Posts Tagged ‘freedom’

What Really Happens After the Kids Leave for School (Caution: this post may or may not contain the word ‘porn’)

November 4, 2011 5 comments

On a good day, the door closes behind my children at 8:45 am and I am seized by the idea of throwing one of those come-as-you-are parties. Of course it would end promptly at 3 pm, leaving me time to trash the empties before the kids return. Other ideas include cranking the tunes and painting my toes razzmatazz. Or having the mother of all pillow fights with every pillow in the house. It’s fair to say I’ve never grown up.

Unfortunately there’s work to be done, and although my finger hovers over that enter key that would send the invitation out to party like a maniac (it would read: Come Now! Someone left me in charge and the house is full of booze!), I don’t actually send it.  I go about my work. Dutifully, like June Cleaver.

Yet some days I perform an act of defiance, and put off my duties by Googling random things. It’s no party, but it’s the equivalent of losing yourself in an episode of The Facts of Life. Some people surf porn, but for me today it was the hit songs of 1975.

Let me tell you, that was quite a year in music.

I was astonished by the outstanding quality of that year’s top 100. Running down the list, I knew all but a handful of them. Not only did I know them, I thought to myself, I can probably sing all the lyrics to every song! This impressed me immeasurably, since I was only five the year they were released – not to mention I was a December baby. With such an incredible ear for music, surely I missed my calling when my mother made me choose between gymnastics and piano lessons. So I began my experiment by Googling the lyrics to the songs, and singing along. (By 9:01 I’d spent $20 on iTunes. Damn!)

I could really have used Google when I was five.

It turns out I have an uncanny ability to make up nonsensical phrases in place of the artists more brilliant lyrics. And in many more cases, I tuned the verse out altogether, impatiently waiting for the verse to finish so I could get to the words I actually knew in the chorus.

Yet in the beginning, I was full of bravado.

Captain and Tenille‘s Love Will Keep Us Together was the number one hit that year; that one was a cakewalk, since I frequently dazzled people with a dance I had choreographed to it. I clearly remembered Glen Campbell’s Rhinestone Cowboy and it’s star-spangled rodeo. I shone a light on Elton’s Philadelphia Freedom, yes I did. Crooning with Frankie Valli’s My Eyes Adored You made my eyes water all over again. He never even laid a hand on her!

Then that damn falsetto of Barry Gibb stumped me. He had me at Jive Talkin’. In fact, those were the only two words in the entire song I could decipher, and so I emphasized its enunciation every chance I got: Ji-iiiii-ve TAL-kin’. But the rest was just high pitched rhyming words. I was sure Barry was singing about a bad girl with fancy eyes who had left him looking like a dumb, drunk lug when in fact he was saying more hypothetically “There you go, with your with your fancy lies, leavin me looking like a dumbstruck fool.” But then we launched into ‘With all your Ji-iiii-ve Tal-kin’ in sync and all was right with the world.

Still, that one was an eye-opener.

Kung-Fu Fighting was another disaster waiting to happen. I was so busy mastering my kick that the lyrics went in one ear and out of my mouth with a ‘HA!’, with nary an idea that the song was about funky China men from funky Chinatown, since all of the fun was clearly in the funky, and yelling ‘HA!’ at the end of each line.

I didn’t even remember there were actually lyrics to The Hustle besides ‘Do the hustle!’. Admit it – you didn’t either. Yet Van McCoy is slyly encouraging dancers to eschew individuality, since the hustle’s specific moves fit the grooves of trash disco that is 70’s cool. I hustled right over that little tidbit.

So it turns out, like usual, I have overstated and overestimated my abilities. At least this time, I took myself down a notch in the comfort of my own home, and no one needs to know about it.