What a difference a decade makes. It’s hard to wrap my head around the idea that ten years ago, I was an awkward thirteen year-old choir nerd in Lubbock, Texas who had a secret desire to be the first female president but knew that probably wasn’t possible, so I’d settle for being a choir director instead. I just knew in my heart of hearts that I’d never leave my hometown, that I was too fat to ever be loved by anyone, and that my classmates were right when they dismissed me as a strange crybaby with a penchant for the dramatic.

I don’t listen to much popular music anymore because, as a New Yorker, my iPod has permanently replaced my car radio. I’m not forced to listen to the mostly repetitive Top 40 list I did in high school anymore – I’ll live happily in my world of feminist spoken word poets and classical opera, thank you very much!

But on a recent trip back home to Texas I spent a lot of time in my brother’s Camaro listening to the tunes he and his friends and probably most Americans my age are hearing every day. I’ll say this, in my humble opinion: if the music we listen to is seen as a representation of the social worth our generation, as are the Beatles and Joan Jett and Bob Dylan of previous generations, we might just be the sex obsessed, materialistic, shallow people that cranky adults are always telling me we are.