Last night, Michael & I were discussing Bryan Adams. Gotta love the guy. Michael loves power ballads (a result of his summers spent working construction, listening to Omaha’s Z-92FM – radio for the working man!), and we realized: there is no bad Bryan Adams song. I dare you to defy me! If you love those late 80s-early 90s rock ballads, Bryan is your man. Unpretentious and unashamed. Who doesn’t have a memory to go along with “Summer of ’69”, “Please Forgive Me”, “When You Love Someone”, et al? I do.
Or should I say, “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You.” My parents enrolled me in cotillion when I was in 6th grade, circa 1991. Which, in Omaha, is kind of a finishing school sponsored by Opera Omaha, where pre-adolescent youths learn table manners and a few basic ballroom dances in an effort to foster a taste for finer cultural experiences. I think cotillion was by invitation, and I don’t know how I got invited, save for my good grades. It certainly wasn’t for my natural charisma. I was no debutante. But I digress. Most of the cotillion experience consisted of Saturday afternoons spend learning the box-step, fox trot, waltz, etc. Save for the waltz, the song our intstructor played for every dance was “Everything I Do”. I can hear the piano intro now. Haunting. And, obedient students, we lined up – the girls facing the guys – chose our partner and stared at the floor, feigning concentration. While dancing, the boy’s palms sweating onto my shoulder and opposite palm, we had to ask at least three questions about our partner, which were usually, “What’s your name? Where do you go to school? What do you do for fun?” All of this was done with minimal eye contact, of course. It was two hours of hell every weekend for me….I was shy and short, which meant I could comfortably stare into my partner’s chest, and he, over my head. So now when I hear that song, that nervous flutter starts up again in my stomach, and I instinctively feel like I should be swaying back and forth – back straight, hand raised above the shoulder, chin up, staring into a plaid, button-down shirt.
Another thing I remember about cotillion: at the formal dinner & dance, the culmination of our weeks of hard work, I remember sitting at my dinner table watching the less inhibited girls bump-and-grind to “I’m Too Sexy” on the dance floor. So much for gentility.