Jessie’s Girl 2: The Aftermath

The year was 1981.  The Berlin Wall was still up, the “Brady Brides” debuted on NBC, and a young Grumpy Llama was on the verge of “the change.”  And a dashing soap opera star named Rick Springfield introduced the world to “Jessie’s Girl.”  A kinda stalker-y song about unrequited love.  Here it is:

 

Lyrics:

Jessie is a friend,
Yeah I know he’s been a good friend of mine
But lately something’s changed
It ain’t hard to define
Jessie’s got himself a girl
And I want to make her mine
And she’s watching him with those eyes
And she’s lovin’ him with that body, I just know it!
And he’s holding her in his arms late, late at night

You know I wish that I had Jessie’s girl
I wish that I had Jessie’s girl
Where can I find her, a woman like that?

I’ll play along with this charade
That doesn’t seem to be a reason to change
You know I feel so dirty when they start talking cute
I wanna tell her that I love but the point is probably moot
‘Cause she’s watching him with those eyes
And she’s lovin’ him with that body, I just know it!
And he’s holding her in his arms late, late at night

You know I wish that I had Jessie’s girl
I wish that I had Jessie’s girl
Where can I find her, a woman like that?

Like Jessie’s girl
I wish that I had Jessie’s girl
Where can I find her, a woman…
Where can I find her, a woman like that?

And I’m lookin’ in the mirror all the time
Wonderin’ what she don’t see in me
I’ve been funny; I’ve been cool with the lines
Ain’t that the way love’s supposed to be?
Tell me why can’t I find a woman like that?

You know I wish that I had Jessie’s girl
I wish that I had Jessie’s girl
Where can I find her, a woman like that?

Like Jessie’s girl
I wish that I had Jessie’s girl
I want, I want Jessie’s girl

I’ve wondered for years what ever happened between those three.  Would Rick and Jessie’s unnamed girl ever get together?  Would they live happily ever after?  Well, below I bring you the answer (with help from my good friend Daniel *lastnameredactedbecausehehasoneofthosejobthings).  Enjoy!

Jessie’s Girl 2: The Aftermath

Jessie was a friend 
Yeah I know he was a good friend of mine
But lately something’s changed
It ain’t hard to define
Jessie had himself a girl but I went and made her mine
Now she’s watching me with those eyes
And she’s gonna make me get a cat, I just know it
And she won’t let me play Halo late, late at night

You know I thought I wanted Jessie’s girl
I thought I wanted Jessie’s girl
What do you do with a woman like that?

Why play along with this charade?
There’s no part of me she doesn’t want to change
Know I feel so angry when I have to watch her chew
I said I didn’t love her and she turned my rabbit into stew
‘Cause she’ watching me with those eyes
And she’s gonna make me get a cat I just know it!
And she won’t let me play Halo late, late at night

You know I thought I wanted Jessie’s girl
I thought I wanted Jessie’s girl
What do you do with a woman like that?

Like Jessie’s girl
I thought I wanted Jessie’s girl
What do you do with a woman…
What do you do with a woman like that?

And I’m lookin’ in the mirror all the time
Wonderin’ why she won’t just leave me
It’s not funny, I’m so depressed all the time
Is this the way love’s supposed to be?
Tell me can I return a woman like that?

You know I thought I wanted Jessie’s girl
I thought I wanted Jessie’s girl
What do you do with a woman like that?
Like Jessie’s girl

I wish that I had Jessie back
I want, I want Jessie back

Is This Normal?

My 8-year-old daughter is taking part in a tiny little production of “Pinkalicious: The Musical.”  In addition to weekly rehearsals, she practices in the car everyday, reading lines and singing the songs.  In the finale, Pinkalicious’ mom, Mrs. Pinkerton, is celebrating the beauty of the color pink when Pinkalicious chimes in, “I thought you didn’t like pink.”  Mrs. Pinkerton responds, “Long story.”

“Long story?”

Now I’m curious.  How is liking or not liking a color a long story?  What’s the story here?  And then it happens.  I begin to imagine Mrs. Pinkerton’s (I don’t know her first name or her maiden name) childhood.  What could have happened all those years ago?  I see her crying at her father’s funeral when she is six, standing by the grave.  Then she’s seven and arguing with her mother who has had to go back to work.  They’re arguing because she wants her mother to stay at home, but that’s just not an option anymore.  Flash forward two more years and her mother has remarried, an ex-carnival worker who ran the cotton candy machine, a machine he stole when he quit.  A machine that now sits in the basement of the house they all share.  Mrs. Pinkerton’s mother has moved up the ladder at work and she has to leave town every month for days at a time.  When she leaves, the step-father locks Mrs. Pinkerton in the basement, only letting her out right before her mother returns, threatening her should she decide to tell her mother.  Trapped in the basement and starving, Mrs. Pinkerton finds the cotton candy machine in the corner.  Box upon box of pink sugar crystals are stacked beside it.  On the verge of starvation, she figures out how to work the machine and survives by eating greats swabs of pink cotton candy off her hands, swirling them around the tub and sobbing as the strands gather on her fingers.  She lives like this years, until finally her mother returns home early.

And now that I can’t help but look at the play in this light, “Pinkalicious” is less about a little girl eating to many pink cupcakes, and more about a resilient mother’s ability to overcome a childhood trauma in order to accept her daughter for who she is.

Then I wonder, what the hell is wrong with me?  I’m at a play rehearsal and all of a sudden, all I can think about is one of the characters being tortured by a deranged carnie.  And then it hits me.  I know what’s wrong with me.  I’m a writer.  Because normal people just sit there and enjoy their daughter’s play.  Suckers.