Britney Made Me Do It
In an attempt to get back to my roots and pick up hobbies I’ve left aside while the world is coming to an end, I’ve decided to share a story I wrote back in 2016. The following events are true and took place in a confusing time in everyone’s lives – The early 2000s. It was 2001 to be precise, so I must have been nine years old at the time. And like everyone my age, I was obsessed with Britney Spears growing up. While I’m not particularly proud of my actions you’re about to read, I’m not sorry either. All that I can say in my defense is that I don’t regret anything. Thank you for reading this disclaimer, let’s get to it!
Britney Made Me Do It
Like most people my age, growing up I was obsessed with Britney Spears. I would dance to her songs, sing along as best as I could and imagine that one day I would become her backup dancer. This was way before 2007 when she completely lost it. This was around the time her album “Britney” came out and when everyone’s favorite song was “I’m not a girl, not yet a woman“.
I didn’t have many friends growing up, but for some reason, all of my friends were much wealthier than me. One day I was visiting my friend Sophie, we were going through her toys and playing with them. We were good friends, but even then we had an on again, off again kind of friendship. Looking back, I think she might have been bipolar, we were always either not talking at all or it was us against the world. I knew that there was something dysfunctional about our friendship, but back then it didn’t really bother me.
Oops she did it again
She had this Britney Spears cassette and I envied her for it. My family struggled to afford necessities like clothing, let alone cassettes, which were expensive back then. I don’t remember why, but while we were playing in her room, she got really angry, which wasn’t out of character for her. For some reason Sophie directed all of her anger and frustration towards the Britney cassette. She wanted to break it, get rid of it and I don’t even think that we were listening to it at that moment. I was used to seeing Sophie’s mood swings, so I didn’t really interfere. I remember thinking to myself “If I had this cassette, I would never be that ungrateful, I would cherish it and listen to it all the time“. She really did seem ungrateful and spoiled and I couldn’t figure out why was she acting this way.
She was getting really eager to get rid of it and all I wanted to say was “Give it to me, give it to me!“. But of course, being the humble little kid that I was, I said nothing. While I was having my inner monologue, the next thing I knew, she was throwing the cassette out of the window. As I watched it fall, all of my hopes and dreams of ever having the album “Britney” fell with it. A small part of me naively hoped that Sophie would give it to me, instead of destroying it. But apparently it was destruction she was after.
I’m not that innocent
We continued playing in her room, but Britney was all I could think of. After a while I thought of some lame excuse and headed home. When I left her apartment building, I sneaked under her window to look for the cassette. I kept quiet, paranoid that Sophie would pop her head out of the window and see me. What would I say? How would I explain? I felt like a criminal, like I was stealing.
Adrenaline rushed through my veins as I was trying to concentrate on finding the cassette. And finally I saw it, laying there on the pavement. I hoped that it would still play, that it wouldn’t be broken. I quickly grabbed it and got the hell away from there. Sophie’s house was right next to mine, but I sneaked all the way around the building, staying away from her windows. A part of me felt like she knew what I’ve done and that I would get into trouble. I didn’t really care about what would happen to our friendship at that point, it no longer mattered, I had Britney.
When I got home I ran straight to my cassette player and put the tape in. I remember being afraid to play it, that it wouldn’t work and that Sophie would somehow find out. After taking a deep breath, I pressed play. As I was greeted by Britney’s voice, suddenly it all felt worth it. I had Britney Spears! My life was complete. I listened to the album countless times starting with “I’m a slave 4 u” and ending with “Before the goodbye“. And I wasn’t saying goodbye, I was just starting.
The following day I met Sophie again and she had changed her mind about the tape. I think her mom found out and was angry with her which was not surprising. Sophie wanted to go look for the tape and I went with her. We walked around and around the area and I pretended to help her. I felt really guilty, but at the same time this was an opportunity for me to cover myself. After a while of looking for it I decided to just blame someone for taking it. Sophie seemed sad that she’s not gonna find it, but she got over it. I think she was grounded afterwards, but I figured that she’s gonna get a new one anyways.
Don’t tell Sophie
Over the years our friendship faded, but Britney stayed by my side. I spent countless hours in my room listening to the album, singing along and dancing. Dreaming that one day I would become her backup dancer slash best friend and travel the world with her. And while that hasn’t happened yet, I got to live out my dream in my bedroom, dancing and singing to my favorite songs. Even though Sophie doesn’t know it, she gave me Britney and for that I am grateful. Feeling like an outlaw while taking the cassette only added to the whole excitement.
I didn’t need much to be happy back then. One small thing could make everything else seem better and that’s something I’ve lost over the years. And while there are things that I’ve lost, I still have Britney and even though she’s not that innocent, she was a huge part of my childhood. As a kid, I believed that anything can happen and I still kind of do. At least I hope that it can.
As for Sophie, we befriended again for a brief period in middle school, but soon parted ways again. I never told her about any of this and I don’t regret it. It was all worth it and given the chance I would do the same thing again. So what if it makes me a bad friend, a thief or a backstabber? And I didn’t exactly steal anything and if it wasn’t for me, someone else would’ve taken it. I got Britney and back then that was what really mattered.
If you are too young to remember, what cassettes are, it’s what we used in the olden days. before Spotify and streaming came along, this is what we used to listen to music.
The album “Britney” still remains my favorite Britney Spears album to this day. But since I have such a story connected to the memory of the album, can you really blame me?