Life makes more sense with pop music.
Life makes more sense with pop music. That’s why I’ve gone back, year by year, and chronicled the song that meant the most to me then. This song may not have been released that year, it may not have been big that year, but it was relevant to me in a personal way that defines that period of my life.
Also, I didn’t do too much research to make sure I got these years right. This is my life, after all, and if I confuse 1998 with 1999, well, that’s my right.
2008: “A-Punk” by Vampire Weekend
In ninth grade, I decided that I was a man. Also, I decided that real men do not wear shorts in public. Men wear pants. Every day. No matter the season, no matter how hot it gets in Memphis during the summer. Starting in 1992, I wore jeans practically every day of my life, with white tube socks underneath, pulled all the way up.
It wasn’t until the spring of 2008, after having suffered through sixteen intervening Memphis summers, that I decided to rethink my anti-shorts rule. Renee was pregnant, and I was more conscious of the heat that year than I had ever been before. I told her that I thought I might be ready to venture outside with my legs uncovered, so she bought me a pair of cargo shorts. My little brother gave me some white loafers. I tried them on. I walked outside and checked the feeling. The feeling was good.
Wearing shorts altered my entire experience of summer. Ninety-five degrees and humid? That’s pretty miserable. But when you’ve got on a nice pair of shorts and some boat shoes, ninety-five and humid isn’t too bad.
Go outside on a hot summer day in a pair of comfortable shorts and loafers. Get yourself a glass of lemonade. Play a little bocce. You’re enjoying yourself, aren’t you? You know what song you should be listening to? “A-Punk,” by Vampire Weekend.