PlazaJen: Passion Knit

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


I love my JWo. You'll see why in three minutes.
Last night, we went out to dinner, OLIVE GARDEN baby, we live a life straight out of Old School, except we don't shop at Home Depot, we are Lowe's People, pass the kool-aid, tie up my blue sneakers. Afterwards, the WoFactor wanted Sheridan's, which is like crack for people who don't actually do crack. One of my favorite things about Sheridan's is that you can smell all the milk and cream, and it reminds me of dairy barns back home. Yes. I get nostalgic over cows. So as we pull into the drive-thru, Def Leppard's "Foolin'" came on, and suddenly I am all white-trash-beautiful, with a HUGE overbite and hang-loose hands and singin' and ROCKIN' OUT. It was an inconvenience to have to turn the radio down to order, dammit.

THEN, we drive over to Wal-Mart, where I drop James off so he can go in and buy BULLETS, YES, BULLETS, and now all we need is a Camaro and his-n-her mullets to make this redneck adventure complete. I actually drove around the parking lot, like I was cruising the three city blocks of my hometown. Then, I called JWo, to tell him to get a big standing fan, and he said that I should pick that out (smart man!) but he added that I would never guess what he was holding in his hand. It was a surprise! Yay!
Oh, do you already have it figured out? I try not to do that, because I love the whole surprise thing. But in case you haven't deduced it, it was a CD. Not just any CD. DEF LEPPARD'S GREATEST HITS 1980-1995. THE VAULT. I nearly peed with excitement. And I broke nearly every speed limit on the drive home, while listening to "Photograph", "Bringin' on the Heartbreak", and my favorite, "Rock of Ages".

See, "Rock of Ages" was the song we used for an air band contest in high school my junior year. Offa the album "Pyromania", I remember this all quite vividly. Growing up in rural Iowa, there weren't extensive music choices: country or rock. And the rock station included Top 40. Grunge and alternative hadn't really been invented yet, so I had a healthy mix of DuranDuran and Twisted Sister thrown in on top of my hippie parents' folk music, Rolling Stones & Dire Straits. This air band competition was awesome because one of the biggest slackers in our class actually got so into it, he made us WOODEN GUITARS and spent a couple weeks meticulously painting them. These were faux electric guitars, with the crazy shapes and bright colors. WE REHEARSED. This was super serious. The Air Band Contest was on "Punk Rock Day", you know how those homecoming weeks were themed - "Pajama Day", etc. So there I am, goody-two-shoes/straight-and-narrow girl, honor roll & class president, wearing artfully tied black garbage bags (I hear you can get them in bulk at CostCo now) all over me, with black lipstick & teased out, bright red spray-in color, black eyeliner - kind of a chunky female Robert Smith with red hair. Wielding an awesome wooden guitar painted black & red. (I have always needed to coordinate.) I remember we were lip syncing and I was doing my "solo", snarling and JAMMING OUT, as much as a sheltered white Iowan girl can do while wearing black plastic garbage bags, and I remember actually seeing our judges in the front row - several teachers and administrators - with their jaws on their chests, staring at me. They expected it from the other band members, but not me. HAH!

I remember feeling that "HAH!" & it's the same feeling I still get, when someone expects me to fail or thinks I'm not good enough or is surprised that I know obscure things. We all have that within us. We all make assumptions about each other, because it's a shorthand we learn. But I also know we'd all be a little surprised at the unique, funny things we've all done and the stories we have. I'm not embarassed to own up to my redneck love of Def Leppard, because it is tied to a glorious moment, when I didn't have to be what everyone expected me to be, and I was free & crazy & having the time of my life. I love JWo for loving that bold, awkward, hilarious creature that breaks out of my skin and bites my lower lip and screams along to the lyrics on a warm spring evening while driving just a little bit crazy. And I love him because he knows ALL THE LYRICS to every Def Leppard song on that CD.

And we won the air band contest. HAH!
posted by PlazaJen, 8:46 AM