Arts & Entertainment

It’s Not a Phase, Mom, It’s a Lifestyle

A&E editor Mary Grace Ritter is more than excited that one of her favorite bands, My Chemical Romance, is getting back together. She is proving to her mom that it really isn't "just a phase."

Not to be dramatic, but I wouldn’t be the person I am today without My Chemical Romance (MCR). Okay, that’s pretty dramatic but so is MCR. The iconic emo group wore its heart on its sleeve for 12 years until its breakup in 2013. It left fans with a short, unsatisfying statement, and a now-deleted tweet from frontman Gerard Way saying “It’s not a band, it’s an idea.” On Oct. 31, that “idea” announced its reunion.

Grown-up middle school emo kids were filled with as much glee as any emo kid could muster proving it’s truly not a phase, Mom.

I discovered MCR’s post announcing a show in Los Angeles Dec. 20 while alone in my room and blurted out statements I’m not allowed to say in print. I never thought this day would come. I’d held out hope, but I never put too much stock into the idea.

It was hard after all the false alarms — the song “Fake Your Death” with the release of its 2014 compilation album “May Death Never Stop You” and a cryptic tweet in 2016 of a flag with the piano of “Welcome to the Black Parade,” which turned out to be a commemorative album for the 10-year anniversary of its third album “The Black Parade.”

Each time, I vowed to my mom that when MCR got back together it didn’t matter where I was, what I was doing or how much it cost, I would find my way to the show.

Unfortunately, logistics have now gotten in the way and getting out to L.A. right before the holidays doesn’t look like a feasible option. The show sold out in a matter of minutes. I guess there are a few other people out there who made the same declarations I did.

But, that just goes to show it really isn’t a phase. For many people like myself, these songs are able to articulate untapped emotions. After all, emo is short for emotional and the over-the-top instrumentals, theatrical song structure and curated lyrics let me be as dramatic as I am in my head.

It’d be a little weird if I ran down the street screaming about death, but Gerard can do that for me and I can walk down the street pretending I’m in a music video. So even though MCR was broken up for many of my formative years, it’s still been actively rotating through my recently played.

The band has and always will hold a special place in my heart with the coveted title of the reason I got into music. My seventh grade self wanted to know the hype behind my crush’s MCR shirts. When I stumbled across the band on iTunes — because, yes, I was purchasing music at $1.29 a song for my iPod Nano — I listened to the 30-second clip and fell in love.

I couldn’t tell you why “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” resonated with 12-year-old trauma-less Mary Grace, but here we are. Nearly 10 years later I can often promise I’m not okay, but My Chemical Romance’s reunion definitely makes things a lot more okay.

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