I was a painfully shy, painfully awkward kid.
I know it’s not the kind of thing for which you can provide “visual proof,” but here’s a hint:
This would have been, I dunno, grade seven? Whenever those gold-dipped leaf necklaces were fashionable. Mmm-hmm.
As if looking like this wasn’t enough of a challenge, you gotta layer in HORMONES and FEELINGS, and I had lots of both. I also had teachers who weren’t always amazing at reading the angst-ridden room, which is how we ended up with Secret Santa Exchange ’83.
You know the drill. You draw a name, you have to buy them a gift under, let’s say, $10. And everyone does it, so everyone gets a gift, but it’s just so friggin’ fraught (see also: HORMONES, FEELINGS). What if you get someone you LOVE. What if they get YOU.
I am 47 damn years old and I can feel my heart rising in my chest just thinking about it.
So it was grade seven, and I had been The New Kid at St. Martin’s Ennismore for a whopping four months, which means that everyone in my class knew me perfectly, which of course made me totally easy to buy for.
[I’m gonna take a moment here to just tell the truth: children are horrible gift-givers in the main, and that’s assuming they actually do the shopping which of course they do not. My $10 limit says some stressed-out mom picked this up at Lansdowne Place when her idiot child told her half an hour before closing time that s/he had to bring a present to school the next day.]
And that, friends, is how I came to be the proud owner of this, which I (re)discovered this morning, while digging through the shelf of albums to see if I actually own any Kenny Rogers (RIP / I do not):
You are reading that correctly.
It’s not only CHART ACTION, it’s CHART ACTION … Action … action … and the track list is, well, it’s actually goddamned amazing.
And so I present, for your sincere listening pleasure:
- Gloria … Laura Branigan
- You Can’t Hurry Love … Phil Collins
- Down Under … Men at Work
- Africa … Toto
- Goody Two Shoes … Adam Ant
- Don’t You Want Me … Human League
- Mickey … Toni Basil
- Come On Eileen … Dexys Midnight Runners and The Emerald Express
- Allentown … Billy Joel
- Sexual Healing … Marvin Gaye (yes, I went to a Catholic school, no, this did not get screened out by the purchasing parent)
- Missing You … Dan Fogelberg
- Heart to Heart … Kenny Loggins
- Truly… Lionel Richie
- Breaking Us In Two … Joe Jackson
- Twilight Zone … Golden Earring (yeah, I don’t know, either)
- Do You Really Want To Hurt Me … Culture Club
Now, I know you don’t really want to hurt me, or anyone else.
Not forever, just for now.
For me, and you, and all of us.
I mean, I put THAT picture of me on the internet, ferpetesake.
You owe me one.