Hi! Did you hear that Whitney Houston died? Craaaaazy!
The news hit me particularly hard because, like so many other young women my age, it seems like only yesterday that I was teasing my hair, painting on my frosty green and blue Wet n’ Wild eyeshadow, taking a lighter to my Cover Girl jet black eyeliner (you know, the one that came in a red pencil), slathering on the frosty pink lipstick, zipping up my tennis skirt, making sure my socks were perfectly and symmetrically folded inside my white aerobic sneakers, popping my collar, blasting “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and lip syncing it in front of my mirror using a tennis racquet as a guitar.
Since I was the only brown skinned girl at my elementary school, I could get away with planting the seed that I looked just like Whitney Houston. No one ever questioned it. You know….because I was the closest thing to a black girl we had at my school. It would have been racist to disagree. It was one of the perks of not looking like everyone else. I looooved it.
I was at my sister’s house for a Vino/Vinyl party on Saturday when I heard the news about Whitney.
SIDE NOTE: A Vino/Vinyl party is one in which the guest brings a bottle of a wine and an LP vinyl record. The wine is open and set out for guests to embibe as they wish. The vinyl gets assigned a number which then gets a corresponding number in a hat. The hostess has guests pick a number from the hat. If your record is chosen you can either chose which side of your record you would like played or defer your record until later. You know… in case it’s too early in the evening for Iggy Pop….or too late in the evening for Iggy Pop. It should be noted that my record was Janet Jackson’s “Control“. I challenge you to pick only ONE side of that record to play after you’ve polished off a bottle of white you hid on the bookshelf behind your nephew’s class picture. It wasn’t easy, but I ultimately went with Side A.
So, I’m at the party when someone walks in and announces, “Whitney Houston died.” so casually that I have to ask him to repeat it:
What followed was a lot of wine, a lot (but not enough) of Janet, Miss Jackson if you’re nasty, some cheese, and dancing.
Flash forward to Monday morning when I’m talking to my friend, A, about the tragedy:
Me: Did you hear that Whitney Houston died?
A: Shut up.
Me. I know. Seriously, though. I was at my sister’s Vino/Vinyl party when I found out.
A: Your sister had an albino party?
Me: Viiiiiiinoooooo/Viiiiiiiinyl. Wine and records.
A: *Laughing hysterically* I thought you said albino.
Me: Yes, she had an albino party. I didn’t feel like getting my dress dirty, though, so instead of painting my arms white, I wore fancy white satin elbow-length dinner gloves….and a bald cap.
A: *Laughing* Wait. What?! Albinos aren’t bald.
Me: I know. I just wanted an excuse to wear a bald cap.
Then, I got a visual of myself at my sister’s Albino party, hearing of Whitney’s death……………