Walk into the grocery and there she is. Shop for shoes, she's shopping by your side. Need to cross a lobby? Drive to Mom's house? Drink yourself sick? My Goodness — she's there, too, in the hotel, the car, the seedy bar's bathroom, seeping through the pipes. She's everywhere, always ready to start a conversation:
"Hello. It's me."
Of course it is. It always is. It's Adele.
Now I know there must be some people — OK, several — who can't get enough of Adele. Her "Hello" video on YouTube has ... lemme check ... 1,337,105,261 views so far.
But I was relieved to learn that it's not just me who is on the other side (as it were) of Adele-mania.
"The only reason she's popular is because Amy Winehouse is dead," is how lifestyle blogger Amanda Lauren put it, rather bluntly, in a phone interview. "I hate Adele."
Google those three little words and you will find a tsunami of similar sentiments, some laced with the kind of venom usually reserved for presidential front-runners. "On behalf of the British nation, I apologize," wrote one guy. "I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!" another.
A bit more thoughtfully, one Internet commenter wrote, "I can't imagine any kind of emotional process that went on during the recording of any Adele song other than, 'Hey, remember that one song I wrote with the 4 sad piano chords and I belted the song title in the chorus? Let's try that again.'"
He's anti-Adele for artistic reasons. But others are simply staggering under Adele Overload.
"Today I heard it" — we know what song "it" is — "four different places," Yvonne Lederer, a marketing director, sighed. "She's an entertaining singer, but enough! I just feel like everywhere I'm going she wants me to be really upset about a past lover, and I'm not going to go there."
Ah, but where else can you go? Adele is harder to escape than 1-877 KARS FOR KIDS, and shares a certain stickiness. In a desperate attempt to pare the Adele quotient down in her life, Lederer and her friends have actually stopped using the word "Hello." Now, instead, they say, "'Sup?" Explains Lederer: "We're protesting."
This can be an act of psychological self-preservation. When Poet Erica Gerald Mason took her Toyota to the dealership for some warranty-required work, she had just settled into the waiting room, when you know who started singing in the background. The mechanic walked in and Mason practically burst into tears.
"This can't be good news!" she cried. "You're going to tell me you have to rebuild my engine, right?" He looked at her quizzically. Uh, no. He'd just come out to say ... hello. "He asked me why I had that reaction and I said, 'Someone Like You' is playing right now. This is not a song for good times."
More like for the end times. So these days I'm taking my cue from my pal Hannah Pazderka, whose family has turned Adelemania into a game: "Whenever we're out shopping and Adele starts playing, it means we've probably been there long enough, so someone invokes the 'Adele rule' and we have to leave."
That one trick means spending less money, wasting less time, and actually heading out into the day, where it's probably not nearly as gray and rainy as you thought it was.
Hello to the outside!