I remember when I was 18, I was still very shy. I had this one friend who was the opposite - didn't care who heard her opinion, and gave it without asking. She was rather overbearing at times. One night I was with her and another girl at a bowling alley. I had noticed lately that the friend would talk over me, or if we were in a group, wouldn't bother to wait until I had finished before she would begin talking to someone else about something completely different. That night at the bowling alley, she did the same thing. I finally had enough and thought, fuck this shit, and I told her off for ignoring what I had to say; loud and proud. I think that was the beginning of the end of our friendship - I finally realized her respect towards me just wasn't there. To this day, I can't stand it when I'm talking to someone, even if it's just chitchat, and they suddenly become preoccupied with something else.
Respect is a big thing for me. I didn't have much of it from some of the important people in my life when I was young. I was seen more as an inconvenience that had to be dealt with rather than someone to be cherished and loved. I suppose that's why I have this independent streak in me - it helps me deal with life's curve balls (big or small). I often joked to friends I was like a cat; I always managed to land on my feet. This independent streak has also helped me to be a little different from the majority in terms of likes and dislikes. Luckily, I have an older brother who was into (and still enjoys) progressive rock and hard rock - I would play his albums, on his stereo, when he wasn't around. Some of my favourite albums of his? Styx - Equinox, Electric Light Orchestra - Face the Music (you can listen to the whole album here), Be Bop Deluxe - Modern Music (a very much underrated group with a fantastic album), and later Genesis - A Trick of the Tale (just to name a few). He absolutely hated it when I listened to Top 40 stations. He told me album tracks were much better because most of the songs were better than the ones they play on the radio. He was right.
So it's no surprise that when punk/new wave came out, it really appealed to me. I think the one song over the years that I've identified with the most is Everyday is Hallowe'en by Ministry. I knew it was really a song about being Goth and being perceived as "weird" based on how someone looks, but sometimes when someone would get to know me, I could see in their eyes I may as well have looked different because I wasn't really into the same things they were.
"Oh, why can't I live a life for me? Why should I take the abuse that's served? Why can't they see they're just like me/It's the same, it's the same in the whole wide world
Well I let their teeny minds think that they're dealing with someone who is over the brink ...
"Why can't they see they're just like me/I'm not the one that's so absurd"How could I not love that song? I remember some years ago, I had a team leader who was an absolute joy to work for*. (Italics = extreme sarcasm; * = it was never with. Never.) She was mean-spirited and hated everything. We shared office space with another department, and in this department was a woman close to retirement and listened to her iPod while she worked. I think she listened to classical music, based on the way she hummed. She hummed a lot, and it sounded rather ghost-like. Some of us would chuckle, but didn't think anything bad about it. Not Fearless Team Leader. Rather than say something to her, she would loudly complain each time about how distracting it was when people sang or hummed along with their iPod. (Either Humming Lady never heard her, or never paid her any mind.) Other people would say get over it. I finally chirped up and said, "At least she's enjoying herself, let her be." So one day, when Everyday is Hallowe'en came on my iPod, I sang out loud, "Oh why can't I live a life for me/Why should I take the abuse that's served" just to piss her off. I think I played that song at least 4 times and sang it out each time (not loud, mind you, but enough so she could hear). She never said anything to me about it, but I'm sure she got the message. Eventually she left the company (it was either that or be escorted to the door because she finally insulted the wrong person), claiming she wanted to pursue a degree in *ahem*, Human Resources.