The Promise Ring - Very Emergency
Jade Tree

Last week I did something I've never really done before -- I asked a girl out.

Yes, I am 19 and a half years old. Yes, I have had a girlfriend before. No, I had never directly asked a girl out before.
When I was in eighth grade, I had a girlfriend, but we didn't do anything. She kissed my ear once, but that was it.
In the ninth grade we made out a bit, but that was post-breakup.
Also in the ninth grade I made a mix tape for a girl I liked and at the end said "will you go out with me?" She never mentioned it again, and we didn't talk much after that.
As a senior in high school, I started talking to this girl I worked with a lot. The only problem was she had a boyfriend. She eventually broke up with him and we dated, but neither of us ever asked the other one out, it was really just a mutual understanding of how things should be.
Since we broke up at the end of the first semester of my freshman year of college last December, I have been more or less single. I hoped that that would change last week. Unfortunately, it didn't.
I expected some awkwardness from this girl, because I didn't know what to expect, and somehow that seemed more likely than having things remain normal. But remain normal they did. Even after I spent two very drunk hours on the phone with her sobbing. It was incredible.
For the week following the fated day (also of note: I quit smoking at the same time!) I was sad. Not so much because she said no, but because things were the same, and I didn't know what that meant.
Then I bought the new Promise Ring album and I put it on and I realized it didn't matter.
When The Promise Ring released last year's sucky "Boys and Girls" EP, I thought they were doomed. It didn't help that I saw them live, and Jets to Brazil blew them off the stage.
However, the Promise Ring played a show at my university a month ago, and I heard many of the songs that make up this album played live. The band was completely energetic and infectiously happy. You could tell that the kids would have been singing along if only they'd known the words.
So. Wednesday morning, October 6th. I pop in Very Emergency, the latest communique from Milwaukee's indiepop superstars, and it transports me to a time where problems don't matter.
As "Happiness is All the Rage" opened the album, I could picture Davey and the boys dancing around on my school's library steps. As the album progressed into "Emergency! Emergency!" with it's catchy chorus of "S-O-S, very emergency," I couldn't help but mimic the S-O-S that I saw a kid sign at the show.
By the time "Happy Hour" rolled around, I was dancing around my room uncontrollably, bopping my head, and playing air guitar. Not even the slow "Things Just Getting Good" could slow me down. I was on a roll.
I picked up choruses easily -- like the best pop songs let you do -- and I shouted them out and danced and danced and danced.
And for the first time in a week I was genuinely happy.
Thank you.
...john heisel...

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