In “Ironic,” Alanis Morisette wails that “it’s like rain on your wedding day.” Bad weather during one of the best days: Ironic! Fitting! Yesterday was the polar opposite of Alanis’s famous example. The Dow Jones experienced its second worst single-day drop of all time, its worst since 2008, and coronavirus continued spreading across the world, forcing colleges like Princeton and Columbia to online classes, both of which happened while we have a game show narcissist behind the wheel. Italy banned public gatherings in their entire country. It was a bad day! It was also 71 degrees in Storrs, the first truly warm day of the season, and students from Charter Oak to Mansfield Apartments pulled non-gym shorts out of their closets for the first time in months. It was like sun on your global economic meltdown.
I’d like to think I’m a well-adjusted person who moves through life logically.
That didn’t happen yesterday. Around 3:30 p.m., my brain short-circuited and I listened to Sheryl Crow’s “Soak Up The Sun” 17 times straight. I stared out the Storrs Center Starbucks window at the mid-afternoon sun beaming down on the perfectly adequate E.O. Smith building, smiled and entered early ‘00s pop hell. For an hour and a half, I was immersed in Sheryl’s world of glitzy fun in the sun, and I couldn’t stop smiling. Even as I refreshed my juvenile Google search for “the stock market,” I couldn’t stop beaming like a little kid getting a second slice of pie from their mom. The girl next to me gave me a concerned side-eyed when I lip-synced its objectively perfect chorus a bit too hard. I thought about explaining to her that I was fine and was simply listening to a song 17 times in a row, but I’m not sure that would have helped.
I guess I should devote a paragraph to the actual song, considering this is a music column – someone else has an existential crisis column. I do love this song very much. It’s a well-written, lovely song about appreciating the things in life outside of the things without monetary value, like the sun. As things seem to be getting worse inside the “monetary-value” world right now, I’ve been trying to appreciate what fits outside of that bubble. Friends, laughter, music, sun, nature, ponds, et cetera. It was nice to be reminded of that yesterday, as I steam-pressed my brain for 90 minutes.
By the end of the motion-picture length jam session, I felt this weird sense of calm. For a moment, I forgot that the United States economy shrunk 7% in five minutes earlier that day. I forgot that we might have online classes if this virus keeps spreading. I just sat there, smiled and decided to write this understandably deranged column.
“Maybe something’s wrong with you/That makes you act the way you do,” sings Sheryl in the pre-chorus. Wish I knew!
Everything is going to be fine. Happy spring. Soak up the sun.
Daniel Cohn is the associate managing editor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.