Oh no—We were Emo!

We made a stunning revelation Wednesday night: In college, Emily and I were so emo—and we didn’t even know it!

Now, I may not have worn eyeliner… or painted my nails… or worn girl pants… but when it came to home decor, we were so emo.

We learned this with the help of Everybody Hurts: An Essential Guide to Emo Culture. In this book, authors Leslie Simon and Trevor Kelley include an important chapter about growing up—the most dreaded concept to everyone from teens to 40-somethings. In this chapter, they write:

Generally, interior design is a concept that most emo types fail to embrace until they reach their mid-twenties, which is why their first home away from home (often obtained around the age of nineteen) will include the following:

“Band posters… DIY bookshelves [made of milk crates, naturally!]…The ‘Dude, what’s up with your futon?’ Futon.

Honestly, this is not too far off from our first apartments (and college dorms). Comic book art and band posters, the hand-me-down puffy pleather sofa (which, in terms of decor, may be on par with the futon), a DIY entertainment unit. It was pretty rough.

But here’s what caught our attention:

Your average adult emo home will be heavily outfitted by Ikea, West Elm, or Pottery Barn and will probably look identical to all your friends’ homes. Generally, these homes will include the following:

A real couch… A slightly better bookshelf [with real books in it that cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $150, but still has the stability of a stack of milk crates]… Photographs and art, but not too much [usually consisting of either cartoon-looking concert posters or nauseating photos of the married couple].

Our house is an Ikea catalog. We can’t help it, they make affordable and awesome furniture. Our shaky bookshelves are bowing under the weight of a couple hundred real books. And yes, we have pictures of ourselves around the house, and a painting of toast in our kitchen.

Now while Emily tells me that our home decor is called something like “modern country,” I think there’s a lesson to be learned: There’s a little emo in all of us.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to watch a Cameron Crowe movie and then listen to Weezer.

Get new content delivered to your inbox

  • http://www.srdesigns.ca Mrs_Strongarm

    It’s URBAN country! URBAN COUNTRY!!!!!!!!!!!! Modern country involves mid-century mod furniture.

    Don’t make me get out the better homes and gardens book and prove it.

    • http://hardwords.wordpress.com Aaron Armstrong

      Fine! “Urban country” then. Sheesh :P

  • http:/forsakenforlent.blogspot.com deb@talk at the table

    I have to comment, only because you’re the first person i’ve ever heard use this term. My girls called me emo after reading a pile of poems they found, and it stuck with me, wondering if all my “deep” ponderings fit that title.
    I used the label in a poem not too long ago for the High Calling Blogs poetry sharing.
    If I see your picture with hair swept over your eyes.. that’s serious!
    http://forsakenforlent.blogspot.com/2009/06/prodigal-mothers.html

    • http://hardwords.wordpress.com Aaron Armstrong

      Hopefully no hair sweeping will be in my future – I’d look like I did in high school again.