Day 11. A song you indulge in shameless self pity to

“Hysteria” — Def Leppard

This is a tough one, because, outside of fantasy football (where I whine and wail until the cows come home) I don’t do a lot of self-pity.

At least not these days.

However, there was a time in the past (read: high school) when I seemed to be in a constant state of depression about my love life, or lack thereof. You see, high school is not kind to shy, introverted, geeky types. And for most of my high school career, I fell firmly in that camp. If I had a dollar for every “You’re so sweet” and “I just want to be friends” that I heard, I could… well, I could probably just about buy a nice dinner. But man, it sure felt like a lot more often back then.

At least I’m not bitter.

High school was also the era of Def Leppard. Sure, 1983’s Pyromania was pretty big, but in 1987, they released Hysteria, and after floundering a little bit in the charts, it caught fire and all hell broke loose. (Yes, if you can believe it, this 10-million-plus-selling, ubiquitous-for-over-two-years album actually took a while to catch on because their lead single, “Women,” just didn’t click with people).

Both Hysteria the album and “Hysteria” the song were released at the apex of my misery, so they are both a little bittersweet to me, even now. Someday I’ll write a post about my “Music as Time Machine” theory, but suffice to say, when I hear the song “Hysteria,” I still remember exactly how I felt then.

To be honest, I’m not really a “words” guy. I know the words to plenty of songs, but in a lot of cases, I’m much more attune to the mood of the music itself than to a song’s lyrics.

This is one of those cases. In fact, I barely know the words to the verses. (I just looked them up, and as it turns out, they’re crap. Thank God I never learned them.) But man, take those bridge & chorus lyrics, and the plaintive guitar from the verses and… Well, they sure got me. And I remember more than one instance of self-pity while listening.

Fast forward 25 years (can that really be?) and that shy, introverted, geeky teen is… yeah, still introverted and a bit geeky, but not nearly as shy, and certainly much happier about life in general. As it happens, I’ve got a good life and I’m thankful for that. And my love life turned out pretty well, too. Overall, I can’t really complain.

Except about fantasy football. Don’t even get me started about #%!&ing fantasy football.

At least I’m not bitter…