I’m lying on my back, the gray sky shines cold through the mini-blinds. It’s her bed. It was before we met, before we were married and she keeps it on the floor even though we just got a bed frame. We’ve been so strapped for cash that neither of us have been buying new music (she always pronounces it “ny-ther”). This Christmas we weren’t even going to buy each other presents but, of course, we both do.

We both buy each other a CD among other things. How cute.

I’m listening to Dashboard Confessional and lying on my back on our bed with the cold, gray sky and everything feeling so Seattle. So Cameron Crowe. So Emo.

She spoons me and her hair is splayed out on the bed like it was arranged by a professional photographer. I’m facing the ceiling but with my hands behind my head I can look out the window and see the hills shrouded in fog in the distance. Telephone poles and power lines crisscross in front of the few roofs that come up this high. They slash the scene in such a metropolitan, beatnik poetry kind of way and the music fits. It’s so cliché. So music video. So Emo.

I’m lying here and noticing all this. How everything fits into some ostentatious caricature of what Virgin Records and MTV projected for the year 2003. I picture a boardroom, a thousand floors up, with a graying chairman tenting his fingers, his elbows resting on a polished mahogany table that reflects his torso perfectly giving him the look of the King of Diamonds. He calmly describes the lifestyle and mindset of America’s youth, ages 20-30 and I slid stoically into his Excel Spreadsheet marketing slot. I’m listening to his Top 10 album and probably wearing the pants from his preconceived Fall Line and I’m bothered at my own willing submission.

She stirs and some of her hair tickles my elbows. The rain crescendos and a few treetops bend against the cold, gray sky and I don’t care that I’m half-asleep, lounging in this prefabricated stereotype. The next song comes on and it’s about a couple lying in bed as the weather blows by gray outside. It’s so obvious. So TRL. So Emo.

I smile and close my eyes as she settles into a fitful sigh. I allow myself to become a commercial that no one will see. I cross my legs in their faded, slightly torn jeans and inwardly laugh at how predictable that was but she doesn’t know or care. To her, we’re just a couple listening to the CD she bought and she couldn’t be happier to be inside instead of out. She’s so Chick Flick. So Steel Magnolias. So unconcerned at how close we are to being posers.

How close we are to being Emo.