My Guilty Pleasures

May I have your attention please? I have a confession to make.

Let’s get serious, you guys.




I love pop music.

Phew, so glad it’s out in the open now. I feel like a giant Britney Spears-sized weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. I’ve tried to deny it in the past. Like when people ask what type of music I listen to, and I would say “oh, I listen to a little bit of everything” and then list Rock, Alternative, R&B, Hip Hop, Ska, EVERYTHING BUT POP. But I can no longer live this heinous lie.

It’s time to live my life OUT LOUD AND PROUD.

My Name is Steven, and I’m addicted to Pop Music.

Now, Iet’s get one thing clear: I’m not talking about current popular music, like the EDM trash that has saturated DROWNED radio for the last 2-3 years. I’m talking about pure POPtastic poppyness:

The pre-head shaving brilliance of Ms. Britney Spears:

Although, let’s face it, I’m 200% DOWN with post-insanity Britney, also:

Justin Timberlake — or as I like to call him, “The Should Have Been Mr. Britney Spears” — sang in the seminal ‘NSync classic, “Pop”: “What’s the deal with this POP LIFE, and when is it gonna fade out?”

Well, readers, I think you have to realize what I love about pop is NOT a trend.

It’s got the gift.

The melody.

And it’ll be here ’til the end.

There’s just something about pop music that makes me feel unadulteratedly HAPPY. It’s fun and completely, mind-numbingly carefree.

Throughout my college years, pop music got me through a lot of crap. I’m talking some serious Dad-going-to-jail, Stepmom-gone-crazytown, G-Money-gone-loopy, Aunt-dying, friend-drama, grade-troubles, sexuality-questioning-and-answering-then-questioning-again CRAP. I listed a lot there, right? I was seriously livin’ la vida loca. Through it all, I never gave up on the good times. Even when I had to start paying all my bills, bill, bills. But I’ve said bye bye bye to that because it was driving me so crazy that I just couldn’t sleep. I’ve really got to stop right now, thank you very much. I need somebody with a human touch! Oops…I did it again. Who do I think I am? I really have to get over myself, goodbye, because I’m gettin’ jiggy with it.

These are the pieces of me.

Ok, that was the last one, I swear. By the way, for anyone who can name all of the poptastic pop songs in italics above in the comments below, you will win…well, you’ll win my undying love.

Anyway, like I was saying, pop music got me through a lot of shit. Whenever something would bother me, I would call up one of my best friends, who went to college less than 10 minutes away at Cornell University, and I’d pick her up in my car and we’d drive around Collegetown and Ithaca Commons BLASTING pop music and screaming the lyrics at the top of our lungs. One of our favorites was the Ashlee Simpson TREAT “Pieces of Me.”

You did, Ashlee, you did know me better…

We would label these sessions as “therapy” because, well, they really were therapuetic. Even if you hate Ashlee Simpson, try blasting “Pieces” and screaming the chorus out loud. I guarantee you, you’ll feel at least 75% better than you did before.

Plus, it’s WAY cheaper than any session you could pay for. And let’s face it, we’re all cheap.

Growing up, I always felt like I had to hide my affinity for the latest-and-greatest pop gem. While everyone else was busy with Metallica (by the way, I really do love Metallica; kudos to my college buddy Nick who made me appreciate them), Limp Bizkit, Korn, and bands and artists in other genres like grunge and hip hop (gotta love the 90s for it’s mainstream diversity!), I was busy rocking out to…

Which prompted my dad, while we were driving in the car once, to ask me to explain what exactly a “scrub” was.

Most. Awkward. Conversation. Ever.

Pop music has always been worked into the foundation of my friendships.

I  have a “playlist” with another best friend, who I hope to have guest blog for me soon, filled with a few obscure Spice Girls songs, Beyonce, and the One and Only Brit Brit circa In the Zone.

The Spice Girls are also at the center of my relationship with another best friend, whom we shall, for all intents and purposes, call “Chesty the Pirate” — not because she’s a pirate, but because her boobies are BOOBTACULAR! And i think that nickname came about when we were young and foolish and playing a pirate-themed mini-golf course.

ANYWHO, our mutual love for the Spice Girls began in 1996 when they BURST on the scene with “Wannabe.” We were hooked. Hooked is too weak of a word. Perhaps “obsessed” is better…One of the most defining moments of my life — besides the totally horrifying and heartbreaking break-up announcement that inevitably came after Ginger left the group in 1998 — was actually on my way to Senior Prom in 2004. We were driving to my friends house to take pre-prom photots and listening to the SPICE album on heavy rotation, when a particular favorite, “2 Become 1,” started playing.

We sang along as we did for “Wannabe” and “Say You’ll Be There” and when we got to the last pre-chorus, sung by the presumably innocent Baby Spice…



… my entire world was completely and utterly SHATTERED.

This was literally our reaction:

I mean, who knew, as a 10 year old boy, that Baby Spice was instructing me to wear a condom. I SURE AS HELL DIDN’T. As a 17 year old questioning everything about my sexuality, including where I put it and how it actually happens, this was more jarring than any Safe Sex “lecture” in health class.

So basically, pop music defined yet another major TOTALLY LIFE-ALTERING moment in my life.

Pop music = Life’s Greatest Teacher.

I’m not saying that you have to love pop music. In fact, what I’m copping to is the fact that I love pop music.

And I don’t care who knows it…

But really, I do think that you, too, should embrace the fact that you secretly love POP music. Stop denying yourself. Stop living that lie…


  1. There are days where I would give anything to be back in that car with Ashlee and Britney, screaming our heads off before heading to Benchwarmers and Wegmans. How apropos that I’m reading this entry the day my five year college reunion (which I will not be attending) kicks off. I’m going to go sit in a corner and cry now.

  2. The Eden’s Crush reference almost KILLED me! Sometimes I truly think we are the same person split between 3 bodies (the third being Mariah Carey’s, of course). Kind of like the Holy Trinity? Who is whom, though? OMG I CALL THE HOLY SPIRIT!

    1. Ok, well MC is obvi The Father, so I guess that makes me The Son. Does that mean that I’m a direct reincarnation of Mariah? Because, dahhhling…that would explain my tendencies to wear bandana’s as “shirts” and throw glitter at people and say things like “I don’t know her” and “I can’t even…”


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