Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sounds Of My Life: Elizabeth on the Bathroom Floor

The year was 1998, Electroshock Blues was just released, and my mind was effectively blown. Beautiful, clever, cynical yet hopeful pop songs. Wow. This guy was just my speed.

This song reminds me of a particularly awkward social moment in my life, which echoes many of the foot-in-mouth moments I have and will relive over and over again. Try as I might, in practical application, my gob just isn't as eloquent as my mind wants it to be.

At the record store, I absent-mindedly mention to one of the new hires that her name reminds me of a lyric in an Eels song. The song itself is beautiful and complex, but instead of going into all of that, I lquote a portion of it to her:

"My name's Elizabeth ... my life is shit and piss."

This girl was very much an Elizabeth, not Liz or Beth; Elizabeth to the core. I realize, immediately, as I say this that this was a horrible thing to say to someone I've just met; even though I didn't mean it to be derogatory or negative in any way. I was having a moment where I wanted to share the profundity of the tune with someone ... but ruined it. Horribly.

Fortunately she was a sweet-natured enough girl that she didn't seem phased ... but, even worse, I didn't apologize for my misstep. That was the weird thing about this moment, and so many others that I've lived since: I make these incredibly bone-headed comments, realizing immediately the unintended double entendre, but utter no word of apology largely because I just don't want to dig the whole deeper (a la Larry David).

I just go on with the conversation, hoping the slip is just ignored or that it just is understood that I realize what a putz I am. Instead, the whole world probably just sees me as the gigantic, unapologetic a-hole that I am.

Artist: The Eels

PS I finished E's autobiography a couple of days ago. It was just what I expected (this is a good thing).


  1. It's such an amazing song, (and album) though!

    Have you ever noticed that girls who actually go by Elizabeth are overly proper, sort of bland Emily Dickinson types? While girls named Liz are at the worst, bitches and at the best, kinda edgy? And then there's Beth...typically down to earth types.

    Personally, I never quite feel like I fit in any of those boxes. But fortunately for me, Elizabeth is a name with no less than 60 different nicknames, so there's something for everyone.

    Sorry. I totally just hijacked your comment section to talk about myself. I do that. Sorry again.

  2. *Addendum...

    I've been drinking.

    Hearts and stars babe-ee. But most of all, purple horseshoes.

  3. Whatever! You are wonderful.

    And your assessment is 120% correct. I've known all too many super bitchy Lizs, overly-proper Elizabeths, and then I have you, my sweet Bethy-poo. :)