Friday, February 11, 2011

Playlist of the Week: Gentleman Rob's Heartbreak Companion

Scotch is a scientifically-proven and effective solution for the problem of love.  Look it up.

Well looky, looky it's that time of year again where upscale restaurants and greeting card companies get a short respite from the realities of our current economic downturn and we celebrate all things love.  Now many of you who know me are probably expecting me to come on here and be Mr. Bitterpants (or Dr.Bitterpants if I go back to school), but I refuse to walk down that cliche road of telling you that love is bullshit or it doesn't exist or whatever.  Love does exist.  I swear I read that somewhere or it was on a TV special or something.  So no need to go down that silly, misguided road again.

Having said that, it is one of my true core beliefs that every man--I won't speak for women even though I keep trying to no avail--should always, ALWAYS be prepared for heartbreak and have the proper playlist ready and waiting.  Sure, there are all the stages that involve denial, anger, drinking, rebounding, rebound-related drinking, disappointment, despair, looking for homes/jobs in other states, drinking, and ultimately acceptance.  I mean, duh.  Everyone knows you can't avoid those critical stages of post-breakup resolution.  But what are you going to be listening to while all of this is going on?

In this romance is dead, iPod-laden, 5,000 tracks or more generation we live in, you don't want to be scrambling around during your super awesome heartbreak experience looking for the right sad songs.  I mean, if you just hit shuffle you could wind up accidentally hearing that Coldplay you fully intended to delete years ago or--worse yet--happy music.  That is simply no way to cope with heartbreak on an auditory level.

For weird, voodoo-magical reasons borne out through my own experience and therefore most certainly your experience, sad music makes us feel better.  Or at the very least, it makes us feel like we're not alone in our misery.  Despite what we see in our friends' Facebook statuses, we are not the only ones in the history of the world to feel the sting of having our nuts caved in by a woman's metaphorical steel-toed boot.  And these songs remind us of that.  And that is good.  Having a "go-to heartbreak" playlist is key to the process of healing because these become the songs that transcend one ex or another.  It becomes the warm blanket you can always count on when it's all fallen apart again.  Having been through such an experience last year, I can assure you that music helped and helps.  And if you have a consistent set of songs, it makes it easier to remember the words when you get drunk and you're legally required to belt these songs out at the top of your lungs in your apartment much to the dismay of your neighbor.  Or so I've heard.

So here is my up-to-date heartbreak companion playlist.  Each song has a story and a memory associated with it.  And I've got to say that since the list has been evolving since high school, some of the songs associated with previous heartbreak somehow end up becoming odd sources of comfort and border on actual humor because it's much easier to laugh at a version of you and the way you felt about the heartbreak from a decade ago.  For those of you in love, I wish you well.  For those of you still searching for love, my sincerest wishes for success.  And for those recovering from love, pour a drink, put on your playlist, and know that tomorrow will be a little bit better.

P.S. Make sure she's "the one" before teaching her about good music.  Otherwise, she'll haunt you with her presence at concerts of bands she never knew or cared about before she met you for the rest of your life.

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