As a little girl, I would listen to a nighttime radio show called Lovers & Other Strangers (which, apparently now can be found online all though I don't think the new podcast version would have the same early-90s nostalgic value for me.)
From what I remember, the host would tell intensely thoughtful stories of lost love peppered with soft rock from the era or a little earlier. I used to listen to this while falling asleep because I suppose I found it all very soothing, but naturally, as an impressionable child, the music and the words seeped into my subconscious and grew to shape what I expected out of my future as an adult woman.
Now as an actual adult woman I realize these expectations were hilariously off-base and just plain weird, and I also have to wonder where I got a lot of the visuals. Yes, there were the songs, but my incredibly active imagination was responsible for the majority of the imagery, too.
For example: I pictured my adult life to take place in a perma-moonlit apartment, with vertical blinds that looked out onto a balcony, black leather sofas, a glass coffee table, various pieces of sand art (?), and perhaps on the mantle of my white marble fireplace, a tiny statue of a saxophonist.
Surely this was influenced by the various saxophone solos I grew to love (and still do!). Adult me would have feathered hair, blue eye shadow, and would perpetually be dressed in gauzy white dresses. Basically, I would be Bonnie Tyler. Of course I would have a love interest too, but we would probably never interact outside of longing, "Romeo & Juliet"-style glances from the aforementioned balcony.
He would have a black motorcycle and maybe look like James from "Twin Peaks" (which is weird because he's such a terrible character and I had never seen "Twin Peaks" at that age because I was like, 6!). That's as far as I ever got.
Which brings me to the actual point of this article (even though I know you've been completely enthralled up until this point!), which is: what was the soundtrack to your imagined adulthood? Because for me there is one specific song, one song that when I imagine these scenarios, can be heard playing softly in the background. And it is this.
"Smalltown Boy" by Bronski Beat. I can't really explain why it feels so "grown-up" to me. The falsetto? Is that something adults do? Is that what I thought? I fell on my head a lot as a kid, so you're going to have to help me here.
There were a few other songs too, a couple notches below the above, that also elicited a similar emotional response from my tiny, freakish brain.
Are we on the same page here? Was I the only tiny, romantic insomniac? What was your song? Did I watch "Mannequin" too many times?