You know how the smell of a certain meal your parents cooked you has the ability to conjure up a host of memories? Like you can taste the food and picture yourself at the table in the company of your family? Music has the same supremely rad connection to our memories. Sometimes I’ll hear a song and feel like I’ve time-traveled back in time to a specific place where I experience the exact same feelings from my past. It’s the power of music with memories.
It’s not like I ever need another reason to bring up Hall & Oates, but Maneater is one of those songs for me. Hit play and stay with me here.
Picture this. I’m in my Dad’s silver Volvo 240DL as he gives me a ride to Beecher Road Elementary School one morning. I’m in 6th grade and while this should be just another day at school for me, it’s not. The 6th grade dance is coming up and I’ve decided today’s the day I’m going to ask my platinum blonde-haired crush Chelsea Fairbanks. She’s the type of tomboy girl that plays touch football with the guys and is cute to boot. My heart is already racing in anticipation and whatever the answer, I just want to get it over with.
STAR 99.9 (the default radio station for my Dad) is on and Daryl and John enter the airwaves with a tune that feels like it was written just for me. This makes me even more nervous than I was (if that’s even possible).
(Oh-oh, here she comes) Watch out boy she’ll chew you up
(Oh-oh, here she comes) She’s a maneater
These guys are right, just the mere thought of asking Chelsea to the dance is tearing me apart.
I wouldn’t if I were you
I know what she can do
She’s deadly man, she could really rip your world apart.
God, if she says no it really will rip my heart out. I’ll be devastated.
Mind over matter
Ooh, the beauty is there but a beast is in the heart.
Alright, I’m just going to ask her and see what happens.
I walked into school that day on a mission. Come recess I was going to pull her aside and see what happens. Except Chelsea didn’t come to school that day, or the day after. I was slightly relieved I could procrastinate, but I later found out she was going with someone else (before I got a chance to ask her).
Though I’m no longer terrified of the opposite sex, every single time I hear Maneater, I’m brought back to 1996. Chelsea, if you should happen to read this, I want you to know that you are forever Maneater for me. I have no clue what happened to you, but should we ever cross paths again, you can sure as hell bet I’ll be asking you for a dance and probably going to make you listen to this song.