That One: A Confession that my Love Was Not Real

“That one,” I said timidly pointing at the top corner of the back wall. The corner was a bit dark and dusty. My request was met with a glare of judgment that only a 32 year-old man with an impressive beard in an independent record can give. Though, not too dissimilar to the glare you get from your high school geometry teacher for talking too much, you know, just before he says “minus ten points!” except way less funny and a different brand of uncomfortable.

“I’ll have to get it from the back” he grumbled. “Stay here”

I put my weight in my toes. And I would have runaway, but that’s awkward when you’re in the only independent record store in town. I didn’t want to banish myself to ordering things online.


I walked home one gaudy Beyonce poster more wealthy, and my fake obsession with Beyonce had begun. Fake in that I am really just meh about her music as a whole, fake in that I just thought it was funny to pretend to be obsessed with someone so different then me. Not fake obsessed like those hipsters that got bald eagle tattoos after 9/11 and threw “America the Beautiful” parties, those dudes are just dicks. But fake obsessed like, what’s a nerdy econ major doing knowing all of her Beyonce trivia. Humor in the unexpected, right? Also, I really thought the poster would be like 2003 Beyonce, but it was actually 2007 Beyonce. Girl, glad you got to your fashion sense, it took you a long time of no one telling you that you had metaphorical spinach in your teeth.

That night my roommate and I made our room Beyonce-themed for our co-op’s room-to-room party. A room-to-room is basically a huge party where every room has a theme and a corresponding alcohol. We had cheap pink champagne because we were doing Beyonce on a socialist house budget.

For the entire Fall of 2010, I woke up to Beyonce’s butt and Drake’s “The Best I’ve Ever Had,” which I set as my alarm because I loved him on Degrassi. Whenever I was doing my dish shift in the kitchen, someone would put on Beyonce and I would pretend to love it.

I read her wikipedia entry, I even read the articles linked at the bottom (which was also my main research method for a lot of my environmental policy papers) and I read her interviews. I know her shoe size, the arch of her career with Destiny’s Child, I even tried not to empathize with Solange. It’s hard to be an American and not root for the underdog!

After three years of fervent to casual to passive Beyonce info-gathering, it seems many other people are starting to get in my Beyonce-obsession space, ironically or otherwise. She’s getting the attention she probably deserves so I can finally be released from my ironic fake love. Β I am officially coming out: I am lukewarm towards Beyonce. I have three of her songs on my 800-song gym playlist and I only ever purchased one album. But as with any love, I will allow a keepsake — I will continue to follow her on Instagram, because if you aren’t following Beyonce on Instagram, you aren’t living life to its fullest.

I will now just get my dose of irony by going to karaoke places, singing “Fat Lip” by Sum 41 and immediately leaving. Because if anyone needs my ironic attention right now, it’s Sum 41.


22 thoughts on “That One: A Confession that my Love Was Not Real

  1. ennedear says:

    love, love this post! I love you so much right now! brilliant writing! I don’t think you should root for solange – she’s not so much an under dog – but a wanna be. I cant seem to see where her talent lies. sorry. cheers!

  2. Robyn Armstrong Bowles says:

    Ashley Jillian
    I am a fan, I know that you are going to have a fabulous career ahead of you.
    I love your irreverence and candor and when I finish your posts, I become wistful about once being young and not had the guts you have.
    Your dreams will come true!!

  3. Jnana Hodson says:

    Oh, the confessions of obsessive attraction! In this case, at least, did you feel (even imagine) she was singing solely to you? Music, with its intimate voice, unlike the mute models from the glossy magazines, or the Hollywood goddesses shown speaking tenderly with their male leading actors. You could, of course, also take this examination to obsessive attraction with someone you, uh, know in the flesh, blinded to all the realities contrary to the words spoken to you or the promises made.
    It’s real life, all the same. Only the names and situations keep changing.

  4. Sheila Morris says:

    I have the same ironic attraction for Beyonce, and I will be 67 years old next month. Some things never change. BTW, I’ve seen Dream Girls at least 9 times, and four of those were before i bought the DVD. You’ve got years to go. πŸ™‚

  5. beretolsen says:

    Weirdly, all this time I’ve been trying to dislike her. Her Super Bowl performance was like a very expensive zumba class, which did not seem appropriate or interesting. Her leotards are annoying, and the alter ego thing was a bizarre idea (although, to be fair, I do have an alter ego in the coffee shop since no one can hear/understand/pronounce my name). I can’t hate her, though. She can sing, after all, and she’s certainly easy on the eyes. Plus it takes some guts to prance around in public wearing those get ups. When I hear her I am simply unmoved in any direction at all.

  6. museconfuse says:

    This is a funny post, reminds me of my ironic need to purchase hello kitty stuff (if they’re cheap) because I HATE Hello Kitty. I can’t seem to get into it and I think it’s so funny that I have Hello Kitty when I hate it. (Like my Hello Kitty iPad cover. It works well!)

    Anyways, Beyonce looks terrible in that orange get-up but what can I say, I really do like her πŸ˜€

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