Monday, September 21, 2009

Cut Rate Cultural Analysis: The Pina Colada Song

You know when there is something that has been floating around the pop cultural ether for a long time, but you hadn't really noticed it or paid it enough attention to make any statement about it, and then there is a moment where you see it for the first time for what it is.

I had one of those moments today. What was that particular thing that I had up to now almost completely ignored? Escape/The Pina Colada Song by Rupert Holmes. I could have gone the rest of my life without really hearing this song, but now that I have, I just have to talk about it.

I'm sorry.

So the situation as reported by the song is as follows. A dude is in a relationship that isn't bad or anything, just a little too comfortable, so while he is lying in bed next to his girl, he reads a very specific personal ad which lists a lot of qualities and activities he finds intriguing. He then writes a counter personal ad saying that he is looking for those things, and he is in a rush, so why don't they meet at a bar the next day. Said dude shows up, and who does the gal who placed the ad happen to be? The very same woman he was in the relationship with.

And Rupert Holmes makes it sound like that whole thing had a happy ending.

When he was looking at the ad, he sings "I didn't think about my lady. I know that sounds kind of mean" Well, no shit Sherlock. Maybe that is part of the reason your relationship was in the dumps to begin with.

And when his lady shows up at the bar later in the song he makes it sound like it was a non-confrontational "Oh, its you." You know that's not how that would have went down. I think there should have at least been an element of disappointment in her voice. But supposedly they just laughed about it, leading me to hope that this was indeed the beginning of a rather pleasant, no-fault break up.

Because, seriously, if they stayed together after that, well, the relationship would likely be a little less boring now that they have both caught each other in the act of emotional infidelity. They didn't know that the person they were going to meet was their partner until that moment, but yeah, they were both looking for someone else. And now they know that the other person is capable of that. So now their previously dull relationship has a nice new veneer of distrust in it.

And yes, since his lovely lady placed the first ad, well, she may have more to answer for in all this. I mean, if you read her ad, it doesn't paint a particularly flattering picture of his side of the relationship.

"If you like PiƱa Coladas, and getting caught in the rain
If you're not into yoga, if you have half a brain
If you'd like making love at midnight in the dunes on the Cape
Then I'm the love that you've looked for - write to me and escape"

So not only does she think he's stupid, but being in a relationship is so bad that she has to escape. His counter ad doesn't really say anything bad about his partner (although he does repeat the escape motif).

All in all, what I get from this song is basically their relationship needs a little outside help... maybe these fictional lovers will still be together into the Jerry Springer era so he can dish out his own brand of emotional healing.

Of course, looking back at my above ramblings may also be some indication as to why I am currently single.

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