Queen of Wishful Thinking
1990. The heydey of Madchester. I might have been from north Florida, but my boy bands were Brits — Echo and the Bunnymen, Psychedelic Furs, the Stone Roses, Depeche Mode, and the Railway Children.
I wore a lot of black and loved a great red lip!
I was a fan of hats, Esprit dresses, Doc Martens, and boys with floppy hair.
Sure, I saw something mainstream like Pretty Woman, but the soundtrack?
Um, no. A big pass for this 18-year-old who only had ears for alternative music!
Fast forward almost 30 years and I’ve been harboring a humiliating, ridiculous, mortifying secret.
For most of 2019, my go-to song has been…
Go West’s “King of Wishful Thinking!”
I’m not even sure how this insipid throwback song ended up on my radar. I think it might have popped up randomly one night when I was listening to music on YouTube.
Maybe I stumbled upon it when I was writing about music for my blog.
In the end, it’s irrelevant how it ended up as part of my life’s soundtrack. Because now? I play it all. the. time.
It might have missed the mark for me in 1990, but it’s a bullseye for Bonnie of 2019.
Despite it being the wrong century to suddenly discover this song. Despite having a divorce behind me. Despite being supposedly wiser and more mature at this point in my life. Despite writing about dating and relationships, and by extension, in theory, being a better decision-maker regarding who I pine for. Despite feeling like I should be WAY, WAY past harboring feelings for someone who remains as indecisive about me as ever.
Despite all of these reasons, the truth is “King of Wishful Thinking” has become an unlikely anthem for me this year.
Somehow it tackles the absurdity and futility of my situation.
I’ve been unable to move past my dream guy.
Due to a host of complications, we never really had a chance to date one another.
So this “relationship” frustrates. It haunts. It taunts.
Maybe it’s because it’s rare that I connect with someone. Maybe it’s the fact that we never really got the chance to explore a relationship — the what-ifs linger. Maybe it’s the knowledge that my age limits the chances of finding someone special.
Regardless, I have been unable to move past him 100% for years!
Discovering Go West’s outdated, long-forgotten pop song has served as a cheeky nod to the silliness of my pathetic situation!
I can play it over and over with a self-aware lop-sided grin. It doesn’t empower me or make me feel weak. I suppose it validates me and my emotions. No judgment from these two uber cheesy dudes from 1990.
I mean, look what they’re wearing! And listen to the lyrics!
Nope. They’re not judging me or mocking me.
Go West is acknowledging that we can know we should move on…that we can pretend to others and delude ourselves…but we’re going to get over someone on our own time, in our own way.
To anyone else, I’m sure that I’ve appeared weak or pathetic or, worse, that I don’t have enough self-respect.
I think it’s more accurate to say that I had to process my emotions, expectations, and hopes (and ultimate disappointments) on my own timeline.
About a month ago he reached out to me completely out-of-the-blue and proclaimed to love me. I finally thought we would have the opportunity to get to know each other.
He slammed the door on my heart again a week ago.
I’m disappointed and hurt, of course. But also? I’m grateful. Truly.
Because I can say that this time feels different. I’m not sure if I’ll hear from him again or not. But I(!) feel different.
The thought of finally moving past him no longer feels impossible. It’s no longer wishful thinking that I’ll get over him.
I don’t have to be the queen of wishful thinking anymore!
And, no, regardless of my relationship status, I’m not going to stop listening to this song.
Bring on the bad suits and falling rocks and giant faux Julia Roberts!