(Written in a campus Starbucks because my lifeline has been voodoo-linked to my Gold Card status)
I’ve been starting every conversation I’ve had this week with, “Have you listened to Lemonade?” It’s a good ice-breaker, and allows me to know who I should shun and who I shouldn’t (shundn’t?). I’m a pop culture whore/anthropologist, so it’s important to me thtat I surround myself with like-minded people. Or rich people. Or people who can explain how planes get off the ground. I get the whole “in flight” thing, but how do they get there?
Anyway, anyway. When a major cultural moment occurs—Adele’s 25, Britney shaving her head, Justin Bieber’s nudism—we as a people need to acknowledge it. I was simply doing my part. I found out about the album dropping almost accidentally on Sunday night (pure luck) and have been listening to it pretty much this entire week (I mean, it’s Wednesday, but nothing sells a story like hyperbole).
My favorites are “Pray You Catch Me,” “Hold Up,” “Daddy Lessons,” “Freedom,” and “Don’t Hurt Yourself.” I’m not mentioning “Formation” because that’s obvious. Anyway. I’ve been thinking about it, and I have poor impulse control, so since I’ve been thinking it, I’ve been bringing it up in conversation. Sue me.
Side bar: I’m pretty sure Beyoncé was wearing Yeezy Season Threezy in her visual album. I think the song was “Don’t Hurt Yourself.” It was definitely when she was screaming that she would “bounce to the next dick.”
I have an in-depth discussion of the visual album with my coworkers. I insist that my classmate finds some way to access Tidal purely so she can listen to the album and we can talk about it. Normal, sane things.
I’m at a meeting for the magazine I work for—City Editor—and I was casually bringing up Lemonade because, remember, culture. Then someone at the table remarked, “Wow, you really like Beyoncé.”
“No I don’t!” I objected. Which is technically true. I like Beyoncé, but do I love Beyoncé? Well…yes. But am I obsessed with her? Am I a diehard fan? Of course not. I appreciate her as a vehicle for discussion, and for what she represents. And also for how sick her vocals are and how bomb her nails are. Seriously, did you see how good her nails were when she was in that bathtub singing…“Pray You Catch Me(?)”?
And then someone pointed out that my sweatshirt, which has a picture of the painting Madame X (one of my all-time favorites), had Beyoncé lyrics over it: “I walk like this cause I can back it up,” from “Ego.” And that my phone’s background was just an endless repetition of the lemon and bee emojis. And that I had brought up Lemonade at least sixteen times within a half hour meeting. And suddenly…my world spun.
Was I a huge Beyoncé fan? How could I have missed it?
My whole image of myself shattered. I had always thought that I never stanned for anybody, that as a journalist I kept a healthy distance from my pop queens. Sure, I track RuPaul’s Drag Race tags on Tumblr, and my phone backgrounds include a regular rotation of gag-worthy pop culture icons.
But apparently, this entire time, I was harboring a secret love for Beyoncé. My journalistic ethics have been biased this entire time (beyased—omg, I can’t be stopped. I’m addicted). Since I’m now a huge fan, I need to change a few things in my life. Firstly, I’ll get a social media face-lift: everything that can be Beyoncé will be Beyoncé. No more funny Real Housewives testimonials. No more picture of drag queens caught at unflattering angles. No. I will be committed, and I will not waver.
One thing I’m still wondering—am I still allowed to make fun of Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams? I feel like that’s a definite gray area for us Beyoncé fans.
In other news, I started the week by dry-heaving halfway through my workout. I had just finished doing squats and lunges, and had stopped to talk to my friend Thea. We’re having a conversation about a class that I’m in now that she took last semester. In the middle of discussing the video project, I stop talking and inform that I need to excuse myself because I’m pretty sure “I’m going to vomit.”
I did that fast diarrhea walk to the bathroom—you guys know the one—and promptly started gagging as soon as I was in the bathroom. I didn’t end up throwing up—frankly, a letdown—but after I was sure that my bile would not make an appearance, I shakily rose from my Hidden Tiger Crouching Dragon position, washed my hands, and walked back over to Thea to finish our conversation. I’m nothing if not a professional. I decided to cut that workout short and go home.
That’s been my week so far—Beyoncé and dry-heaving. Not that different from my usual. Except maybe a little more Beyoncé. I feel like I’ve fulfilled my dry-heaving quota for the month. That feels good to get that off my chest. I almost named this post: “DRY-HEAVING TO BEYONCÉ,” but that’s a little niched. Trying to broaden my audience.
Also I realize in my fervent attempt to convince everyone that I’m not a Beyoncé fan, I’ve written a 1000-word article entirely about Beyoncé. The irony is not lost on me. But I am lost. Can I borrow your cell phone to call my mom?