Cher is 61 years of lovely living now...very well done. Her birthday was last weekend. Fans rejoiced all over the globe. Drank Dr. Peppers while listening to Cher's greatest hits compilations. By the way, I recently drank a Dr. Pepper when my office ran out of diet Coke...and this is after I went and said I wouldn't a few posts back. Can I say I love that my office provides free soda?
Unfortunately, I’ve never been a big birthday celebrator. Once when I was thirteen I threw a dinner party on Sonny's birthday. I remember my friends all seemed very confused. "Why are we celebrating Sonny Bono's birthday?" But that was my last blast. Like my birthday, it's just another day.
Unfortunately for me, Cher's birthday is not just another day. Unfortunately, two years ago her birthday began to mark a sad historical event in my life...the night when I caught an ex-bf out with another gal at a somewhat steamy movie on a Friday night when he had previously told me he had to baby-sit is his three kids that night. I came to find out, in the span of five minutes of shock and awe, that the person I had moments earlier thought was a stand-up character and attentive parent was actually an habitual liar. Sobbing did ensue. And all this soon after an unfortunate stint with a jazz pianist who wasn’t all that into me, as that bestseller so kindly put it.
They both came around, I guess, after I had moved on and was then harder, if not impossible, to be regot; and that alleviated the pain somewhat but it was definitely a particularly rough time for me that night of May 20, 2004, when I was cursing Northern Irishman and jazz pianists the world over and getting drunk on some mysterious green concoction my room-mate made to drown our stunned sorrows.
That night also reinforced in me what I’ve been saying about LA for years: it’s is a small, small town, smallest town of any city I’ve ever lived in. I lived in NYC for four years and never once ran across anyone I knew on the street or anyone who knew anyone I knew. In LA this happens all the time. Someone walks in my office and I know them through another friend; an interviewer knows someone’s wife whose husband I used to work with. Co-workers know other past co-workers. How could it happen in all the gin joints of LA, I would walk in on my cheating date...in this outrageously sprawling metropolis?
Maybe it was a strike of good luck at the end of the day. At the time, it felt terrible...very bad-luck- like. I don’t particularly like the day May 20 any more. I tread though it very carefully now...like something bad might happen or because that old shell shock demands my respect.
And it never helps that there are always a smattering of blogs and sites out there which commemorate Cher’s birthday with cracks about plastic surgery next to photographs of her now and back the 70s with pig-tails. This is simply a 21st century annoyance we must now bear as fans of the unwitting poster-child of cosmetic enhancements.
I came across another despicable site this week, one describing ridiculous and unnecessary tabloid tactics, this one regarding Cher’s reaction to Sonny’s death. Simply gruesome in its dehumanization of celebrities. Also disturbing is the reference within the page about a celebrity who participated in trying to generate their own tabloid coverage.
Speaking of my room-mate who fed me powerful alcoholic concoctions I so needed two years ago on Cher’s birthday...she is going through a tough time this week. I was set to fly out to meet her in St. Louis this weekend. We were going to make a cross-country drive from the Gateway Arch to LA to move her ailing Dad. Sadly, his health took a turn for the worse in the last few days. All plans to move to LA were canceled. She could definitely use your thoughts and prayers at this time.
On the brighter side, Cher’s birthday did bring about two fan gatherings last weekend. One in Chicago (pic top), hosted by "Chicago's Very Own Cher" at the Kit Kat Lounge complete with a "Turn Back Time" martini and large video screens playing "Mermaids" and "Moonstruck" all night. I would totally have gone to that if I lived in Chicago. We never get stuff like that out West.
And one of my poems was just published in the Spring 2007 issue of The Wisconsin Review (Vol 41 Issue 2), a poem called "At 5th and Pacific." This is a little lyric about passion in life and wanting to bust out. It’s my veritable I love a parade poem and one you may find useful if you wind up having a sad week like this.
You can order a copy for $5 at: The Wisconsin Review, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, 800 Algoma Blvd., Oskhosh, WI 45901.