The Empancipation of Mimi
I turned on Mariah Carey and realized it was only because I wanted to feel a certain way. There's something about her voice and the romantically desperate want in her lyrics. Mariah sings about wanting a man to be her baby doll. And losing her virginity on the Fourth of July. And waiting. Until he calls. Or he says he loves her. Or my favorite - for him to come back. I've been buying her cds since her single "Someday" was on MTV. That was 1990. Even then, six years old, I must have known that music would become my way to facilitate emotion.
"I just want to listen to music for a bit, do you mind?" I'll say. And those who really know me understand. And vacate. With headphones embedded and one leg crossed over the other and propped up on my bed end, I stare at the ceiling and have a conversation with myself. I often wonder if these moments are more theraputic for me than writing. Because I like losing myself in emotion. The theatrics of my day never actually satisfy me emotionally. Dancing around. Laughing in unison. Being a bitch about Martha trying to wear black and brown together... again. While all of this would seem sufficient, it's not. None of it unravels how I'm actually feeling. Because I don't usually try to get that deep unless I know I have a weekend to rebuild what I break down.
So I listen to one of the five Mariah Carey cds that I have in my iPod Mini. Not Fiona. Not Nina. Not Ella. Heck, not even Billie. But Mariah. My love-is-cliche-like-a-butterfly companion. Sometimes I can't be deep. And think about things like the soul. I just want to be pouty. And upset. And desperate. Because I want love to be that way. I want to need it so badly that I can't control the number of pints of Ben & Jerry's I drain or how many rose-petal scented baths I can take in a week. I want to be like Mariah and put on the non-chalant face in public and go home to cry and be tortured by my secret love. I want it to be girly. And excessive.
It's about being effected. I want to feel like I want something beyond the spoken word or the convention of commitment. In the relationship and love sense, I think I want to be the needy one. The one with more stake. The one pushing for the impossible. I've been so complacent about love. All my life. I have never taken it seriously or thought it was something to strive for.
I guess the world changes. And little girls become women with love agendas. And the attached feeling starts to kick in, and just when she thinks she might go back to feeling scared and pinned down to the horrible circumstance of life that is love and affection, she turns on Mariah Carey. And hops into her bunk bed with a playlist meant to convince her to put the phone down. Instead, it tells her to wait. Because he'll call again. Someday. The songs remind her that she really does love this person. More than she ever thought 21 would let her. More than she ever knew she was beginning to. And slowly, the feeling permeates. Love matters. Enough to make a woman cry about a day's separation.
Lonelines exists at once. And she feels better knowing that it does. After an hour's time, there's no way to go back. To pretend that emotion hasn't surfaced and shown its ugly face. Mariah's right. About giving it all. Is there anything else to give if we plan to live our lives with meaning?