This morning, Olivia Rodrigo blessed twenty-something teenaged girls everywhere with her sophomore album GUTS, which Rolling Stone has already dubbed “an instant classic.”
It’s a somewhat bizarre feeling to be vibing out to the pop anthems of a star who is barely out of high school, lamenting the trials and tribulations of first heartbreaks and viral fame, when you’re well over the age of 25 and your life’s biggest stressors are meal prepping and whether or not to splurge on a Dyson vacuum cleaner.
But regardless, us olds should still be able to enjoy Olivia’s gift to the music industry, even if our lens for relating to her lyrics skews a little more banal. . .
Lyric: I know my age and I act like it
Translation: Panicking when you get kicked off your mom’s insurance plan and calling your dad every tax season.
Lyric: I got class and integrity / just like a Goddamn Kennedy
Translation: Hosting a “dinner party” in your studio apartment where you make everyone Gin & Tonics for the first time instead of just passing around White Claws.
“bad idea, right?”
Lyric: I’m out right now and I’m all fucked up
Translation: Lying under a weighted blanket crying at a David Attenborough documentary about pandas that abandon their weakest offspring in the wild.
Lyric: I told my friends I was asleep / but I never said where or in whose sheets
Translation: Setting your phone to Do Not Disturb at 10:45pm so you can do the New York Times’ crossword in peace.
Lyric: Hate to give the satisfaction asking how you’re doing now
Translation: Needing an industry favor from someone you hated in college and having to pretend like you now care about their wellbeing for the sake of your job.
Lyric: Oh what a mesmerizing, paralyzing, fucked-up little thrill
Translation: The delicious schadenfreude of your work nemesis making an unfortunate typo in a client email.
Lyric: I feel your compliments like bullets on skin
Translation: Your boss responding to the slide deck you spent 12 hours on with “this is a great start!”
Lyric: Yeah, I despise my rotten mind and how much it worships you
Translation: Convincing yourself NOT to make a secret Kieran Culkin fan account.
“ballad of a home-schooled girl”
Lyric: Each time I step outside, it’s social suicide
Translation: Binging Gen Z slang TikTok videos every night before bed to avoid admitting to yourself that you’ve crossed the threshold into “out of touch.”
Lyric: I hate all my clothes / feels like my skin doesn’t fit right over my bones
Translation: Justifying spending $400 at the Everlane “sale” on more “forever pieces” essentially identical to the 17 others hanging untouched in your closet.
“making the bed”
Lyric: Another day pretendin’ I’m older than I am
Translation: Psyching yourself up to call the doctor’s office.
Lyric: And I’m playing the victim so well in my head / but it’s me who’s been makin’ the bed
Translation: Justifying ordering Wendy’s for dinner because “there’s no food at home.”
Lyric: Love is never logical
Translation: Buying a dozen of the same MAC lipstick in your perfect shade in case it one day gets discontinued.
Lyric: I look so stupid thinkin’ / two plus two equals five
Translation: Contemplating taking the GMAT in a moment of existential hysteria before remembering your SAT score.
“get him back!”
Lyric: I wanna make him really jealous, wanna make him feel bad
Translation: Posting a carefully curated IG story of two Negronis and your gay friend’s elbow.
Lyric: I picture all the faces of my disappointed friends
Translation: Trying to decide which of your friends will be the least annoyed when you ask for help assembling your new Wayfair bed frame.
“love is embarrassing”
Lyric: God, love’s fuckin’ embarassin’
Translation: Swiping on Hinge, seeing a really hot guy named Kevin, and thinking about how cringe it must be to yell “Kevin!” during sex before swiping left.
Lyric: I’m plannin’ out my wedding with some guy I’m never marryin’
Translation: Contemplating whether you could see yourself being exclusive with a guy you’ve been on two dates with because his family’s from Ohio and would he expect you to move back there one day? And wouldn’t that kind of be unfairly uprooting your shared son Jimmy from his social network in Brooklyn?
Lyric: The arguments that I’ve won against you in my head / in the shower, in the car, in the mirror before bed
Translation: Plotting how you’re going to ask your boss for a raise you probably don’t deserve.
Lyric: I try to be tough, I try to be mean
Translation: Getting stuck talking to a Greenpeace canvasser outside of Trader Joe’s and giving them the last $20 in your bank account because you’re too much of a non-confrontational people pleaser to politely extricate yourself from the situation.
“pretty isn’t pretty”
Lyric: Bought a bunch of makeup, tryna cover up my face
Translation: Spending your entire paycheck on bougie hydrating primers and glitter eyeshadows you’ll have the guts to wear because some TikTok beauty influencer is WAY too good at her job.
Lyric: I chased some ideal my whole fucking life / And none of it matters and none of it ends
Translation: Realizing that you’ve aged out of your body’s best days and are creeping toward a lifetime of botox, hair dye, and kale until you either give up or die.
Lyric: When am I gonna stop being great for my age and just start being good?
Translation: The crushing truth that you’ll probably never make Forbes 30 Under 30. Unless there’s a category for apathetic middle managers who spend too much time on Below Deck Twitter.
Lyric: And I’m sorry that I couldn’t always be your teenage dream
Translation: The relief that TikTok didn’t exist when you were 19, and that all evidence of your chevron blouses and purple converse is lost to time.
Lyric: I’ve seen every movie she’s been in and, oh God, she’s beautiful
Translation: Using September 1st as an excuse to watch Meg Ryan’s entire filmography.
Lyric: I’m starin’ at her like I wanna get hurt
Translation: Pinning pictures of Megan Fox to your inspo board and asking each of your friends individually if you could pull off red hair until the weakest one gives you the answer you want to hear.