In response to Heave’s Seven Day Listen feature, staff writer Nico Lang decided to listen to only Fountains of Wayne’s hit “Stacy’s Mom” for a week straight. This is part two of what he found; part one can be found over here.
The first day I listened to “Stacy’s Mom” on repeat, I got caught up in the guitar riffs, its flawless mimicry of power-pop chord progressions and how much I wanted to be like Stacy’s mother. I wanted to be the object of bearded indie singer lust, a force so powerful that formerly obscure musicians were driven to write accessible Top 40 jams about their desire for me. Because of their love, they could cross over. They could break through to superstardom.
But on the second day, I realized that I am not the mother of Stacy. I am Stacy.
On the third day, I began to dream as Stacy. In one dream, I was wearing a pink, polka-dot bathing suit and lounging next to the pool with a plate of cookies that I “baked” in my Easy Bake Oven for my significant other, while listening to the Spice Girls on my Walkman. For the dream, Jonathan Taylor Thomas had taken the role of my boyfriend, but I caught him making out with my mom, Kathleen Turner, in the pool house. The dream finished when I drowned them both, just as Schlesinger and God should have intended.
Increasingly, I became driven to avenge Stacy, to make the world right for Stacies everywhere—the dumped, left behind, disavowed and romantically disenfranchised. Stacy is only twelve and does not deserve to live in a world where she can always be instantly dumped for a family member. She cannot grow up like this. And on the fourth day, I began to text most of my friends about this urgent matter, letting them know that “Stacy will get through this,” “Stacy will come out stronger” and “Stacy deserves better than these jerks.” I began to status update on Facebook on Stacy’s behalf, offering her life advice and making yearly resolutions in her honor. On Facebook, I decided that this year, we will all stop dating jerks. In honor of Stacy, 2012 is now known as “The Year of Stacy.”
On the fifth day, I considered starting a Twitter feed as Stacy, but I never use the Twitter account that I do have. Stacy almost made me forget that I hate Twitter.
The next day, I left my iPod at home on accident, and Stacy was gone. I had gotten used to having her around, to using the song to measure time and distance. For instance, a run at the gym is between 3 and 18 Stacies. Sex would be between 1 and 60 Stacies. A sneeze is .000001 Stacies. My day is around 300 Stacies long, the week 2,100 Stacies.
On the seventh day, I had to let her go. Although many of my friends saw my time with her as a potential Abu Ghraib tactic, I needed her around to help me measure my days, to give me something to focus my energy, my anger and my self-loathing upon. If I did not have Stacy around to care about and protect from the evils of the world, then I would have to worry about myself. I would have to turn music criticism into self-criticism, and I wasn’t ready.
When midnight rolled around, I cuddled up on my couch with Stacy as Scheslinger’s guitar faded into silence. I told her everything would be okay, that one day men would be lining up around the block for her. As she left me, I felt at ease, because I knew at least I will be a better parent someday than Stacy’s mom.