59. Song No. 483: “Apology Song,” The Decemberists
5 Songs, 2001
I feel like I just talked about this band and this album, but there’s no such thing as too much when it’s something you love this hard.
My husband absolutely hates The Decemberists, who are one of my all-time favorite bands. It used to bum me out until I realized that weaponizing the things I love in the name of domestic warfare is almost as fun as the Nerf sword fights we used to have in Target back when places were still a thing, plus his best friend usually joins in the musical torment and allies always make deriving joy from your spouse’s misery a little more of a shared delight.
I have no idea how we got here, but this put-to-song answering-machine apology is the go-to weapon of choice in getting the most mileage out of tormenting my otherwise flawless hubs with a band I have tried so hard to make him love (like, I got so far as dragging him to a Decemberists concert back in our 20s and he still hasn’t forgiven me for that). It’s at the point where if this song is playing when he happens to walk into my makeshift work-from-home officespace, I wonder if he thinks I did it just to piss him off.
Before it became my greatest asset in the kind of games couples play to joyfully fuck with each other (don’t let anyone tell you the secret to relationship longevity is in the bedroom or wherever it is you rut like animals in your own goddamn house: It’s knowing how to push each other juuuust far enough to erupt into belly-laughs after a long-game well played), though, this was (and, I mean, it still is) the greatest example of my name in a song, spellings be damned because no one really knows how many E’s it takes to render my name correctly anyway.
Never mind that it’s a song about a stolen bicycle. It’s given me the line “Even though it was wrong being so careless with a a thing so great and taking your poor Madeline away,” which has been the best inspiration for so many moments of peacing the fuck out on my terms.
Plus, it’s the reason why an album titled 5 Songs has six tracks, and that’s the kind of math I can relate to.