Me and Debbie Gibson: Separated At Birth?

At our house, we like to have music playing during dinner. Seeing as how we are not the kind of family who “dresses for dinner” (in fact, Michael is usually in some state of undress by dinnertime), we don’t listen to anything refined like Beethoven. One is more likely apt to hear Dave Matthews Band, O.A.R., the bluesy incarnation of John Mayer, maybe Foo Fighters every now and again; and if I’m lucky, my husband will throw me a bone and play one of The Monkees albums. But only if I’m lucky.

Last night the ipod landed on my Debbie Gibson playlist. (Laugh at my musical preferences if you will, but don’t pretend you didn’t just let out a barely audible “awww yeeaahh” and mindlessly sing, “Shake your love. I just can’t shake your love.”) Grace was particularly happy about this dinner music, having discovered quite the adoration for her mom’s favorite old tunes…which makes me particularly happy that she is jammin’ to Gibson and her squeaky clean pop instead of to some maturing Disney starlet who feels some pressing need to prove she is growing up by also proving she is a hoochi mama sexually empowered.

So there we were, chewing on our pork tenderloin to the bubble gum beats. A little “Only in My Dreams.” Spicing things up with “Red Hot.” Then Debbie slowed things down with “Lost in Your Eyes.” My husband felt the need to add his own commentary that “mommy likes to sing this song to me.” (Which is not true…because singing that song to him would kind of be like cheating. I used to sing that song to my poster of Micky Dolenz in my room. It’s “our song.” Mine and poster Micky Dolenz’s.) So when I failed to flex my not-so-golden pipes in response, Kurt protested, “Aren’t you going to sing to me?”

“You want me to paint a smiley face on my knee, too?” I asked.

Debbie Gibson Out of the Blue AlbumHe stared at me with a blank expression.  Preteen Kurt obviously did NOT have the Out of the Blue cassette tape in his boombox rotation, otherwise he would have understood my clearly witty reference. So I explained what Miss Gibson was wearing on that album cover, ingrained in my memory as being the height of fashion: the ripped, tight-rolled jeans exposing her happy knee, the white Keds, the giant earrings, the striped shirt…

At that very moment, I glanced down at myself and realized I was wearing this:

debbie gibson shirt

And of course, that meant that THIS had to be done:

out of the blue album cover parody

It took me twenty-five years to finally be as cool as Debbie Gibson was in 1987. I think a little Electric Youth perfume would really be the piece de resistance to complete the outfit.

Now let’s get back to the dance party with a little more “Shake Your Love”…while I go tease my bangs.