
Pass You By- Boyz II Men
My sister was in tears when I told her this. I took things waaaay too seriously back then. But the tripped up thing about it is one day, a year after I lied, Ewing was singing it in our science class and asked me if I knew the song before he started singing it. Speechless, all I could do was nod. He had no idea…
With an honorable mention by:
…This dude. If there is any real love on this list, this is the guy. Matthew and I met in middle school. He was an 8th grader, I was a 7th grader and he told my sister to tell me that he liked me. Matthew was kind of popular back then being that he played baseball and since I was pretty low key “wit mines,” his whole liking me business was a bit of a trending topic for a few weeks. It was kind of exciting. And by now you know since I dig all that kind of stuff, I went with it. Surprisingly, his sister and I were on the same track team in middle school and then high school. So he was always around. And more than the popularity, he just seemed like a decent dude. And he’s literally been in my life, in some form or fashion, with plenty of breaks and girlfriends in between, ever since. Matthew was my first date, first real kiss…pretty much first everything. But as I’ve gotten older I can understand why I loved crushes so much. They’re far better than having to deal with the realness of life and learning that romance and love aren’t always enough to make a relationship sustainable. So being that I’ve known homeboy for almost half my life, he has a ton of theme music. Several soundtracks worth. But in an effort not to bore you with the extended mix, here’s the one that best sums it up.
Time Will Tell- Tower of Power
With honorable Mentions By:
Still to this day, Justin has to be one of the finest men I’ve ever laid my eyes on. He was an Adonis, straight up. He was a year older than me and I had seen him walking the hallways, seemingly floating over the lesser men. Fione. Ya’ll don’t understand. So imagine my excitement and simultaneous panic when I discovered that Justin was in my health class. When I tell you it took everything in me to breathe normally and not sweat out my clothes…He was so beautiful. And though I would plot out my approach, my opening line I could never get up the nerve to speak to him. Never. He even, in jest, threw a piece of candy at me one day and made eye contact. And instead of me coming up with some clever way to introduce myself and strike up a conversation, I panicked again and again and again.
So Justin’s theme song:
You Don’t Know My Name- Alicia Keys
You know infatuation is so fleeting. When I first met Brandon, in my SAT prep class I had to ask myself if I really liked him or just thought he was a nice guy who looked half way decent. I had convinced myself that I liked him for real. But it wasn’t long before I realized that wasn’t the case at all. In reality, we only had good conversation when we talked about the SAT, our anxieties and which questions were going to trip us up. I remember I gave Brandon my number and the conversation was so painfully silent my mother was in the background instructing me to talk about current events. It wasn’t happening. All was lost. And the final nail was sealed into that coffin when we slow danced in the gym after our homecoming game. We danced to Jagged Edge’s “Walked Right Out of Heaven.” It was the longest song of my life and I still cringe whenever I hear it being played today. Sweetest guy…the chemistry was just terribly off.
Walked Right Out of Heaven- Jagged Edge
Not having had the best of luck with the fellas in high school, I just knew that college was going to present a smorgasbord of options. I was wrong. It was just more of the same. Except now I got to spend even more time around these boys/men and see just how immature they really were. But that didn’t stop my first little I don’t know…interaction with a guy I met within the first three of four months of school. I knew pretty early that this wasn’t going to work but it was fun while it lasted and he and I would have some pretty good sing-a-longs. Which included this song:
Before I Let You Go- Blackstreet
Another college thang. Having learned from my past mistakes of not letting my feelings be known, I took it a step further with this one and asked him out on a date. (I won’t do that again.) We went out a couple of times and I genuinely liked the guy. He was smart, passionate about his craft and invested in giving back to the youth. I dug him. He was also the first person, other than Matthew, with whom I had to share fundamental and potentially unflattering truths about myself. He couldn’t hang. We were always cool afterward but I learned a lot about myself with him and so his song is…or the song I played for myself during this time was:
Come What May: Patti Labelle
With an honorable mention by:
I met Tyler in a fashion befitting a romantic comedy. This guy approached me on the subway platform after. And I really was not feeling conversation in that moment. But somehow, to his credit, he managed to get and keep my attention. He was so charismatic. And I liked his vibe instantly but felt guilty about pursuing anything because Matthew was still in my life. Womp. Anyway he came back around a year later (Told you, like a movie.) and we ended up dating for almost a year. But he was never my boyfriend because we’re different in ways I know to be too crucial to ignore. Anyway, I enjoyed his company and he was the first dude to fulfill my fantasy of slow dancing in the living room, without me having to tell him it was something I’d always dreamed of. We danced to this song…
For the Good Times- Al Green
…so it’ll go down in the record books as his.
And lastly, I don’t know what’s in store for my love life. But unlike my former five year old self I’m no longer preoccupied with it. I do think about my ultimate partner, husband, father of my kids, ride or die laugh buddy but not in terms that are always so picture perfect like they were back in the day. I know now that relationships take work and when I imagine the theme song for my ideal love, it’ll have to encompass something that represents the beauty in pushing each other and ourselves to be better people. I imagine we’ll be building and climbing so…
Stairway to Heaven- The Ojays
What songs remind you of the crushes, romances and loves of your life? Do share so I’m not the only one out here looking crazy.
*Names have been changed to protect…myself.