Usdan Jams: Pastability by Lorde

It was late for a Usdan night, approaching the 7:30 mark. The only people left getting dinner were the night owls, squinting in the bright Marketplace lights. It is at this time of night that Usdan becomes very simple; gone are the lines that make cheesesteak night or Pastabilites so urgent and the air has taken on a new tone. As the first blue notes of Lorde’s “Liability” flowed through my earbuds, it was matched with another sound:

“Go ahead!”

I looked up, and something clicked. How had I not seen it before? The signs were all too obvious. It had been hidden in plain sight. Somehow, somewhere, Lorde’s healing anthem was connected to Wesleyan’s own Pastabilities. And, since Pastabilities is Tom the Pastabilities Guy, somehow he and Lorde are connected.

“Go ahead!” I hadn’t realized it was my turn. I was too busy staring into Tom’s eyes, trying to figure out when/how he had hurt Lorde, or perhaps vice-versa. After apologizing profusely and getting my alfredo with white (sauce first, I wasn’t that distracted), I ate with haste and went back to my dorm to do my research, window shades down, glasses on.

Below I’ve put exhibit A, the song and lyrics to “Liability” with my own observations:


One, two- there are two steps to making a Pastability. Unless there’s a topping, but essentially two.
Baby really hurt me- girl what he do?
Crying in the taxi
He don’t wanna know me
Says he made the big mistake of dancing in my storm- storm rhymes with warm…. Pasta is warm…. interesting.
Says it was poison- he would know, he cooks.
So I guess I’ll go home
Into the arms of the girl that I love – note- find out if Tom is married.
The only love I haven’t screwed up- What happened? Did you say the pasta before the sauce?
She’s so hard to please
But she’s a forest fire- more like stovetop fire.
I do my best to meet her demands
Play at romance, we slow dance- Tom is anything but slow… probably why it didn’t work out.
In the living room, but all that a stranger would see
Is one girl swaying alone
Stroking her cheek

They say, “You’re a little much for me
You’re a liability- pastability
You’re a little much for me”- this makes sense. A pastability is definitely a huge commitment. When you get that pastability, it becomes a Pastability night.
So they pull back, make other plans
I understand, I’m a liability
Get you wild, make you leave
I’m a little much for
E-a-na-na-na, everyone- at this point, I’m a little confused about the POV of the song. Maybe Tom and Lorde are two sides of the same coin?

The truth is I am a toy
That people enjoy
‘Til all of the tricks don’t work anymore- tricks like that dope pasta flipping?
And then they are bored of me- Damn. Call him out.
I know that it’s exciting
Running through the night, but
Every perfect summer’s
Eating me alive until you’re gone- …. Gone as in back to Wesleyan to work at the Pastabilities station?
Better on my own- Good for you, girl.

They say, “You’re a little much for me
You’re a liability
You’re a little much for me”
So they pull back, make other plans
I understand, I’m a liability
Get you wild, make you leave
I’m a little much for
E-a-na-na-na, everyone

They’re gonna watch me
Disappear into the sun- funny how the sun is the same shape as the pan that Tom uses. Seems she’s not over him.
You’re all gonna watch me
Disappear into the sun

Naturally, I reached out to Lorde to find out the scoop on her alleged affair with Tom the Pastabilities Guy. She didn’t respond (too much raw emotion, probably). However, I did find some quotes on Genius:

“I had this realization that because of my lifestyle and what I do for work there’s going to be a point with every single person around me where I’m gonna be a tax on them in some way.”

Is that why you left her, Tom? Was the fame too much for you? What’s your side? Was she a liability? I guess we’ll never know, and all we are left with are lyrics to decode and Tom the Pastability Guy’s eyes, longing for Lorde.

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One thought on “Usdan Jams: Pastability by Lorde

  1. Melodramarinara

    love both lorde and pastabilities and this makes me so happy <3 <3 <3 this is the content i am here for

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