150 Favorite Songs, #147: Designs On You, Old 97’s
“I don’t mean to get you all worked up. Except secretly I do.”
This fucking song. I’ve watched a lot of movies that romanticize adultery, and I’ve read a lot of books that romantize adultery, and I’ve seen TV shows that — you get the idea. But there is not a single thing in the world that makes betraying someone you love sound more singularly appealing and fun and sexy and sweet and NBD than Rhett Miller singing about it. Obviously, in real life, it doesn’t work out like this song at all. I’ve known dozens people who have (what’s the verb? adulterated? adultercized? adulted? okay, fine,) betrayed and/or been betrayed… And it is decidedly never as awesome as this song makes it seem like it could be. Not even close.
But when I first heard this song, I was nineteen and I guess I hadn’t really figured all that stuff out yet. My first boyfriend was about to break up with me because he liked other girls more, and this drawly little lust letter sounded to me like exactly what I needed someone to whisper in my ear, sweeping me away to a fantasy-land where everything is bitey-kisses and pretty dresses and faux-ccidental footsie and the good kind of secrets that don’t actually ever hurt anyone.
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have designs on you.”