Tuesday, February 07, 2006

That's Entertainment


I was talking to a client the other day about her experience with the "Penny Marshall Effect". This is a term I created to describe the shock of seeing someone you haven't seen for a while, and how time has "taken it's toll" on their appearance. Meaning, whenever I think of Penny Marshall, I think of her and how cute and perky and smiley she was on her show, "Laverne and Shirley". Then she disappeared for a while after her show was cancelled, to reappear ONLY 5 YEARS LATER to direct "Big". Well, I couldn't believe the change when I saw her doing press for the movie. All droopy and slow talkin'. It was like a medicated version of her former self had melted in the sun. And before you yell "stroke!", you can stop because I just read her IMDB bio and there's nothing in there about an illness, though that would explain a lot. I still love her very much, I was just shocked, is all.
We all come to that place in our life, sooner or later, if we're lucky. Has it happened to you yet? I think I'm on the verge... And believe it or not, this post is about when my boyfriend bought us tickets to The Smiths for my 20th birthday.
I was looking at a photo of Morrissey today and trying to decide when "PME" happened to him. My guess would be 2002. He went from "Freakish Beauty" to "Old Irish Guy". But I was also marveling how his work has been a part of my life for over twenty years. He made being a nerd sexy! I will always think of Bryan, "the one that got away" when I hear "How Soon is Now", and I still will always be jealous of Ron for stealing Brad from me whenever I hear anything from "Hatful of Hollow" because that was their album to drop acid to. (whiney voice) "I wanna trip with Brad!" (pout). Conversely, their old roomate Scott still to this day throws-up blood whenever he hears The Smiths, because they played them 24/7.
So my boyfriend in 1986 was Jeff, and his (our) album was "The Queen is Dead". Sadly, he emulated all the bad things about Morrissey he perceived as "good". He was a vegetarian. He wrote poetry. He was celibate. Yes, my boyfriend was celibate. Yes, it sucked. But we did have good make-out sessions. My rationale was always: "He can't be serious. He's going to say 'Just kidding!' any day now." Me saying that in my head every day kept our relationship going for a good year.
So it took me a week to figure out what to wear. I decided on my roommate Jody's long black flowey skirt, Brad's pointy black patent-leather boots with all those straps, a Jesus t-shirt, 20 million rosaries, black leather motorcycle jacket, and a false black pony tail (because I saw Cerda do it. Yes, I've known him that long) and , of course, huge spikey black hair. And probably Baroni's "Red Diamonds" lipstick. (I cried the day that tube ran dry)
I guess Jeff had to pull my hand off his crotch one too many times, because the night of the show he called to say he "may not be able" to go. I just slammed down the phone. I went anyway. I get to the Aragon Ballroom 15 minutes into the show, and to my horror, everyone is dressed the exact opposite of me: Rebocks, LIGHT blue jeans and over-sized white t-shirts. Ewwwwww. And they were all flailing around like it was some kind of May pole at a Renaissance Fair. "This is The Smiths, not The Styx!" I stay a little bit to watch Moz dance around with those mock protest signs, sing some great songs, and watch sweaty kids dragged off stage, but I felt so out of place I left early. And my crappy relationship just ended. "Fuck you, happy puppet-people! I am outta here! I came here to MOPE, 'cause this is The Smiths, and you MOPE around to it!" Though they were nice to me, I guess.
My friend Mark literally had the exact opposite experience that I had, but that's another story for another time, because it's long and scary and freaky and you won't believe it, but you'll have to 'cause it's TRUE!
I tell this Morrissey story because he will be performing on my 40th birthday in Scotland. I will be in England then with my mom. (Her gift to me) Though she's up for it, I said no to the concert. But I have a feeling I may change my mind. It is my birthday, after all.

6 comments:

David said...

When did you ever jump rope with Eula Mae?

BC said...

I don't have time to explain "artistic liscence" to you OR Oprah...

Chus said...

This is what I think: Penny Marshall

Anne said...

hi brian....this is Margie's sister (red sneakers!) Annie (aka Laura!). You're hilarious. And a great writer! do you recall that I was squatting? no one asked me to pay rent or utilities or anything! I was waiting tables on Amtrak after dropping out of Mundelein (think ghetto stewardess).

BC said...

Oh my God, it's so great to hear from you! I hope I'm remembering things right. I loved living with you! I didnt care you weren't paying bills! Did you see that great picture I put up of you and your sis yet?

Jeff said...

I was at that Smiths show, I went with Jane. Did we not find you that night?? It is a bit of a blur. Hope you will let me know when you are going to be in NYC next.