I currently have the Britney Spears hit "Baby One More Time" stuck in my head. It's a really good song. It's a really great
The rhythm is tailor-made for slow snaky swivelly
hip moves - not that epileptic attack that attention depraved Shakira
tries to cram down the throat of our eyes every time
she's on camera ("Hey! Hey guys! Look at me! I'm shaking my hips! LOOK AT ME! I HAVE HIPS!").
Oh I hear you..."What about Britney? Isn't she the biggest attention whore of all?" Not really actually; there's a difference. Shakira
I could care less about, but Britney? We've shared so much together and you
try growing up surrounded by wolves with only your little red hoodie
as a shield.
Why I'm writing this is because whenever I used to have this song stuck in my head (usually during mundane filing tasks...which is what I'm supposed to be doing), I'd picture the video - and you know
what the video looks like. It's the one that launched a thousand atomic clocks counting down to Britney's 18th
birthday featuring a choreographed dance number in a Catholic school hallway. It was cute, sexy, adorable, cheeky and most importantly - it wasn't just set decoration trying to hide a shitty song. The song stood out. The song is good!
Just now, there I was filing away humming it in my head when it struck me that the only thing I can picture these days is Britney drunk at her house, alone and putting on a show for her living room furniture in the dark. I pictured her running through past routines and falling over a chair. Her wig falls off. It's very sad.
I really hope that she is able to come back in a big way and I mean that.
The cynic, record snob and hater of celebrity gossip in me would chalk this up to "Not my problem" a few years ago, but once you get past a certain point in your thirties, you just want to see people doing well. I especially want to see women
doing well; especially the ones who had something sweet and light within them until they were raped out of a childhood. Thanks Disney.
Sure, she has dug her own bed and now she has to make her own home in the mud-hut and she should be kissing the statue of Walt guarding the entrance
to Sleeping Beauty's Castle in Anaheim, but as I think of what I did in my twenties it scares me. No - terrifies
me. The horrible decisions, poor judgement and lack of 'common sense' which I considered extremely glamorous were (at times) moments when I escaped serious danger by the hair of my chinny
-chin-chin. I would answer a breezy: "Sure, why not?" to any suggestion (no matter how cringe-inducing) which is exactly
what every doomed person says before they die or lose an arm in any 1960's education film short with titles like "Shake Hands with Danger!"
and "Don't Do That!".
I think Britney is a "Sure why not?" girl. And I think that's okay; she should be given a chance to escape her twenties knowing that when she gets into her thirties, she may end up doing her best work yet with redefined confidence and a smarter set of guidelines for herself. Just adding a decade to your age is an amazing thing and can do wonders. Wonders!
She'll fall a few more times. She might decide to buy a frilled-necked lizard thinking how exotic that would be and then regret it the minute she realises that she can't walk past the kitchen without it lunging at her from the chair it never leaves, mouth agape and hissing. She may be squandering her "Onyx Hotel Tour" cash right now on two million cases of pudding to make Pudding Town. She might take a few more frat boys home and hang upside down from a Chateau Marmont
balcony but I have a feeling that she'll pull through it all.
Some of these will be: "That was fun and I don't regret doing that" and others will be: "What was I thinking?" Everyone has experienced both, but not in front of the whole world. I used to see the giant neon sign pointing every time to the thing that wasn't good for me, but that didn't stop me from running toward the impulse decision, arms outstretched knowing full well
that I would pay for it later. Britney's not stupid. She sang herself: "I'm addicted to you / Don't you know that you're toxic?". She knows what's happening. All I can say is, I'm glad The World didn't see me the night I shaved off my eyebrows.
What about 'the kids'? I know Britney has kids, but please. Please.
I was born in 1968. My dad was in advertising at its most debauched period. I have stood next to other five year-olds
in 1973 past 10PM, while we watched our dads jump from the roof into the swimming pool, holding tumblers of whiskey and shouting "Geronimo!" Britney has made some outright stupid decisions regarding their safety, but maybe one day they will look back on it like we kids of the 70's look back on the days when the car seat belt
was a parents' arm suddenly stretching out in front of us while they said (cigarette dangling from the mouth): "Hold on, honey. Sorry about the ash!"
Britney has screwed up and I think she needs to be forgiven. I screwed up a lot
. I still screw up with the simplest concepts all the time (i.e. turning a load of whites bright pink just by adding a red dress). My husband Ted calls me Monkey. For the longest time I thought it was a sweet term of endearment, but I'm seriously starting to wonder if it's because my thought process sometimes resembles that of a real live chimp. My guesswork and estimating skills pertaining
to math, bills , how money works, how logic works, knowing to not touch the still broken off part of a light bulb when it's in the live socket is as reliable as one of Ellie May Clampett's pies tasting like poo. I'm sure she has sent Jethro to the hospital a few times.
I find great comfort in that I don't do the big
screw-ups anymore. I don't skip through the worst neighborhood in San Francisco waving sweetly at the hard-core heroin
addicts on my way to the 24-hour Double Rainbow ice cream shop at 3AM. I don't stop in the alley to tell them: "I was going there anyway, so what's your poison? You look like a mint-chip kind of people". No sir, I haven't done that in years.
Britney will never read this but there's going to be a day when she'll Hit Us Baby One More Time and she'll thrive. She will turn thirty, and start the ass-kicking again. She will get to toss her knit cap in the air and "make it after all".
And just so you know, I'll be there to watch her catch it. And I'll be cheering on the sidelines in my fucked-up laundered pink clothes.J.