Right before we closed on the house I was feeling legitimately unhinged so I started listening to a lot of Hanson, which is not a coping strategy I fall back on a ton anymore, only in the most dire of dire situations. It worked reliably when I was fifteen, though, and I will tell you: it still works.
I’ve talked about my weird Hanson thing before, but for those of you who are new here: I have a weird Hanson thing! I used to feel a deep and abiding lady shame about it, but I don’t anymore. I’ve seen Hanson many, many times in concert, and last week as I was listening to the high-pitched cheering at the beginning of Live and Electric I thought to myself, goddamn, I wish I could see Hanson in concert right the fuck now.
I really, really wanted to scream.
When people ask me why I like Hanson concerts so much I come up with a lot of bullshit reasons, but the truth is as follows: have you ever read Margaret Atwood’s terrifying dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale? You know how periodically they let the women kill a guy to blow off steam and prevent a total revolution? This is like that for me, but without the horrible crowdsourced murder!
Here is a thing I recommend you do, if you are a girl with emotions that occasionally get the best of you: go to a place where you can stand next to a few hundred other girls who are screaming their heads off, and scream your head off, too. Just shriek. Holler. Cry a little if you need. The lights are off and nobody is looking. Everybody is doing the exact same thing as you. I like Hanson concerts for a lot of reasons, but a big one is because screaming out my joy and love and anger and sorrow is the most cathartic thing in my life and I don’t get to do it that often.
I was thinking about that last week while my feelings were at a rolling boil, about how there are really not a lot of venues for women to raise their voices in ways that are socially acceptable. I was thinking about all the girls who are heartbroken over Zayn leaving One Direction, and how easy it is to make those girls into a punchline. I was thinking how unfair it is that we teach girls the only places to feel loud feelings are places we find fundamentally stupid and deserving of our derision. And I was thinking I’m in the mood to open my mouth and make noise.