Wednesday, January 11, 2012

No. 876 – What I Am

Performer: Edie Brickell & New Bohemians
Songwriters: Edie Brickell, Kenny Withrow
Original Release: Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars
Year: 1988
Definitive Version: None

Have you ever been your sister’s wingman? I have twice, both times inadvertently, and both times involved a 21st birthday.

The first time was my sister’s birthday in 1989. She had left college the previous summer to take a year off before enrolling at Columbia College in Chicago. She had decided she wanted to get into the production side of movies.

Anyway, while in the midst of deciding her next move, she came up to visit me in January for her birthday and to see the city. Unfortunately, I lived in the suburbs, but we made it into the city to knock around a bit. For her birthday, we went to Jukebox Saturday Night, which she wanted to check out after I told that it was a total oldies bar.

I actually hadn’t been since I left the YMCA more than a year before, but it was still the same—and Cindy was still there holding court. At one point, I went to the bathroom, and when I came back a couple of dudes were at our table. It turns out one of the guys had been checking out Jin and seemed to notice that although we were together, we weren’t really together, you know? And Jin, naturally agreeable to this surprise development said, nah, he’s just my brother.

So the next thing I know, they’re out on the dance floor, and I’m sitting talking with the guy’s wingman. To this day, I couldn’t tell you what we talked about (probably the Bears or Bulls or whatever dudes talk about when thrown together uncomfortably), but we sat there awhile before Jin and the guy came back. They were moving along, and we had to be on our way as well. Jin got his number, but nothing more came of it, except that she definitely decided that Chicago was a cool place to be.

Anyway, earlier in the visit, we got pizza at Lou Malnati’s, and this song was on the radio, and I recall that Jin thought it was the bee’s knees. I didn’t like it; it was too hip for my tastes. But, like many songs, I got into it years later, and it never fails to make me think about that weekend—the first where I went out with my sister as young adults.

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