Jul 312010

My pappap wore this big thick diamond ring on his pinky. It was masculine, just oozing with rich testosterone. We would go to church together every Saturday night (yes, when my pappap was in my life, I really did believe in God), and sometimes he would rap his pinky against the pew and whisper, “One day, this ring will be yours.”

And it was. For a day.

He Willed it to me, and I was “allowed” to wear it on a chain for my senior pictures. It was really the only piece of him I had after he died.

And it was taken from me.

My family was afraid I’d run off and pawn it, which was apparently, to them, a typical Erin thing to do. I haven’t seen that damn ring since I was seventeen.

According to my Aunt Sharon, my grandma put it somewhere “safe” for when I was “older” and now she “can’t find it.”

That bullshit smells worse than the hair grease on the cast of Jersey Shore on a humid day.

But what I do have is a charm bracelet. My grandfather used to take me to Europe when I was a kid, and on one of the trips, he thought it would be a good idea to put together a charm bracelet for me. So every city we visited, we would stop in several jewelry shops, looking for the perfect representation of that city in charm-form.

When I went to Australia by myself in 2001, I carried on the tradition and found a gold koala. It was bittersweet, coming home and taking it to a jeweler without my pappap. But it’s the one thing I own that I look at feel like I do still have a piece of him with me.

I almost never wear it for two reasons:

  • It’s easily the most expensive thing I own and it makes me feel like I’m flashing a strobe light for all the muggers in the city.

Jan 202008

Still reading old vacation journals, I laughed out loud at a paragraph I wrote about my aunt Sharon watching music videos on some European channel called “Viva!” I wrote that she liked men who wore copious layers of makeup and that seeing the video for X-French Tee Shirts had her all excited. I’m sure what really happened was that she was like, “This is fucking terrible” and I began chanting, “Sharon’s in love.”

But the reason why I laughed is because back then, I had no idea who Shudder To Think was, and while at the height of my urban music phase, I can only imagine the pain that must have coursed through my body while enduring such a “weird” song.

After reading that, I was inspired to look for the video, to see if it triggered any memories of lounging on a hotel bed in 1995. It didn’t really, but I laughed again when I discovered that I already have that song on my Zen, so naturally I listened to it the other day and have become batshit-obsessed with it; it makes me feel like Annica the Swede is giving my temporal lobe a deep tissue massage which puts me in a really weird state, like I’m not really in 2008 yet I’m not fully back in 1996, but kind of floundering in some fucked up limbo full of tear-inducing sentimentality for a song of which I have no recollection, yet it still triggers unspeakable amounts of emotion which I can’t put my finger on, but is probably best chalked up to my bi-polarism.

When I first heard of the band a good four years after that trip (because they did the soundtrack to First Love, Last Rites), there still was no epiphanic sparking of any particular, isolated memory bringing me to my knees in a nostalgia overdose; however I did think they were a really great band after that because my tastes had matured and developed a little. (Though I’ll always have a soft spot for some Bone.)

But every time I watch this video, I giggle uncomfortably, imagining what I must have thought back then. The mix tape I had on that vacation was full of 2Pac, Bone, Jodeci,  Junior Mafia and Mary J. Blige, for Christ’s sake! And of course it had to feature at least one black sheep of a song that created a jarring juxtaposition to the mix, and I believe on that particular tape it was “Cry Little Sister” from the Lost Boys soundtrack.

Does anyone else have a story about revisiting a band later on? And does anyone remember this video? YouTube doesn’t have the embedding option for this, and AOL Video is full of retardation, so trying to bring this video to you has been delightful, especially with my boyfriend pushing me out of the way so he can “fix it” because did you know he’s the one who created html? Incidentally, he didn’t do jack to help me, thanks.