Thinking out loud

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Ed Sheeran (left) and Stan Pearlman. Their marriage wouldn’t last, all because of ageism.

One of the best songs of the past year is Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud, a sweet little love tune that made its way to my iPhone for the low, low price of $1.29.

You’ve almost certainly heard “Thinking Out Loud” by now. Hell, my dad (whose pop culture rating is about -6) has almost certainly heard “Thinking Out Loud” by now. It’s traveled the familiar path of pop FM radio to mainstream FM radio to everywhere FM radio. It’s a wedding song, a Bar Mitzvah staple, a tune myriad teenagers have surely used as a make-out jam under the bleachers. Hell, were I 16 and trying to get a girl to hook up, I’d make certain to play, “Thinking Out Loud.” Repeatedly. I’d even shed a tear, just to seem sensitive (I was a desperate teen).

That being said, while 18-year-old Jeff Pearlman would have loved the song, sans thought, 42-year-old Jeff Pearlman has a small issue. Namely, with this lyric …

And, darling, I will be loving you ’til we’re 70
And, baby, my heart could still fall as hard at 23
And I’m thinking ’bout how people fall in love in mysterious ways
Maybe just the touch of a hand
Well, me—I fall in love with you every single day
And I just wanna tell you I am

Seventy? Seventy!? Ed, I know you’re just 23 or 24, but loving someone until they’re 70 … well, no. No, no, no. My parents are in their 70s. My uncle is in his 70s. My inlaws are in their 70s. Craps, I’m (gulp) just 27 years (and a bunch of days) from being in my 70s. In this age of healthier eating and exercise and soda eliminations and cigarette bans, promising to love someone “’til we’re 70” is the equivalent of saying, “Um, I dig you now. And I’ll stick with you for a while. But eventually, I’m probably gonna dump you for an inappropriately young chick who wears tight dresses and likes me for my money. Sorry, doll.”

But maybe I’m wrong.

I’m just thinking out loud.

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