South Main Muse: Jamie Miles
Michael and Farrah. The world knew them by one name.
Today, anyone can disseminate ideas worldwide. Everyone is a celebrity. In my youth, it was different. We had these things…Superstars.
Farrah and Charlie’s Angels. My sister, a brunette, loved Jaclyn Smith as Kelly Garrett. As another brunette, I identified with spunky Sabrina Duncan, Kate Jackson, for she seemed brainy and I felt obligated to even out the brunette-to-Angel ratio in my household.
It was unthinkable to pick Farrah. She was blonde with all that flippy, perfect hair. No way could my hair do that. None of our hair did, but we all tried. Just open up any late 70s to early 80s junior high or high school yearbook. I could only muster a part down the middle with two big rolls of hair framing my face. But Farrah wore flawless beauty and a blow out by Jose Eber. I loved to look at her. We all did.
Asking my husband his memories of Farrah, he smiled.
Her poster was everywhere. Dorm walls, shopping malls and Fellowship Halls. You couldn’t go five feet without coming face to face with her hair and fabulous smile atop a one-piece red bathing suit. Farrah was just Farrah. (Insert sigh of 13 year-old girl. Might as well include sigh from any male living on the planet between 1976 and 2009.)
Michael. My parents listened to “Dancing Machine” for hours. Not because they jived to the Jackson 5, it was just impossible to escape the bass pulsating through the walls of my bedroom to every corner of our house. Remember the “The Robot”? The arm swinging to a stop — pause for dramatic mechanized effect — then rocking back and forth. Tilt of the head, pause and teeter. I practiced for HOURS. Sounds slightly touched, I know. Surprising I didn’t end up sleeping in my own oxygen chamber. A rhetorical question, no e-mails please.
“Thriller.” At college, the SMU Theta House’s industrial-sized television room would fill to the gills when the “Thriller” video ran. Girls, houseboys, dogs, dates, J. R. Ewing even dragged a one-gloved Tom Landry; the world gathered to watch Michael dance across the small screen. I attempted to “Moonwalk”, though thankfully not alone in my bedroom for by then I had learned of magical places called dance floors. I admit to donning wader jeans accented with bright white socks and scruffy black loafers. My jackets with sleeves pushed up mid-forearm. Some guy asked, “Who do you think you are…Michael Jackson?” I looked at him real stupid like. “Of course, you living-under-a-rock person. And I’m ‘Billie Jean’ stunning at that.”
Over time, I lost his music in my collection and with disturbing images of Michael’s later years, I never had heart to put any back. Until last Friday, when I along with millions worldwide downloaded a few of my favorite songs.
All this contemplation has left me yearning to find an old cotton glove, heat up the curling iron and bust a few dance moves with “Dancing Machine” cranking on my iPod. I need to find my inner “mom in her mid-40’s, dancing-The-Robot” groove for just a moment. Is this what they mean by mid-life crazy?
Remember, just a rhetorical question.