There’s no “I” in Thesaurus

I’ll be 30 in 100 days. I know this because I have a countdown widget on my laptop dashboard…and I happened to look at it yesterday while I was using my thesaurus widget, which is also a thing I have. (I think about synonyms more often than I think about my birthday, for what it’s worth.)

I get to spend a significant portion of my workweek thinking about words. Things like:

“What rhymes with ‘fries’?”… (Answer: so many things!)

“How can you say ‘delicious and moist’ without sounding pervy?”… (Answer: you can’t.)

So I spend a lot of time with my thesaurus. And rhyming dictionary. And lists of idioms. I fancy myself a lucky girl.

I hopped on Facebook to say something about this Countdown to 30 milestone today, but I couldn’t come up with anything that I felt was worth saying. Maybe because I’m a little sheepish about it anyway, but also because today so many people are posting some pretty serious things.

Gay friends. Straight friends. I-haven’t-asked-and-they-haven’t-told friends. One friends. Two friends. Red friends. Blue friends.

And I wanted to say something, too, but I wasn’t sure what. I don’t engage in debates on Facebook…religious or political or Thin Mints® vs. Samoas®…I just don’t dig conflict, in general. And so Facebook conflicts tend to go from zero to “BITCH, PLEASE!” too quickly for my taste.

But I want to say something. Here’s what I got: I looked up “marriage” on my thesaurus widget, and one word stood out: union. This issue is so divisive. It feels like the opposite of uniting. Some people in my life, very close-to-me people, probably disagree with me when I say that gay people, straight people, red people, blue people — all people should be able to get married and make a legal commitment to one another and start a family and make a life together if that’s what they want.

C’mon. The jig is up, homophobes. Find a new issue to care so passionately about. There are so, so many.

What I mean to say, in a less divisive way (see?! Zero to “BITCH, PLEASE!” in 2.5 seconds!!), is this: if you look up most anything in the thesaurus, you’ll find  a list of other ways to say that thing. They don’t all look the same or sound the same. Some might even have different meanings to me, depending on what my life experience has taught me about those words.

But their essence is the same. You have to admit that they’re the same-ish.

And if there’s one thing I’ve learned about people in my 30 years (minus 100 days) of being one, it’s that under all our differences and preferences and protective barriers and bullshit, we are really very much the same-ish.

Even Grumpy Cat is on board. The jig is up.

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JT Now & Forever

This title ^ was the name of a playlist I had on my first iPod. Fact.

Like most women of a certain age, I’ve had a thing for Justin Timberlake since long before I knew what “having a thing” even meant. The mid-1990’s were stupid with boy bands, and while Backstreet Boys and 98 Degrees had their appeal, I was always an NSYNC girl at heart.

(Though, full disclosure: I was more a JC Chasez fan in the early days, back when JT was just “Justin” and JC was the tall, dark-haired need-I-say-more one. See: center below.)

Tearin’ up my heart

Guys.

But JT fully won me over in the post-NSYNC years, with his solo albums and SNL appearances, to the point that when he was bringing sexy back in 2006, oh it had already been brought-en.

I’ve seen FutureSex|LoveSounds described as one of the best pop albums of the last decade, and I won’t argue with that. I mean, let’s just: “Sexy Back” might be THE dance anthem of the late 2000s, and “What Goes Around Comes Around” is one of the best breakup pop songs OF ALL TIME.

Folks.

So, clearly, I’ve been excited about this new-album buzz in the weeks leading up to today. From the cryptic social media announcement, to “Suit & Tie” (which I actually liked. Get off my back.), to his latest SNL host-slash-musical-guest-aganza — I’ve been all in.

Which makes it all the more tragic for me to admit … that when I listened to the new album on Spotify today … I didn’t really love it. Nothing will change my love for you, JT, but I’m a little underwhelmed. (But, to be fair, is that what they said to Michael Jackson after Thriller? Even a little bit? …well, after Thriller was Bad, so. Dammit.)

So the entire 20/20 Experience doesn’t live up to 7 years of expectations. At least one song does. And does and does.

“Mirrors” is so effing catchy and kitschy and awesome, I may or may not have listened to it on repeat in my car tonight. (And I mean… active listening.)

It feels like the perfect little love anthem for teenagers everywhere — prime material for a big ol’ power sing-along in your bedroom, over-emoting while gripping a hairbrush (or in your car, while gripping the wheel).

It’s the kind of song you can’t help but do a little “youth group clap and sway” to. Church kids, you know the move. The one where you clap, nod your head, and stomp on the downbeat. My God is mighty to save…he is mighty to save… (Anyone?) That song has a similar cadence, actually. So yeah.

“Mirrors” even slam-dunks the power-pop clichés with the slow clap a cappella chorus at one point. C’mon. Say what you will about he whole album, but. This. Song.

So. I’ll stop gushing and just leave you with the chorus lyrics, just in case you want to have your own sing-along moment in the privacy of your own car. Seeing them in print only highlights the cheese, sure. But a little cheese never hurt anybody…especially when it’s on some nachos that look so, so good in a tux.

Feel free sing along. I won’t tell if you won’t.

Cause I don’t wanna lose you now
I’m lookin’ right at the other half of me
The vacancy that sat in my heart
Is a space that now you hold
Show me how to fight for now
And I’ll tell you baby, it was easy
Comin’ back into you once I figured it out
You were right here all along
It’s like you’re my mirror
My mirror staring back at me
I couldn’t get any bigger
With anyone else beside of me
And now it’s clear as this promise
That we’re making two reflections into one
Cause it’s like you’re my mirror
My mirror staring back at me, staring back at me