(15 july 2009)
jessica simpson and i go way back. back to the first weekend of may 1999- when, just a few weeks shy of graduation, me and a motley sextet of sexually confused high schoolers stood near a clump of trees facing the 2nd avenue stage of river stages passing judgement upon the approximately 35 teenyboppers who cared enough about jessica simpson to come see her sing at 10 a.m.
it seems important to establish where we were in my life narrative at this point in time. to make clear that i was young and impressionable and just about the most naive 17 a girl could be.
seven months before, a friend and i had asked her mother whether orgasm was an synonym for papier-mâché. i’d never been kissed. my grades were my world. and then, suddenly, with the coming of spring, my boyfriend was gay and i was running with a crowd that saw concerts in daylight.
it is difficult to convey how deliciously deviant this seemed, how glamorous, how incredibly hedonistic in what i see now was such a juvenile way.
and in the midst of this there was jessica simpson.
jessica simpson didn’t change my life. i know that. in reality, i promptly forgot about her. it was only years later, when she had made a career out of violating her own privacy, that i even realized this quasi-famous person was the girl with the big boobs and bad backup dancers who had squinted into the sea of sweaty adolescents of which we were a dubious, judgmental part and instructed us to “do it up yo yo yo.”
and then i felt kind of bad.
the two things i vividly remember from that day?
(1) the six (seven? three?) of us, everyone but me smoking, cynics all, after very limited debate reaching the conclusion that jessica simpson wouldn’t amount to much.
(2) the 125 degree angle made by the slender bicep/elbow/forearm of the cool kid in the group, his angelic facial features distorted by a grin one would expect from the joker rather than a closeted gay southern baptist, as he recklessly flung jessica simpson’s demo (charred by a dalliance with a lighter) into the dump.