Songs, subjects and suburbs ruined by dating.
I have always taken pride in my ability to make great playlists. When I was in high school I used to make my friends mixed CD’s for our P-plater trips to McDonalds or super cool laps down the main street of the country town we grew up in. I would perfectly construct the order of each song and personalise a message to its recipient in colourful texta on the top. After resisting the rise of technology for as long as I could, including the day I sadly threw out my DVD rental card, my mixed CD’s begrudgingly became Spotify playlists. Still the same care and love went into their creation, a separate list for writing, running, car trips, pensive walks and pre drinks.
A few weeks ago I went on a pensive walk that changed my playlists forever. I was strolling along the Cooks River when I heard the glorious strumming of a guitar, the beat of a drum followed by Chris Martin’s ethereal voice, Yellow began to penetrate my ears. This song would normally take me to a content place of reminiscing. Recalling the time I saw them live, laughing about that time I looked up if the song was about someone dying of jaundice and if I’m honest, it used to be the song I thought I’d dance to on my wedding day. Now that beautiful mans voice hit me like a three-day hang over on a Monday morning. I stopped dead in my tracks and audibly shouted ‘NO! No! Not Coldplay!’
Call it a gross over reaction but I’d been here before, a place, a song, a cuisine, a catch phrase, a holiday destination that used to encapsulate happy memories now tainted by the way you see a person or yourself in a past relationship. The first time it happened was a few years ago after I’d dated an army boy - that beautiful, fit, attractive man ruined so many places for me. He would take me on wonderful dates to places like Sheraton on the Park, the revolving restaurant in Sydney Tower, Palmer & Co and I would take him to free things like Tropfest and Marrickville Markets. A classic tale of the East vs Inner West. However over time the lavish dates began to dwindle, the texts got shorter with less questions and less emojis. Sure enough, my non-relationship came to a close.
In the midst of our ‘break up’ I’d asked him if we could have sex one last time, to which he declined as it "might by confusing for me." A fews weeks had passed and I thought I was fine, mended and ready for my next safari in the Sydney jungle. It wasn’t until I walked past Sheraton on the Park on a night out that I realised the reality of relationship taint. Without warning a wave of emotion smacked me as I stood frozen looking at Sheraton on the Park like Taylor Swift looked at the Grammys. It could have been the 17 wines I’d consumed but I stood there and cried, as if Kayne had also ripped away my joy. There it was, Sheraton on the Park was ruined.
Other causalities of relationship taint have been (but are not limited to) Coogee, Sia, Halo/COD, sashimi, Rihanna, Establishment, music festivals, craft beer, slow cookers and I regretfully add to the list, Coldplay.
Listening to Yellow by the river, none of my usual memories came flooding into my head. That happy memory of seeing them live was tainted by the fact it was my ex who took me to see them. My ex showed me the awesome reverse film clip of The Scientist, my ex and I had walked along King Street in Newtown to follow in the footsteps of their Sky Full of Stars film clip. The numerous and spectacularly structured Coldplay songs on my playlists reminded me of the pain, the loss of a relationship and the loss of friendship.
It got me thinking, perhaps this is all just part of the techno age break up. Spotify reconstruction, multiple streaming service splits, not to mention the widely renowned social media unfollowing ceremony, that shit is super final. Is this the 2018 version of burning your ex’s shit in the backyard? You know, you keep a box of their stuff underneath your bed till your friends discover its existence and they basically make you have a seance.
I have now removed all the Coldplay songs from each one of my playlists, including Fix You from the running playlist which, much like the song, I had to really build up to. Coldplay and I just need to not speak for a while and revisit a friendship in the future. Hopefully two years down the track someone will ask, "Hey do you like Coldplay?" and I’ll be like "Yeah, I don’t mind them." Maybe I’ll get to the point of having lukewarm feelings for Coldplay.
But in the meantime, does anyone have a band I should listen to, I’ve got an opening on my playlist.