Thursday, April 28, 2016


Prince died, and I turned into a middle-aged woman acting like a fool. Remember those stories of mass hysteria after the death of  Rudy Valentino? I get it. See, for my generation, Prince was our Valentino, our Elvis, our Beatles. We loved him, madly.
"Act your age, not your shoe size."
As a rule, our boyfriends didn't like him. They claimed it was because he was "too weird," but we knew they were jealous. After all, every time a Prince song came on the radio or was played in a club, we ladies would SCREAM and rush to the dance floor (without our guys, as their dancing skills were never worthy of His Royal Badness.) By the end of the first verse, we'd gone from twenty-something sophisticate-wannabes to babbling tweens. Imagine a group of well-permed young women forming a circle so we could shout-sing at each other "LITTLE RED CORVETTE! BABY YOU'RE MUCH TOO FAST! OMG! PRIIIIIIINCEEEE!" The man just had that effect on us. There were rumors that the sound of Prince's voice could get you pregnant, but those were started by parents who were concerned over the fact that their daughters required swooning couches just to make it through one Prince video on MTV.
Look, the man was 5'2" and not what one would call a beefcake. He wore make-up, sprayed his curls with glitter, donned frills, lace, and high, sparkly platforms. He also wore his pants so tight they were redundant. Yet, he was one of the sexiest male performers of our time. His music wasn't for little girls who dreamed of sweet walks through the park, hand-holding, and gentle first kisses. Puppy love? Put that dog down! He wrote for grown-ass women.  And men!  He told us in every lyric, every guitar riff, every side-eyed glance at the camera that our sexuality was a treasure, and he wanted to be the one to find the spot marked X.  You see, Prince, unlike Elvis and the Beatles, didn't write songs of love. He wrote songs of lust. Dearly beloved, did he ever! And we liked it!
"Why do we scream at each other?"
Time passed, we got older, and so did Prince. The men in our lives had long since recognized that he was a musical genius, a brilliant guitarist, and a really cool guy. He was so protective of his private life and such a master at preserving his image, that it was always chill-inducing to see him show up on any television show. When he arrived on the stage of the American Idol Season 5 finale,  totally unannounced, our hearts went full-on cartoon - beating dramatically out of our chests. By then, there was an internet, and websites crashed because everyone was online, typing in all caps, about the event. We had to admit to ourselves that we'd never gotten over him! Not really.

Then, he died, and the world went purple. I went into deep, social-media mourning. This isn't a new thing. It happened when Michael, Whitney, and Bowie died. We all gathered together to send virtual hugs to one another, to cry over YouTube videos, and to share facts about the deceased collected from Wikipedia. But, this time was different. Prince was different. We had all been a little in love with him. Come on. Who didn't dream of being the girl in the raspberry beret?
"I just want a raspberry beret. The kind you find in a second-hand store."
There will never be another Prince. We mourn the loss of a one of the greatest performers of our time. Some day, when we are in our dotage, when our great-grandchildren are sure we are in the throes of dementia, we'll tell them, "Once, there was a man who told me he had a lion in his pocket, and it was ready to roar." They'll be scandalized! "Grandmother! Who spoke to you in such a suggestive manner!" We'll tell them, "My Prince." And if they dare to confuse this man:

With this one:

We'll cut them out of our wills! 

Rest in Peace
Prince Rogers Nelson
"He danced his life away."

1 comment:

  1. He surely did write songs of lust! Nicely done, Susie <3