Thursday, December 4, 2008

Well, I Want to Marry Her Again, So That Means It's Official: She's Back

The first time I ever thought about what it might be like to be a lesbian was in the year 2000. Amy and I and a bunch of our college friends were sitting in front of the television on a Thursday night. The VMAs were on. We were watching them because that's what most college students were doing on the first Thursday of the first week of fall semester.

It was an okay show. We were talking more about our new professors and the crappy selection of food at the Williams Center--were they ever going to get take-out chicken fingers?!--than we were the actual show itself, but that all stopped when Britney Spears came on.

Now, it's important to know that I have had a storied love affair with Britney Spears since she broke onto the scene at the beginning of 1999. The first time I heard the opening beats of Baby One More Time, I was hooked. After all, I loved to dance, and that song made me want to shake it eighteen different kinds of ways. I bought the CD immediately, and I've bought each of her CDs since then. And I don't even want to talk about the slightly embarrassing moment last spring when, after I'd agreed to drive a few of my colleagues to the local mini-golf place for a thank-God-it's-the-end-of-the-semester round of putt-putt, I turned my key and Britney's latest came blasting out of my speakers. "Oh my God," I said, "I'm so sorry you had to hear that." But I wasn't sorry I was hearing it. I blared that CD everywhere I went, and the only time I turned it down was when I came into the college parking lot. I didn't need any of my students knowing about my Britney obsession.

But back in 2000, my Britney obsession was just starting to intensify to manic status. Her VMA performance was a mix of "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" and "Oops!.... I Did It Again," and she came out on stage in a spangled suit which was, after the opening Rolling Stones riff, ripped off, leaving her bouncing around in nothing but a nude body suit covered strategically with rhinestones.

At the beginning of the performance, there was a slight wardrobe malfunction, and part of the spangled suit--black, business-like--edged down, and the audience caught a glimpse of something nude underneath it. I, like many people in America, assumed Britney's costume was about to fall off and there was a good chance she was going to be nude on the VMAs. But she went and ripped it off anyway, as had been the original plan, and then she went on with her business.

And in that moment--the moment where she ripped off her spangles and revealed the nude bodysuit underneath--I screamed. I don't know why I did it, but I screamed and screamed and screamed. There was something terrifyingly exciting about that moment. There was something very nasty about it all. And that was the precise moment I fell in love with Britney Spears.

Of course, it's been well documented that my grandmother thinks I'm a giant lesbian, and I've spent too much time trying to point out how boy crazy I am, but I'm not even going to pretend that I wouldn't run away with Britney if she asked me to. Maybe--somehow, some way--my grandmother knew about my reaction to the 2000 VMAs. Maybe she saw how my eyes widened, how my mouth fell open, how I shrieked until my vocal chords went numb. Maybe that's what planted the seed.

It sure planted the seed for me. The one woman I would ever go lesbian for is Britney Spears.

I cannot tell you how much this displeased some of my boy friends in grad school. They found this fact about me to be disgusting, trashy, ill-advised. "Britnnnney?" they would moan. "A silly pop star?!"

Yes, a silly pop star. A silly pop star who, whenever she wanted, could create an international sensation with a flick of her hip. The power she had was immeasurable. I wanted to be close to it. I wanted to touch it. I was sure that that power would feel like the hum of a million bee hives roiling under my palm. And just once--just for one second--I thought it would be interesting to be so close to something so beautiful and powerful.

Of course, all the power and beauty didn't last forever. Britney went and turned herself into the world's biggest punch line, and that lasted for a few years. There was the whole Federline business, the whole reality show business, the whole being immortalized in a sculpture that depicted her giving birth on a wolf-skin rug business. There was that whole shaved head thing and the tabloid reports of her traipsing into gas station bathrooms without shoes on. There was an incessant love of Cheetos and anything fried. There was chubbiness, zits, cut-off shorts, messy hair. And the world ate it up. One of the most beautiful girls in the world had lost her mind and gone to pot.

But then the tabloids kept saying, She's coming back! This will be her moment of triumph! She's going to have the world's biggest comeback! And then Britney would go out, get drunk, and show off her delicate areas to the paparazzi as she was exiting a car with Paris Hilton. It was all very ugly.

And I knew that everyone was wrong--she wasn't coming back just yet. I knew in my heart--because of the storied love affair, of course--that she wasn't ready yet. I knew everyone's predictions were premature. I wasn't going to get excited about a comeback until I saw her in public, appropriately panty-ed and with hair that had recently seen a comb. I wasn't going to get excited until I heard her give an interview without popping bubblegum before she spoke. I wasn't going to get excited until she stopped going places wearing wigs and speaking in British accents. I knew she needed to go crazy before she reeled herself back in. (Or before someone reeled her back in.)

And today I feel like finally that day has come. The comeback is bubbling. Am I 100% positive our girl is not going to go back off the deep end? No. But I am fairly sure she's going to be around in her current state--groomed, trim, long-haired, and beautiful--for a while. At least until she sells a substantial number of records.

And you can bet I'm buying the new one. Or at least that I'm requesting it for Christmas. After watching this video--finally released today, in celebration of the new album--how could I resist? How can you?


Joshua said...

Go Britney. I love her. Whooo!!

How Madonna-y is that video?

Jess said...

I think she even looks like Madonna a little in that video. You know, old-school, not-banging-A-Rod Madonna.

Jason said...

I think Madonna's been banging a rod since she met her first boy.

Oh, A-Rod. I get it.