Like most adolescents I was irony-blind. This is a situation that was probably exacerbated by having been raised, as previously documented, by wild lesbians, in the era when political correctness had not yet crept extensively into the mainstream, but was The Driving Force in the dyke scene. Fortunately, I recovered, probably in part due to early exposure to my matrilineal grandfather's Swedish sense of humor. (I'm a lot funnier than most of you think I am. Just ask mrissa.)
I can still remember the penny dropping. And as I recall it, it was Rick Springfield's "Jessie's Girl" that clued me in that sometimes, things were not what they appeared to be.
And specifically, the lines quoted in the title.
...Dude. The narrative knows the narrator is kind of an asshole. And deeply in denial.
Well, how about that? Next thing I knew, I had figured out that Sting sort of understood that the narrator in "Every Breath You Take" was maybe not right in the head. I've had a weakness for tricky storytelling, in music and elsewhere, ever since.
You'd be amazed the narrative tricks you can learn from pop music and stage performers.
OMG it's 1980 and I'm wearing Keds with a power suit!
(danger: crunchy hook. the management assesses a fairly high earworm risk)