A song that unites a generation of 30something women

“Oh look,” I pointed to the TV above our heads. “That’s kind of phallic.”
“Yes,” the TTHM said.
“Is this American Girl?” The sound was hard to hear
“I believe it is.”
I immediately started singing and shrugging my shoulders to the beat, at least the one in my head. “She was an American girl raised on promises. She couldn’t help thinking there was a little more to life somewhere else. After all it was a great big world. . . ”
“What is it with you thirty-something girls and this song?” the TTHM asked, interrupting my performance.
I looked at him waiting for an explanation.
“Whenever you’re at a bar and this song comes on, you’re all off in some corner singing it.”
“Oh yeah, all right, take it easy baby,” I sang in response. “It’s because sometime, somewhere we’ve all had some boy that we like put this song on a mixtape because he said it reminded him of us.”
“You all should keep doing it, it’s really attractive.”

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  1. Peabo 04.Feb.08 at 8:12 pm

    And here it just reminds me of when Buffalo Bill nabs the Senator’s daughter in Silence of the Lambs. Of course I’m just barely a 30something. I still love it and stand in a corner singing it, just with a different visual than my peers. Hell, the song taught me to never help anyone move furniture and, if I happen to forget that part, absolutely don’t jump into the truck first! Duh!

  2. Jodi 04.Feb.08 at 8:15 pm

    I didn’t even realize the song was in Silence of the Lambs.

  3. Peabo 04.Feb.08 at 8:42 pm

    Oh yeah–the chick is shouting it at the top of her lungs like a rock star when she pulls into her parking lot. I think it’s burned in my mind that way because that was the first time I probably ever heard it….back in 92. I was sheltered.

  4. shokkou 05.Feb.08 at 6:17 am

    That’s my memory too Peabo. That, and the poor kitty sitting in the window meowing “NOW who’s going to feed me??”

  5. SpellsGood 05.Feb.08 at 9:19 am

    My memory of “American Girl” is that it is the song playing at the very beginning of “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” which is my favorite movie of all time. Curiously, it’s not on the soundtrack…guess that’s back in the day when artists wrote songs for soundtracks, rather than picking existing hits.

    Also, due to that movie, my favorite song is “Somebody’s Baby” by Jackson Browne…always reminds me of a young Jennifer Jason Leigh and early ’80’s pop culture. Mostly Jennifer, though.

  6. Jodi 05.Feb.08 at 9:27 am

    Hold the phone! Fast Times is your all time favorite movie?

  7. SpellsGood 05.Feb.08 at 10:31 am

    Oh, hell yeah…of course, I’m not really a cinephile. I can barely stay awake through a movie on demand at home. I almost fell asleep during “Atonement” at the theater last weekend, but it was a pretty good movie (and book). Didn’t make me cry, but I am a manly man, of course.

    I graduated HS in 1985, so Fast Times really reminds me of that time…playing Pac-Man, listnening to Cheap Trick, drivin’ my Trans Am, etc. Yep, I’m old.

  8. Jodi 05.Feb.08 at 10:34 am

    You had a Trans Am? If I had a Tran Am, Fast Times might be my favorite movie too. I’m no cinephile either. But I just don’t often think of Fast Times as anything more than a tittie movie.

  9. SpellsGood 05.Feb.08 at 10:52 am

    I actually rarely think about the titties in the movie. I love the music references the most, and all the antics in the movie seem tame in comparison to what I imagine today’s young whipper-snappers are getting into.

    Of course, I never did anything bad in high school, so there’s probably a few vicarious thrills involved. The T/A was a high school grad gift, and was quite old by the time I got it…wouldn’t have been this bookish boy’s first choice, but it was pretty cool to a 18-yr. old!

    I can appreciate a good movie and good acting, but I enjoy comedies, I guess. As opposed to my book and music choices, I am comparatively an “anti-snob” when it comes to movies.

  10. Jodi 05.Feb.08 at 11:20 am

    I am one of those who would much rather forget high school than remember it. I enjoy comedies too! High Fidelity is easily in my top 10 favorite movies. Though I think either Almost Famous or Shakespeare in Love is my all-time fave.


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