A dear friend came back to town yesterday after almost a year away. She brought with her her warm, wise, wickedly funny self; her son, my daughter’s soul-mate (I don’t usually go in for the nonsense of describing children that way, and I haven’t booked the wedding hall—yet—but these two have a connection and ease with each other that couples celebrating their 60th anniversary would envy); and some of the pieces (her husband and daughter haven’t returned yet, damn it, and there are a few more deserter- um, I mean families on sabbatical yet to get back) that have been missing from our co-dependent group of friends. So basically, she brought normal.
Also, she brought Debbie Gibson.
You know, the Debbie Gibson who sings “Lost in Your Eyes.”
The last time I listened to Lost in Your Eyes, it was 1989. I fancied myself an aficionado of all things Yaz, Squeeze, and Alphaville, but at home, (having not, as yet, discovered the wondrous 92.7 WDRE) when DG came on the radio, I listened un-ironically, completely enraptured. I was awkward, insecure, pimply (so very, very, pimply; thank you, Accutane) and moony. Having a boyfriend—oh, screw that—having a boy express interest in me, was what I wanted most in life. Debbie, this girl only five years my senior, was singing about my ideal: Complete and utter happiness. With a boy. Who liked me. (Nota bene that she does not use the word love as a verb in LIYE.) This was an ideal that seemed very far off, if not completely unlikely.
Back to 2014: When my prodigal friend, an unabashed fan of 80s music, and not one to let an opportunity pass her by, mentioned that the chanteuse DG would be performing in our city in a few days, I had LIYE blasting from the speakers (thank you, Spotify) within seconds.
And there I was, twenty-five years later, perched on the arm of an easy chair in which reposed my overtired husband. My husband! I have a husband! And he’s nice! And he’s adorable! And he’s totally into me! I’m not gloating. I’m reveling. Reveling for the benefit of my 13-year-old-self, who was suddenly present in the living room, too, aghast at her future self’s unbelievably great (and mostly pimple-free) good fortune.
The husband himself was extremely annoyed, I should point out. “Why are we listening to this crap?” he asked, before hauling himself out of the chair and turning the music off. He’s right. The lyrics are trite and pat and hackneyed. But those lyrics perfectly evoked a need, and as it turns out, that need has been met.
I knew the almost 40-year-old me would be happy when my friend came back. Turns out the 13-year-old me is, too, because she pointed out that happiness was not only in my dreams. (Sorry. It had to be done.)