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The Blue & Gray Press | October 23, 2017

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Susannigans: Playlists Provide a Mix of Emotions

BY SUSANNAH CLARK

For an unabridged chronicle of Susannah Clark’s love life, just open up my iTunes.

There they are, in alphabetical order: 12 playlists, each named after every boy I’ve ever dated, wooed, rejected, led on, worshiped and cried over.

The playlists are actually mix CDs I engineered for these boys; they are the only way I know how to make myself vulnerable at the beginning stages of courtship. The mixes tend to have a balance of songs I think the boy in question would enjoy, as well as personal classics of mine that they’d better enjoy if they’re remotely considering a relationship. There’s usually a lot of Paul Simon.

The mix CD is like a litmus test: if he still wants to date me after I put a song from “A Goofy Movie” on there, maybe I’ve found The One.
Every time I scroll down to play a song on iTunes, I am reminded of clammy hand-holding, first (and final) kisses, and sleepless nights spent analyzing cryptic voicemails.

There‘s the Guy Who Only Listened to U2, the Guy Who Thought Limp Bizkit Did the Original “Behind Blue Eyes,” the Guy Who Had Never Read “High Fidelity,” and perhaps most heinously: The Guy Who Didn’t Listen to the Beatles, just to name a few. All available to click-and-drag at my leisure.

Saturday is Valentine’s Day and I have no one to make a mix CD for. Rather than dwell on my current playlists of mistakes and misfortune, I’ve decide that I’m going to be proactive and clear my hard drive of any lingering romantic feelings. It’s time to move on, and nip the foreshadowing loneliness in the iPod earbud. I’m deleting my ex-boyfriends out of my iTunes and starting fresh.

After the digital detox, my armor for surviving Singles’ Awareness Day will be a new playlist, made for no potential love interest, but me and me alone. It will be the Ultimate Independent Woman mix. (Cue: Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” and Beyonce’s “Single Ladies.”)
As I highlight the ex-boyfriend playlists with my mouse, my pointer finger hovers over the right-click button. But instead of selecting the “Delete All” option, I decide to stall and check my e-mail. There, perhaps in an act of fate from Cupid’s Rock n Roll cousin, is a news update from Rollingstone.com: Blink-182, the crappy pop punk band whose break-up devastated my 11th grade emo heart, is getting back together.

I decided not to delete my musical archive of romances after all; it’s not quite time to give up and let go. I could move my entire music collection to the Recycling Bin and it still wouldn’t help me forget the ones that hurt me, let alone the ones I managed to hurt.

If Mark, Tom and Travis can make it through mediocre side projects and near fatal plane crashes, maybe one day I’ll be able to peacefully share a record collection with the Guy Who Didn’t Listen to The Beatles.

And if not, there’s still 14 gigabytes left on my iPod; plenty of room for years to come of new crushes and broken hearted playlists.