One thing many people are surprised to learn when they get to know me is my love and knowledge of country music. As someone born and raised in California to immigrant parents, they assume I didn’t grow up listening to that sweet twangy sound. But they’d be wrong.
Now, I’m not talking about the shit that’s on the radio today. Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan, and Dan + Shay don’t count as country in my book. No, I’m talking about real country. I mean, not too real, like Waylon Jennings or Merle Haggard, but just real enough. Late 90’s to early 2000’s country, baby. Reba. Brooks & Dunn. Travis Tritt. Fuckin’ Lonestar, man. That’s my jam. And while I was listening to some of those not-too-oldies on the way to work this morning, on came a classic. “That Don’t Impress Me Much,” by Shania Twain.
The Canadian Queen always brings the heat, and this song is no different. However, after listening to the lyrics, it got me thinking…what does it take to impress this woman? She lists three main suitors in her song, and not a single one did it for her. But were they impressive? Let’s break down the verses and find out.
3. “Okay, so you’ve got a car.”
Well, right off the bat our girl Shania lets us know that gearheads are not her thing. And to be fair, she makes some good points. It’s not just that this guy has a car. It’s that he believes the car is an extension of his personality, and that it should be enough to impress her. I think we all know or have known guys like this in our lives, and we can all agree with Shania on this one.
She calls him out on being too into his automobile, citing sources that he “makes her take her shoes off before she gets in,” and “kisses his car goodnight.” Damn. That shit is lame as hell. Owning a car is nice. Owning a nice car is even nicer. But thinking that a nice car is going to win over a girl like Miss Twain? Please. You must be joking, right?
2. “Okay, so you’re Brad Pitt.”
Now, I think we’re all assuming that this isn’t literally Brad Pitt, but merely a facetious name she’s using to describe a very handsome man. Because, to be clear, if it actually was Brad Pitt, she should have been impressed. I had a poster of Shania Twain on my wall from 2002-2005, so it should carry some weight when I say this: Brad Pitt is out of her league. This song debuted in 1998, the year before Fight Club came out. Have y’all seen Brad Pitt in Fight Club? Dude’s hot as hell. So we’re going to assume that when she calls her suitor Brad Pitt, she just means he’s an attractive man.
But does that impress her? Fuck no. Shania cares about something more than mere physical appearances. She’s a woman of substance, and she expects the same of her men. Plus, she’s from Canada. She’s not going to want some pretty-boy Hollywood type, and if the lyrics are any indication, that’s exactly what this guy is. He carries a “mirror in his pocket and a comb up his sleeve – just in case.” That’s some narcissistic shit. A pocket mirror? Really? My dude, there are windows everywhere if you really want to see how that hair is holding up. And by the way, it’s probably fine, because of all the “extra hold gel” mentioned in the next line. This guy might think he’s special. He might even think he’s something else. But that don’t impress Shania Twain. Not much.
3. “Okay, so you’re a rocket scientist.”
Damn, girl. I mean, I’m all for having standards, but I think you have to admit, this is pretty impressive. A literal rocket scientist? This man went through some seriously rigorous schooling to achieve his professional status, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little impressed. I don’t even know what you have to major in to become a rocket scientists. Is it Aerospace Engineering? Is there a special NASA program you have to complete? Is this dude an actual astronaut?
Shania. Honey. Baby. Let’s think about this for a second. This dude is smart as hell. You even admit it when you say he’s “got being right, down to an art.” Now, I know you mean that as an insult, since he’s also a “regular, original know-it-all,” but in this case, I think we can admit, this guy may legit know it all. He’s smart. He’s driven. He’s probably loaded. What is he missing? He’s got the brains, what more does he need? Is it…is it because he doesn’t have the touch?
She makes it clear that she thinks he’s alright, but that’s not enough. My girl has smart, attractive, car-having men chasing after her, and she’s rejecting them left and right because they don’t impress her much. They can’t “keep her warm on the long, cold, lonely night.” Oh shit. I get it. Shania Twain doesn’t care about what a guy looks like, acts like, or owns. Not if he can’t fulfill her sexually. Wow.
I’m sorry, Shania. I’m sorry for thinking you were too picky, when in reality, you were standing up for women everywhere. A year before TLC even debuted “No Scrubs,” you were out here spreading the truth. Telling women not to settle. Shania Twain. The true OG feminist. I’m putting the poster back up on my wall.