In every personality quiz a Facebook friend has sent my way, I have been asked to respond to the following question: What is your favorite song of all time? And, of course, being the special snowflake that I am, I always respond Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got To Do With It.” Yes, I select a song dedicated to the man that did Ms. Turner wrong.
And this is not a recent musical selection. In sixth grade, my English teacher required each student to compose an essay about her favorite song, detailing her reasons for her affinity. I chose the aforementioned R&B number, and needless to say, Mrs Newton-Reis wanted to have a “conversation” with me about my selection.
“Were you ever physically abused by a drunk man, Yaffa?” Mrs. Newton-Reis had a way of getting straight to the point. I responded honestly, “No, I just don’t believe in love.” Her flittering eyebrow stopped flittering uncontrollably. I had alleviated her fears regarding domestic violence and replaced them with something she deemed much more “palatable.”
I was a skeptic. Perhaps that was typical behavior for the daughter of divorcees. Mrs. Newton-Reis reasoned that upon meeting the right person, my skepticism would cease to color my belief system. I, however, well acquainted with Ms. Turner’s history of physical and sexual abuse, argued that such a shift in thinking was unlikely.
Ten years and two gay boyfriends later, I am still doubting my English teacher. Having only dated Mr. Right Now, rather than Mr. Right, I have not experienced that tingly sensation that Meg Cabot, in her infamous tween novel All American Girl, referred to as “frisson.” According to the Oxford English Dictionary, frisson is a sudden strong feeling of excitement; a thrill. Simply put, I have yet to be thrilled.
Unlike in middle school me, though, I believe that thrill is possible, but that I have yet to experience it. And I am certain this has been a blessing in disguise. No man has interfered in my academic or professional development. I have been able to climb whatever intellectual mountain I have so desired without the guilt of leaving a special someone behind.
On the brink of graduation– and with the prospect of a few more free moments in the not-too-near future– I have decided that my musical selection likely needs to be updated to reflect my less cynical take on romance. In revisiting the work of Tina Turner, I have selected a new anthem: “Till The Right Man Comes Along.” The gist of the song– enjoy Mr. Right Now until Mr. Right passes through.
Sing it, Sister! (Can you tell I excited for the Broadway premiere of Sister Act: the Musical?)