“That’s the Way I Always Heard it Should Be” by Carly Simon


I like this song because it’s about bougie girl pain. The pain of those women whose “friends from college are all married now.” I like it ’cause it’s about 60’s or even 70’s girl pain. That I don’t really relate to it exactly, but I respect its place in the American girl legacy.

Carly Simon was never my music—she was my mom’s. I was raised listening to “Haven’t Got Time for the Pain” and even “You’re So Vain” on car rides with my mom and my ex-stepdad, crammed between my two sisters in the back seat.

I like it ’cause it’s kind of terrifying, all ghosty and echoey. I like it ’cause she really goes for it, makes marriage sound like a horror movie. How she says, “you want to marry me,” the girl self dissolving.

I like it because by the end, she reluctantly agrees: “Okay, it’s time we move in together.” My mom never played it in the car. I think that maybe it might have ended a different way, if she were singing it today.

-Marisa Crawford

Marisa author photoMarisa Crawford is the author of the poetry collection The Haunted House (Switchback, 2010), and the chapbook 8th Grade Hippie Chic (Immaculate Disciples, 2013). Her writing has recently appeared in Fanzine, The Hairpin, and Bitch, and is forthcoming in Electric Gurlesque (Saturnalia, 2016) and The &NOW Awards 3: Best Innovative Writing (&NOW, 2015). Marisa is a poetry editor for Coconut Magazine and founding editor of the new feminist blog WEIRD SISTER. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Questions, compliments, (hopefully not) complaints?

Contact Jackie Clark: jackie [at] coldfrontmag [dot] com.

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