1. “There is no need to say you love me; it would be better left unsaid.” -Say You’ll Be There
Who wants to hear all that chatter about how into the relationship you are? There is a time and place to go off at the mouth about your undying love, and that place is called 10th grade English class when you are writing an essay about Wuthering Heights. The Spice Girls were here to tell us that too much of the mushy romance talk was simply a way to obfuscate the real problems of commitment or interest that were likely bubbling under the surface. It’s easy for him to say that he has so many feelings for her, but it’s harder for him to show up at her friend’s wedding after she had already turned down a prospective date and told the bride that she would be coming with her new beau who she can really, really see a future with. And that is what the Spicies are looking for.
2. “Be a little bit wiser, baby, put it on. Put it on.” -2 Become 1
Oh our poor, poor parents, having to listen to us strut around the house at the ripe old age of eight singing these…vivid lyrics. Yes, Baby Spice was reminding all of our suitors — no matter how overcome with the urgent passion of lovemaking — to wrap that weenie up. With her delicate, girlish voice, she managed to convey to the eager hordes of prepubescent girls looking up to her every word that not double-bagging it carried with it more than a measured amount of danger. (This always seemed like a lyric more well-suited to the world-weary Ginger, but I suppose that’s why I wasn’t their manager.) Either way, it’s gonna be a Trojan night Chez Spice.
3. “I want a man, not a boy who thinks he can.” -Too Much
Aside from the obvious profundity of every line sung by the only Girl who actually had some pipes on her, aka Sporty, there was some meat behind this sentiment. You’re either bringing that je ne said quoi of maturity, or you are not worthy of our love and can continue playing your video games with your Cheeto-stained fingers until you pass out from excessive masturbation. The Spice Girls were not going to let us run around with a bunch of Johnny Come Latelys who were spilling their sippy cups trying to get into our panties, and we owe them a debt of gratitude for encouraging that distinction early on.
4. “I didn’t want to hear it then, but I’m not ashamed to say it now. Every little thing you said and did was right for me.” -Mama.
Not all love has to do with putting on a condom before getting, well, spicy (jokes on jokes right now, I hope everyone is appreciating this) or being mature enough to get into something serious. Sometimes you just love your mother and have finally reached the age at which you are no longer humiliated by the prospect of admitting that she was right about your budding love for things such as stretch tattoo chokers and glitter-flecked platform flip flops. Love is a tough road, but we are all the better for having walked it.
5. “Slow it down, read the signs, so you know just where you’re going.” -Stop
Love is all about navigating complicated communication, giving and taking where you need to, and understanding that someone else’s requirements may be different than yours. And the Spice Disciples were a veritable Grand Prix of complicated traffic directions, orange cones, and red lights. If a man was unable to navigate the various indicators, he was not worthy of our love. You either graduated from Serious Relationship Traffic School, or you lingered with your useless learner’s permit in your parents’ driveway for the rest of eternity.
6. “Slipping through my fingers, like the sands of time, promises made, memories saved as reflections in my mind.” -Viva Forever
When you have something really amazing with someone, and all of the sudden they up and leave form your life like some kind of sexually attractive wisp of smoke, all you are left with are these torturously arousing memories and glimpses of the glory you once attained with ease. This song was all about that hot, confusing Sex Nostalgia that was destined to be a part of our love lives once we started playing for keeps, but which we assumed we would never encounter when our whole romantic trajectory consisted of holding hands outside of a 7-11. Oh, how naive we were.
7. “I know you’re gone, you said you’re gone, but I can still feel you here.” -Goodbye
Remember that time when Ginger left the Spice Girls and they tried to awkwardly carry on without her by putting out this song that awkwardly addressed the extremely awkward thing that had happened in their band?? Well, it taught us that Girl Love did not conquer all, but rather that, if it failed, you could always put out a mediocre song to remind everyone how good things could be when you were all still together and enjoying one another’s Spicy company. Ultimately, their message was that Girl Love was the greatest (and most vocally irreplaceable) love of all. And that is what we have retained, along with (perhaps) the reflex to wrap it up before a zesty romp in the sheets. (Thanks, Baby.)