I hate getting older.

July 6, 2009 at 4:32 pm (Day to Day, Pictures, RIP, Video) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

I know this is jumping on the wagon really late but I want it out of my head and I haven’t had the time to purge. So here it is just a few weeks late.

It totally sucks when people you grew up watching on TV (console, with wood trim, pretty 70’s) and listening to on the radio (extremely generic, but totally gigantic, “boom box”), get sick and pass away, either after a long illness, Farrah, or suddenly, Michael. Or even MORE suddenly, Billy Mays! What a sad day!

Not that anyone cares about my opinion or thoughts, there are about a kazillion people writing about this at any moment, but I still thought I’d throw out some memories, if not for myself, maybe for my kids or sisters, who share some of them with me.

Ladies first. When I was little, like 8 or 9, obviously, I had a bedtime and TV restrictions. I was not allowed to watch racy shows like Soap, and I had to go to bed early on school nights.  My very favorite show wasCharlie’s Angels.” Pretty much like every girl my age at the time. It was the original of course, Sabrina, Kelly and Jill (and then with super-cool Kris! My fav). But it came on after my bedtime! So I worked out a deal with my parents to stay up, just that one night per week, to watch that show. I am sure I had to swear on a stack of Bibles that I would get up the next day with no complaints and I probably had to do extra chores and help with my sisters and brother, but it was worth it! Lord help me, it was totally worth it! I would think of all kinds of crazy ways I could get that white Cobra Mustang with blue stripes. We used to pretend to be Charlie’s Angels at school, running all over the place pretending to be sexy, gun-wielding, private detectives, solving crazy, ridiculous crimes. We probably looked very silly, but everyone did that, I came to find out years later from my friend Mary F., who is a totally cool chick that has colorful hair, super-style clothes, rides motorcycles and loved Charlie’s Angels too! I followed it all the way to the Tanya Roberts (Sheena, Queen of the Jungle”) period, and then…the teens hit, and I dropped all my sitcom love for… music!

Now, I have to admit that I remember where I was when the Thriller video premiered. It was quite a momentous occasion in the life of us suburban teenagers discovering all the cool new stuff in life. We, my family, actually didn’t have cable at the time, so we were at the neighbors house in their very beautiful, finished basement with leather couches and a big TV and a stereo system…it was very swank! It was dark and cool and we waited and waited. MTV at the time was very different than what it is today. This was a big deal. Videos, were a big deal. No internet. And when it came on, we were just amazed and blown away! What an event! And I got to see it. It was long and exciting. And when it was over…seriously…I can’t remember what I did! I’m sure we talked about it and tried to remember the words. Maybe we recorded it on these new, fancy, VCR things. Giant boxes with giant tapes that could take stuff off the tv and keep it forever. Or until the tape melted into a static-y, grey blur! Ha!

At any rate, Michael was BIG! I wasn’t even his biggest fan. My sister Noelle was. I mean, crazy, big, fan. Each summer we got to go shopping with my mom and get summer clothes, shorts and t-shirts, new gym shoes, etc. Nothing fancy. It was a K-Mart trip so we aren’t talking high fashion here. But this particular year, and I’m sure I have a picture somewhere that I will scan and post, my sister bought every stitch of her summer “wardrobe” with Michael Jackson designs. Shirts with sparkles and glitter and shine with his face, his hand, his body dancing, his GLOVE! Hand to God, I swear I can’t believe my mother let her, she bought the Michael Jackson GLOVE It was white and sparkly and it was just ONE! She LOVED  that glove and those clothes. Wore them EVERY SINGLE DAY without fail. And once, when we were goofing around, I spilled chocolate milk on one of her Michael Jackson shirts and I thought she would kill me. There was screaming and tears and hysterics over this. I ruined the shirt and the stain would never come out!!! I do feel bad now. She really did love those clothes. I think the shirt was fine in the end though.

Besides that doesn’t even compare to the really mean thing I did later in the summer to my OTHER sister, Amanda (also I big fan, but younger and more gullible). I told her that Quincy Jones called the house to find kids to be in Michael Jackson’s next video. I even explained, that since school was out, he had to call parents at home, to try and recruit…you know in case she got suspicious. I said that Quincy needed alot of kids and that they would not only meet Michael Jackson but he would be coming to OUR house to have the tryouts in person! So after I convinced HER…she went on to tell all her friends. And of course they all wanted to be in the video too. It was quite the hilarious joke until the friends parents started calling my mom to find out if this was true, and when and where, etc., etc. Everyone was all excited, but my mom was confused. Sucks to be me. Now I had to tell that I made it all up, AND I had to tell all her friends too. Many more tears and heartache…I think I even got grounded for that one. But all these years later, we do laugh. Even though I keep forgetting which sister I did it too. Amanda is always more than happy to let me think it was NOT her.

Updated. Last story. I can’t believe I left it off. My children. They are 10 and 11. They just “discovered” Michael Jackson in the last year or so. I will admit to any and all that it was via Weird “Al” Yankovic, but still. It counts. His parodies led them to the originals, plus more, which they instantly added to their favs. Once I turned them on to the videos…forget it. Played over and over and over…The music has been here waiting for them, which is awesome but it drags on the adults who have grown up listening to it. It is an amazing thing about kids, one of my favorite things about having them actually, is how all the old stuff is BRAND NEW to them, and they are so excited to have found this and they want to share and share with everyone and it makes you really listen to it all again with new ears. And it’s even better when you realize that it really was pretty good.

Their favorite song and video, both agreed,  is Black & White.”

The Billy Mays thing just throws me all off. Seriously. I don’t know why this particular death made me feel worse.

Do you ever notice sometimes how a certain “celebrity” death feels like a personal loss? Complete strangers die every second of every day…someone you loved maybe died at the same moment as one of these “famous” people and you may feel bad, but you just can’t spare the time in your more urgent grief. Maybe you didn’t even  know. Why would you? Ugh, this kind of thinking can lead to all sorts of sad roads that we try not to think about because how can you without wanting to run out and try to save the whole world or just crawl in a cave somewhere and hide?

I felt genuinely sad for Mr. Mays and his family. I didn’t know him or his people at all, but I liked him. And my kids liked him. The very last thing we watched on TV right before they left for Kentucky was Pitchmen. His inventor/promotion show. It was the one with the cereal bowl that keeps your cereal crunchy forever (the prototype looked like a giant dog bowl) and the Gator Wipers that take off every bug in the world from your vehicle windshield. They were doing a commercial for it with a custom made bug-gun and Billy’s son was upset about the giant bucket of bugs being sacrificed for technology and he took the bucket and ran off with it and all the bugs inside! Then they showed Billy shooting his next commercial, in his own house no less, wearing a suit of armor, and being silly. And it just seems so sad, and such a reminder, that every day is a good day, and no one gets promised anything more.

And that’s pretty much it for the super-fan anecdotes.

I know there are memorials being planned and magazines devoting entire issues to their life and times, but I’m not going to read or see any of that. I don’t want to mourn collectively, it never seems serious enough. It’s not a party to go to, and the people who are truly there to offer support always get crowded out by the people who just want to be on TV.

OxiClean.com really did it the best. Rest in Peace.

I’ll shut up now.

1 Comment

  1. amanda aka the greatest sister in the world! said,

    well thank you very much for telling the whole cyber world of my embaressing video practical joke! You know, we practiced ALL DAY on our “cool” dance moves to show MJ. Thanks.

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