Guest Post by Sarah Strenio
This post is going to center around a song I wrote, so for the hearing impaired, my apologies in advance. There will also be discussion of the lyrics. Please note this is still in draft mode, so please be patient with my minimal garageband skills.
I wrote this song as an assignment for a jazz theory class, while we were learning about blues. At that time, it included only the first verse.
You ain’t gettin’ none of my time, no sir. No sir.
You ain’t gettin’ none of my precious time, my time.
So when you see me walkin’ round,
think how you pushed me to the ground,
But now you ain’t gettin’ none
ain’t gettin’ none of my time.
It was about how much of a waste of time it is to hunt after people who don’t show interest in you. I did that whole shtick with a variety of people — the guessing, trying to interpret text messages (including how long it took them to respond), breaking the touch barrier, etc. — for quite some time, despite getting only lukewarm responses. Well by senior year I was done with that shit. If I made out with someone and they didn’t acknowledge my existence the next day, well, that sucked, but I was ready to move on.
In fact, for me what followed that sense of empowerment (I don’t have to play mind-games, ha HA!) was not to make out with random people in the first place. I realized* what I wanted included makeouts with someone I’m in a relationship with, not so much with people I don’t know well enough to know if they will be assholes the next day.
Also, time is pretty much the most valuable resource there is. There are SO many awesome things to do! Why do something that makes you feel shitty, like obsess over people and their perceptions of you?
You ain’t gettin’ none of my sunshine, sunshine
You ain’t gettin’ none of my sweet sunshine, my sunshine.
So if I scowl when I walk by,
and I don’t look you in the eye,
it’s clear you ain’t gettin’ none
ain’t gettin’ none of my shine.
I wrote the second and third verses a while later, when I had time to expand the song.
The second verse is about smiling when I damn well please, and being impervious to street harassment. If I’m not clearly inviting you to talk to me, please leave me alone. It’s not going to change my receptiveness if I see you there v. hear you calling out to me when I don’t want to be talked at.
You ain’t gettin’ my Peace of mind, no sir
gettin’ none of my peace of mind, my peace of mind.
So if your goal’s to make me think
’bout how you wanna buy me drinks,
I won’t apologize that you
ain’t gettin’ my peace of mind.
In conclusion, not only are you not going to get to spend time with me or see me smile if I don’t want to, you’re not going to upset me or invade my private mindspace. Am I going to think about the problem of street harassment? Sure. Am I going to think about you in particular? Absolutely not.
* I’m of the opinion that what you want isn’t something you necessarily decide, but that you discern by trying things you think you want and seeing if you’re happy doing them. This is important to varying degrees, depending on how important the category of thing you’re wanting is. Like, I want an apple v. orange? Not super important. I want to be a scientist v. actor? Seems a bit more important to me.