When fifteen-year-old me had a crush on Larry, I loved “Lady in Red” because I had a red dress that I wore to church and I felt so beautiful in it. Unfortunately for me, Larry already had a girlfriend. What was with these guys who didn’t just look into my eyes and decide I was the One for them and get rid of the girls they were already dating? Couldn’t they see that I was the better choice?
Finally Larry’s girlfriend broke up with him (I was thrilled) and eventually, taking his older brother’s advice, asked me out. It was a strange couple of weeks, since he didn’t have a car and there we were in the back seat while his brother drove. Larry was a singer (not in a band, he just liked to sing) and he serenaded me with the immortal New Kids on the Block classic:
I’ll be loving you forever
Just as long as you want me to be
I’ll be loving you forever
All this love’s for you and me, yeah
And…that’s as far as forever went. Larry broke up with me at church on a Sunday morning and by that evening had another date. They stayed together for a year or more, as I recall. I have no idea what he’s doing now.
Next I transferred my thwarted longing onto Larry’s brother Lonnie. (I know, I know.) But at least he was the one with the car! However, he was in love with the prettiest girl in school and it wasn’t until several months later that he offered to drive me home one night even though I already had a ride, parked at the end of my driveway, and laid a big ol’ kiss on me. On the stereo was Debbie (not known as Deborah, back then) Gibson, playing over and over again because it was a single in the tape player. I don’t know why he thought this was ideal makeout music—it was an old song even then, in 1992.
I get lost in your eyes
And I feel my spirits rise
And soar like the wind
Is it love that I am in?
I guess Lonnie wanted to be “friends with benefits” (although more innocently than that term means now) but I was having none of it. I was holding out for True Love. He had no clue why, when he acted like nothing happened, I wouldn’t speak to him. Clueless guys. And I wondered why they wanted to date the girls who didn’t turn everything into
There were a couple of other guys, but I don’t want to write about them except to say that my college boyfriend and I used to sing along with A Whole New World from the Aladdin soundtrack (shudder) even though we really should have known better because a) dorky! and b) our voices weren’t anywhere near as good as Peabo Bryson’s and Regina Belle’s. Also that for a while after we broke up, I couldn’t listen to the radio because happy songs made me cry since oh my God we used to be happy like that, and sad songs made me cry for obvious reasons. I memorized the words to “Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough” because it was like the songwriter KNEW somehow about our situation.
But there’s a danger in loving somebody too much,
And it’s sad when you know it's your heart you can't trust
There’s a reason why people don't stay where they are
Baby, sometimes, love just ain’t enough.
Then I met my husband, and fell in love, and what do you know, this time it WAS enough. We are dorky, too (hmmm--what's the common denominator in this equation? it couldn't be ME) and our favorite songs to sing along to are sung by groups since he can harmonize and make me sound better. If “Faithfully” by Journey comes on, we’re going to turn it up. Also many of
Basically, I’m just glad we’re singing a duet, and we will be forever as long as I have anything to say about it.