Another Valentine's Day come and gone with the usual griping about the greeting card-industrial complex, and the usual quite nice exchange of said greeting cards. The best thing about this Valentine's Day, however, may happen to be a present I bought for myself. I finally purchased Prince's Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 and have been deliriously happy ever since (although our upstairs neighbors might be wondering what happened to the all Fat Day and Mountain Goats). I had been avoiding purchasing the album for a couple years now, despite knowing how fantastic it is (vastly superior to Greatest Hits Vols. 1 and 3, for those keeping score), but this Sunday in the Atlanta airport, I succumbed to the lure of the AltiTunes. (I also got my mom The College Dropout. Mom, if you're reading this, go put your CD on. I promise you'll like it).
Anyhow, I was weirdly cagey about buying Vol. 2 because way back in college, I had borrowed it from a then-boyfriend and held onto it in a weirdly talismanic way as we struggled through a pretty disastrous breakup. As I recall, I finally gave the CD back to him at the end of the year, as I was packing up my stuff for summer storage, but it still felt somehow like "his CD." Not that we had a whole montage of poignant relationship memories set to "Raspberry Beret" (we didn't) but that he had introduced me to the breadth of the Prince oeuvre and it felt like cheating somehow to hold onto that knowledge after our relationship was over. A little-discussed question in the etiquette of twentysomething break-ups is whether or not you get to keep your ex-boyfriend's taste in music. Unsure of what Carloyn Hax would say, I opted for no.
But there I was in the AltiTunes store and there Prince was in all his paisley glory. Maybe it was the fact that I'm getting married in 7 months. Maybe it was just generally growing older and having college fade into the background. Maybe it was the approach of Valentine's Day. Whatever the reason, it was suddenly okay to own the sweet, raunchy fabulousness of Prince.
So, Ex-Boyfriend, thank you for sharing Prince. Thank you for pointing out the song "Pope," knowing that it would appeal to me, as I do, indeed, want to be the pope. Thank you for letting me keep your CD until I was ready to say goodbye. And Happy Valentine's Day, wherever you are.