Amanda liked Morrissey, so I liked Morrisey too.
Or at least I told her I did.
The lie began as harmless banter on our first date.
She told me how much she loved the Smiths and I casually agreed they were ‘great’.
‘Really?! You’re a fan!?’ She responded excitedly.
Seeing as how I’d been called out and how thrilled she was, it seemed only natural to affirm my opinion. ‘OhYeah! They’re awesome!’
‘Well which song is your favorite?’ she beamed.
‘Uh, man they’re all so good. Its just the sincerity of the performance you know?’ It was a diplomatic choice.
‘I know right!?! But the way he asks ‘Why do you come here?’ In Suedehead just breaks my heart every time. I love it.’ She clutched her chest as she imagined hearing it.
I nodded in agreement and quickly changed the subject.
6 dates later she greeted me with a C.D. labeled ‘Amanda’s Super Awesome Song Mix’. Hearts and lightning bolts drawn in sharpie adorned its surface.
We got in my car and she slid it into the player. ‘Turn it to number 5.’ She said with a knowing grin.
A warbled Irish Falsetto began pouring out of the speakers as I stared in horror at the sight of her singing every word of ‘Every Day is Like Sunday’ and motioning for me to do the same.
I panicked and began mumbling something between lyrics and a low hum. Amanda was engrossed and didn’t seem to notice.
It went on like this for weeks. More mixes. More songs I’d never heard and pretended to love.
Then came my birthday.
I wanted to go camping with my friends. Amanda hated camping and my friends. Besides, she had other plans for us.
Two tickets to Morrissey live at the L.A. Sports Arena.
It was like opening an ill fitting hand knit sweater in front of my Grandmother.
‘I can’t wait!’ I said a little too enthusiastically.
The concert was two weeks away and I knew about 3 songs. I was going to have to do some serious homework.
I went on the forums and after reading up on his discography, purchased ‘Southpaw Grammar’ and ‘Viva Hate’ on vinyl.
I knew 20 songs and a slew of wikipedia facts well enough to get through one evening.
In a 2 hour set he played roughly 4 of them.
During the others I was left bobbing my head, waiting until the chorus to chime in.
I think it had become apparent to my lady friend that I had used the term ‘fan’ loosely.
We broke up a few months later.
The music was just a part of it. A symptom of something larger.
It was the person that I was around her, or rather the person that I wasn’t.
She was serious so I was serious too.
She liked drinking all the time so I became a lush.
She didn’t like that I spent so much time on my art so I spent less time drawing.
You get the picture.
I didn’t recognize myself.
But let me be clear here: the fault was completely mine.
I allowed myself to give up all the things that made me strong because I was taken with a pretty face.
This is a theme as old as any love song about a woman ever written.
In fact, the Smiths wrote one called ‘Wonderful Woman’.
Its actually kind of nice.