I’d like to say now that I don’t have a DVR I have to watch commercials all the time now. I’d like to say that, but it’s a lie. I watched commercials even when I had a DVR. Sue me, I like commercials and have since I was a kid.
However, I’ve come to the conclusion that Old Navy is trying to kill me through their commercials. The cause of death? Aneurysm caused by vicious 80s earworm that consistently reminded me of junior high.
First it was Debbie Gibson’s “Only in My Dreams,” except I think they sang it “only in my jeans.” Regardless it was hell. I spent a lot of the early 80s longing for Debbie Gibson’s hair and cute hats. Also, confession: I owned Electric Youth perfume. If I had all the money I spent on Debbie Gibson music and paraphernalia, I could take you out for pizza. Someday I will tell you about how my dad left me at a K-Mart in Coon Rapids where I was waffling between buying the Debbie Gibson casette and something else and how it was the most terrifying thing to ever happen to me but I don’t feel like getting into it right now.
Anyway, somehow I managed to survive Old Navy’s Death by Debbie Gibson campaign. I don’t think I’ll be as lucky with the Tiffany Terror of Autumn 11.
I don’t know the Weird-Al-esque lyrics for the Tiffany-inspired commercial. What I do know is every single time that commercial comes on and launches into the Tiffany version of “I Think We’re Alone Now” my brain starts screaming and doesn’t stop for a very long time.
And it’s not that song specifically that my makes my cheeks color and my eyes water in embarrassment. But the song triggers the Tiffany time travel and suddenly I’m like fourteen and sitting in the backseat of Jenni’s Mom’s car and she’s driving us back from youth group and I’m listening to “Could of Been” on my pink walkman. I’d like to say it was on repeat because that would make it seem like I was much less invested, but this was the olden-days kiddies, I had to rewind that shit to listen to it over and over again.
And I did.
Over and over again. I thought the song perfectly captured my feelings about Chuck (whose last name I cannot remember which means I can’t Google that shit no matter how much I want to), the curly-haired metal head who was also in youth group, and who could have been my lover every day of my life if he’d wanted to. But he didn’t want to. At least I don’t think he wanted to. I actually have no idea because I never asked or even hinted. I pined from afar because even at that age, I knew it would never be. Not just because he was two years older but because he lived all the way in Minneapolis and I lived all the way in Blaine and seeing each other once a month or so was no kind of relationship.
I might have even cried a little bit. I don’t remember. What I do remember was that I was sad and that song perfectly and exquisitely expressed my very unique heartbreak.
I could die of shame now. What kind of kid gets all maudlin listening to Tiffany?
Curse you Old Navy! A plague on all your Performance Fleeces.