Britney Spears was the highlight of my childhood. I’ll never forget the day my dad entrusted me with his copy of her purple Oops!…I Did It Again CD as I was stepping out of his Nissan Titan. I was so surprised that my dad, of all people, owned a Britney Spears CD. I wonder if my dad was lowkey jamming to Britney Spears on his way to work in 2005. Was he only giving this CD to me so his coworkers or friends wouldn’t make fun of him?
He was dropping me off back at my mom’s house. Normally, I was overcome with sadness when I had to leave my dad, but this day was different because I had that purple CD in hand! I was thrilled to finally have a CD that wasn’t another Now or Kidz Bop. Now, I could blare Britney Spears on my purple CD player in my room. I wondered if he would miss it because he wasn’t getting it back, never in a million years. To this day, I still believe that the CD belongs to my father. I can’t risk scratching it. The CD would stay in my room, in its designated spot, for the rest of my life.
I spent hours upon hours listening to the hits on this album, memorizing every word. In the single, “Oops!…I Did It Again,” she talks about an old lady dropping the necklace into the ocean. It wasn’t until a few years later that I realized she was referencing Titanic, which happens to be one of my favorite movies. Upon my discovery of this connection, I was amazed at how similar it seemed that Britney Spears and I were. To this day, I nail this part of the song.
This event changed my appreciation and taste for music. I prefer early 2000s pop, which I feel was influenced by listening to Britney Spears early on. Modern pop doesn’t achieve the same effect for me. Some of my friends still bash on me for listening to old music, but it has such good charm and holds so many memories for me. Whether it’s the upbeat rhythms or simply the association I have with 2000s pop, I enjoy the sense of familiarity that I feel with each song from that time period.
This CD is still in a basket in my childhood room. I often find myself purging junk from my room and then I see that purple tie-dye-ish disc. I can never let go of this CD. I don’t even have a CD player to listen to it. It is literally a disc of plastic that once brought me some weird sort of joy amidst everlasting chaos.
I feel guilty not having bad memories of my parents’ divorce. It seems like I should. I think the reason I stayed generally unaffected was my dependence on music. The music reflects a moment of calm in my life. The high-energy music drowned out the screaming, fighting, and sometimes even police sirens. My brother didn’t seem to have an escape from the chaos, but Britney Spears was mine. People attribute my brother’s suffering to his older age, but perhaps it was the lack of Britney Spears serenading his room.
Oops!…I Did It Again takes me back to a very uncertain time, yet I don’t hate thinking about it. In fact, I think about it almost every day since I listen to early 2000s radio stations and playlists. I’m not sure if my dad realizes how much this small gesture influenced my childhood. I don’t even know if he remembers giving the CD to me. I never bring it up, and neither does he. Granted, it is a rather vague memory, but it is the one that sticks out the most in my collection of childhood memories.