In my roaring early 20’s, I dated the lead singer of a band. If you look up dated in the dictionary I happened to be using at the time, it would be defined as:
- hanging with a dude who was a total asshat at that point in his life, and
- supplementing a lack of financial success for a group of horny guys whose trajectory to musical
stardom successobscurity began in the hotbed of the music industry, Anne Arundel County Maryland, and
- putting up with other women, and
- sticking around because I was swayed by his clever sales pitch “I love you, but I’m not in love with you.”
Younger me sometimes makes me want to barf.
The band wanted a really cool name. Since Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam, and U2 were already taken by bands that had an upward and money-making trajectory, someone suggested the name Seize the Day. “STD for short,” laughed the bass player. All the band members high-fived one another. I said “Way to ‘Carpe Diem’ boys.” My boyfriend said “Wait..wait! That’s way cooler than Seize the Day. Is that words you just made up or some foreign language?”
Younger me sometimes gives me a migraine.
All the boys in the band did what most 20-year old boys in a band with a bit of local notoriety and young, rabid, horny female fan base would do. They screwed around mercilessly on their girlfriends. The girlfriends would act all indignant, possessive, and bad-ass at clubs when we confronted a groupie who paid our men just a little more attention than we were comfortable with. If only we had been indignant, bad-ass, and less tolerant with the men who were screwing around on us.
Younger me sometimes makes me cringe.
The lead guitar player in the band was quite the Romeo. He had a sticker of Elvis on his guitar and one day at band practice my boyfriend asked him why. He responded “Do you know how much p*ssy Elvis got?” Everyone laughed when he said that, including me.
Younger me could have benefited from a spine implant.
While their band did gain local notoriety, they gained little more than that. Like money. They gained very little money after they paid the sound and light guys for their gigs, paid for the gas to get to their gig, and split the money five ways among the band mates. There barely was enough left to pay for a late night nosh at a 24 hour pancake house after the gig, and most of us girlfriends ended up paying for our own meals.
Younger me sometimes gives me indigestion.
I spent a few years
fronting the money for buying band equipment, helping pay for band rehearsal space, and forgiving my boyfriend for yet another “it was only the one time and she doesn’t mean anything to me” excuse. Around the time I decided to go to graduate school and get my Masters Degree, I stopped being a doormat for the lead singer and walked away from all the BS.
Younger me certainly took her time to find her footing, huh?
The bandmates eventually went their separate ways when the rock band fantasy didn’t end up working out. The lead guitar player, bass player, keyboardist, and drummer are all married. So is my ex, the lead singer. In fact, he’s on his third marriage.
Hmm. Younger me may have had a bit more smarts than I give her credit for.
Through Facebook, I’ve reconnected with all the band members. Just last week, it was the Elvis-admiring lead guitar player’s birthday, so I posted this on his Facebook page:
In my memories of the band years I was awkward, not self-assured, and didn’t stand up for myself. But his comment on my post surprised me. It turns out years ago, a gigolo guitar player — whom I was sure barely noticed that I existed — thought I was a smart cookie.
Younger me may have been finding her way, but she was still able to make a good impression along her journey.