I debated even writing this post because the answer is so blatantly obvious, or so I thought. Yet recent events, which I will not delve into, have led me to believe otherwise. Let’s just say that for the benefit of anyone born in or after 1990 I will clarify this unmistakable truth here today. (The same ones by the way who have been able to drink for over a year – legally. If that doesn’t make you want to down a bottle of Valium.)
I have never been a huge fan of love songs, in fact, I’m going to say that most males aren’t fans of love songs and I can tell you why. It all stems back to those days in junior high and high school, the days when talking to a girl took an act of Providence but actually asking a girl to dance would most likely stop time itself. Personally, if I were fortuitous enough to even be invited to a party where dancing would take place the looming distress of the slow dance scenario would set in about three days beforehand. Would I ask someone? Would she say yes? Would I look like an idiot? Do I even know how to slow dance? You get my point.
And then the day arrives
I would show up and the music would start out fast, the boys were on the walls while the girls were dancing in groups of 8-15. As long as the music was upbeat everything’s cool; we’d stare at the cute girls and they’d completely ignore us. But the moment the DJ says “this one’s for the ladies” or “let’s slow it down a bit” my heart along with every other boy in the room would jump to our throats. Then the girls would wait, and wait, and wait.
I can still remember how beads of sweat would appear on by forehead, my mouth would get dry, and my hands would turn clammy as I weighed my only two options. I could either go the safe route and shirk my responsibilities by ignoring the song entirely and thereby live to fight another day or I could put on my big boy underwear and man-up. While I usually went with the former I’d occasionally, after too much Coca-Cola, get the courage to go ask some girl to dance.
Well, ask might be giving me far too much credit, it was more like mumbling as teenagers are want to do so that it wouldn’t sound like I was asking if she should to say ‘NO’. Which routinely happened. That way when my friends inquired I could say I didn’t ask at all and therefore maintain my dignity.
Growing up is so tough.
Eventually the house parties were replaced with fraternity blowouts and soft drinks were exchanged for Vodka or “The Beast” and my trepidation for the slow song gave way to hopes the DJ would make every song a “slow jam”.
Today’s RetroRewind was the one song that made my pulse race the most. It was that song guaranteed to be played once if not twelve times during the night. And that’s because it was and is still the undisputed heavy weight champion, very best slow song/love song that has ever been written and preformed, ever! It’s been played at birthdays, weddings, engagement parties, Bar Mitzvahs and funerals the world over.
More children have been conceived to this one song than all others combined. Ever wonder why there are so many boys named Steve?
It remains one of the most downloaded songs on iTunes and there are so many tributes, renditions, videos, and live performances uploaded on YouTube I can’t even begin to count.
And this year the song turns thirty! Chew on that for a minute.
God how I miss the 80’s. Today’s RetroRewind – the greatest love song of all time!