Our oldest daughter, presently sixteen, has decided she’s bored with high school and is ready to graduate this May, a year early, which is how she and I found ourselves traveling an hour out of our way this past Friday, to have her Senior yearbook pictures taken, long before I was emotionally ready, though I’m afraid I can’t say the same thing about her. She’s always been a fast girl. No, I don’t mean it that way. Lilia is the sort of girl who, at the ripe old age of three, got frustrated with a cartoon she was watching because the bad guy didn’t consider that if he destroyed the world, as he planned, he’d be destroying himself too, so she decided to help me cook dinner instead. Fast. Sometimes I wish I could slow her down, remind her to take her time, that it’s all right to be a little ridiculous and to enjoy her youth, which is funny because she often says the same thing about her little sister, who is two years younger than her and, in her opinion, much more serious, though really they are just serious in different ways. Then I get glimpses of days like Friday, and I can breathe a small sigh of relief because my fast daughter’s in love with a drummer she’s never even met.
As we climbed into the car Friday morning, and she proceeded to jack in her phone, simultaneously grinning boldly and looking flustered, Lilia informed me that she had a dirty little secret she needed to share, so I should just be prepared to spend the rest of the day listening to only one band–5 Seconds of Summer, the Australian boy band that has captured her heart, even though she knows she’s supposed to be above that sort of thing. “I don’t feel very guilty about it, because they aren’t really a boy band anyway, they’re a garage band,” she said rather emphatically, perhaps expecting me to judge her because their music is mainstream (what can I say? My kids know I’m a music nazi, though I’ve tried to loosen up some over the years and will even listen to their Pandora stations on road trips, if only to avoid the same ten Top 40 songs that are always on the radio). “They all play instruments,” she continued, “and they write their own music. They’re real musicians, Mom, and here! Just look at them!” she swooned, shoving her phone in front of my face while I tried to keep the car on the road. “Sorry. I’ll wait until we get to the gas station.” …Fast.
Let’s face it, Ashton Irwin is not going to show up at our little town and sweep my much-too-young-(and-probably-too-fast)-for-him daughter off her feet anytime soon, so I gratefully listened to Voodoo Doll at least four times anyway, along with every other song 5SOS ever played.
We laughed together about how she could, “totally marry a rock star, especially a drummer!” even though she has no idea how to meet a drummer, let alone how to date one. Being the sort of fast girl she is (and her mother’s daughter), she Googled, “how to date a rock star,” and right there at the top of the results was Mat Devine’s recent article in Galore, “5 Ways to Date a Rock Star“. So she read aloud, and we laughed some more, because there is something refreshing about a guy who admits right off the bat, “I’m pretty *expletive*… [but] Any girl that knows I’m in a band, and still kinda likes me… I’m like… RED FLAG!” (For those girls still determined to let their red flags fly, he went on to provide three and a half mostly-sensible pointers, which actually apply to dating any guy, not just rock stars. For the record, #4 only gets half credit, because there are some things on that list even fast-in-the-traditional-sense girls should never do, however where the line gets drawn is at #5, because unless you are at the show, the rock star you are dating should definitely want to have a proper shower before he sees you, otherwise he’s not worth your time. Even a Red Flag girl’s gotta have standards, Mat.) It was quite fun being on the inside of one of my daughter’s rare full-on teenager moments, but in the end my fast girl returned to her senses, deciding that perhaps it wasn’t the rock star she wanted to date, so much as it was the music.
I’m with her on that.
I mentioned that before I went off on a days-long tangent exploring other dimensions last week, I had every intention of posting about the music that has inspired my writing. Instead of writing about it, I think I should just let you fall in love the old fashioned way. So, here are three of the bands, who inspired The Eleventh Age in various ways, playing songs in the order of how rock star relationships usually turn out:
The Shins, Saint Simon. They woo us with genius.
The Libertines, Boys in the Band. Turns out we’re not the only one’s they’re wooing.
Oasis, Don’t Look Back in Anger. As it happens, rock stars say a lot of goodbyes that don’t mean much.
Thanks for listening.