I got the idea for the song when I was thinking about people who accidentally end up in internet memes and what their lives are like, or just people who get caught on camera doing something dumb when they’re young and it follows them around for the rest of their lives.
The verses are about living in the wake of that kind of event — wanting to move on but not being able to because social media is everywhere. And I imagined a guy knowing that his girl friend had that kind of past and wanting to tell her that it’s okay, and that it’s also okay if she takes her frustration and anxiety out on him sometimes because he gets where she’s coming from. Of course, it isn’t a great relationship, and they both know it, but for now, they’re a comfort to each other even if they know the relationship isn’t going anywhere.
The line about sliding the bottle over because the oats are in the back of the closet came to me one morning when I was making breakfast. I literally slid a bottle of olive oil over to get to the canister of Quaker Oats in the back of my cabinet. Hmm, I thought. That’s a pretty specific detail. Maybe I should put it in a song…
I was also pretty happy with the phrase “morning heart attack,” even though I don’t quite know what it means. I think I was going for the idea that the person who is looking for the oats is always on the verge of a panic attack. And it just occurred to me that “oats” are sometimes associated with the exuberance of youth — as in “sowing wild oats.” But the oats in this song are locked up in a closet, just like the life that the character isn’t living due to her anxiety.
I wish I could say I did that on purpose!