Friday, March 5, 2010

The Sequel to "Help Me Rhonda" Would've Been Called "Thanks for Your Help, Rhonda, Now Get out of My Fucking House"

In Diana's book, she has an essay that talks about her love for Bruce Springsteen and the girls pivotal to Bruce Springsteen's songs. She really, really wants to be one of those girls, one of those sweet-tough girls who catches the interest of a boy in dusty jeans and a white t-shirt with the sleeves rolled up, a boy with messy-curly hair and a gravelly voice.

And I understand that. I'd like to be those girls, too, but if I am being honest with myself, I know I'm not a girl in a Bruce Springsteen song. Of course, this doesn't mean that I'm not immortalized in song somewhere. Because I am. Oh, am I ever. Behold:

Oh, Rhonda. I feel you. I understand you. I know exactly what happened. There was this boy, right, and he was sad and broken and you saw that and you thought, Hey! I can do something about that! I can make him feel better! and you tried, didn't you? You became the coolest version of yourself: a laid-back girl who said, "I know. I understand. You poor thing. Come here." And then you kissed that boy and combed your fingers through his hair and told him everything was going to be all right. And then you spent time--weeks, months, maybe years--giving him whatever he wanted, whatever he needed, and he was thankful for you, wasn't he? Maybe he said, "You're the only thing in my life that's good." Or maybe he said, "You're my voice of reason." Or maybe it was, "You made me feel like I can breathe again."

Rhonda, baby, I've heard it all. I know.

And I also know that's not where the story ends. I know your song isn't the last word on the subject. Sure, those boys were happy and thankful you helped them get her--the last one, the bad one, the evil one, the psychotic one--out of their hearts, and maybe they were so thankful they wrote a song or a poem or a letter about it--but what they don't tell you is after they feel better, after you've restored their faith in love, they're going to escort you to the door, shake your hand, and ask you to step outside because your transaction is now complete. Those boys, they're fixed! They're saved! And you did that! You're such a swell girl, Rhonda!

I know, baby, I know. We're both idiots, you and I. We're both just such idiots that maybe now it's time someone wrote a song about that.

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