Remember when George Michael was straight, Milli Vanilli could sing, and neon colors were flattering? I do. At various points in my life, I would have sworn on my treasured giant wall swatch that each of those statements was the God’s honest truth.
Milli Vanilli were the first to come crashing down from the pillar of truth. I felt so cheated. Had I not spent hours on the riding lawn mower screaming “bah bah bah bah, bah bah bah bah, baby” at the top of my lungs with giant industrial strength noise cancelling ear muffs mercilessly crushing my headphones into the tender folds of my ears? Had Thom and I not rehearsed compulsively to master their awkward straight-legged dance moves while wearing oversized blazers with gigantic shoulder pads and black lycra capris? Rob and Fab took advantage of my naivetÃ© and their fall was hard for me to watch. I defended them adamantly and refused to return my cassette, positive that a mistake had been made.
Spending fifteen minutes looking for an appropriate picture for the above paragraph brought me right back to the other “truths” that kicked this whole post into motion. I mean really. Were the 80’s just the gayest decade in the history of all time? How did I miss all that so completely? How did I dance along with Wham! videos, cooing over the dreamy qualities of George and Other Guy, not pausing for even a moment to notice something was a little “different” about the pair? Those boys were about as straight as my Ogilvie-Home-Permed-Kelly-McGillis-in-Top-Gun inspired hairdo of the day.
Sure, you could blame it on my just barely breaking into my tweens by the end of the decade or perhaps the lack of an openly gay population in small town, North Carolina. I think both of those are just lame excuses. I should have known. I should not have been so blind. Then again, Liberace managed to hide in the closet for decades. (Keep the dream alive, Tom Cruise.)
Holy ramblings, Batman. This is clearly a banner day for chemo brain. Let me try to get back on track here…
Sometimes, your innocence or ignorance can lead you to believe something blatantly false. Santa Claus was totally real…until I learned he wasn’t. Storks absolutely delivered babies…until I learned about the birds and the bees. Patchouli was a perfectly acceptable substitute for bathing…until I shacked up with a hippie. Hindsight is 20-20 I suppose.
So yesterday I had my iTunes on shuffle as I tidied up from the debauchery that forever shall be known as The Great Christmas Wine-o-thon of 2009. I innocently sang along with a Neil Diamond tune until an urgent sense of horror came over me. I had to sit down as I listened closely to the words. Could it be true? Sweet Neil Diamond, the Jazz Singer, heart throb to my mom, crooner of Sweet Caroline was, in fact, a total pedophile?
“Girl, you’ll be a woman soon
Please come take my hand
Girl, you’ll be a woman soon
Soon, you’ll need a man”
Ew. That is just not appropriate, Neil. You are fully a dirty old man, dude. Yeah, I know you were like 25 when you released that song, but that’s still awful old to be pining for pre-pubescent girls, don’t you think?
I shouldn’t be so surprised I suppose. Shit, the song was in a Quentin Tarantino movie for God’s sake. Now, there’s a guy known for his strict adherence to what society deems normal, appropriate and in good taste.
To your credit Neil, you were ahead of your time. Roman Polanski didn’t pull his move until a decade later. Woody Allen didn’t go public with his “predilections” until 20 years after that. You were a trail blazer!
Barbra, I know why he stopped bringing you flowers. You got old. Way old. Hell, you were in your 30’s when you two recorded that duet. You might as well have arrived at the recording studio wearing depends and rockin’ a walker as far as Neil was concerned.
“Soon, you’ll need a man.” My ass. Soon I’ll need a restraining order. Well not me — I’m practically geriatric in his mind.
What’s next?! What great truth will now be debunked? I suppose Andre Agassi hated tennis all those years? You’ll try and tell me Janet Jackson doesn’t sing or Tiger Woods really isn’t a family man? So long as no one tries to tell me Rod Stewart penned Jeff Buckley’s songs, I’ll probably be ok. I think I might need to go sit on Mom’s lap for a little bit first. Unless of course she’s not really my mom. On second thought I’m just going to go cower under my bed.