9/07/2009

11-Year-Old's Birthday Dreams Shattered (Pet Shop Boys Appreciation Week)

For our second post in the Pet Shop Boys Appreciation Week series, we take a trip down memory lane...all the way back to 1986, when the birthday dreams of an 11-year-old girl were crushed by a well-meaning mother and her clueless record store clerk accomplice.

You see, all I wanted for my 11th birthday was a copy of Please, the new album by Pet Shop Boys. I had heard West End Girls and Opportunities (Let's Make Lots Of Money) on the radio*, and I was hooked. I had to have that record**!

For the benefit of the children of today, let me offer the following by way of explanation:
  • *radio = a contraption we used to gather around, via which a variety of stations (not all owned by the same corporation) would play a rich variety of music - some of which came from the exotic shores of Europe. In the '80s, to many children, Europe was considered exotic. We heard that people there spoke with accents and dressed better than Americans. (We didn't have the Internet, though, so we had no way of knowing whether it was just a rumor.)
  • **record = a vinyl disk with grooves, usually black, measuring 12" in diameter. We would play them on turntables in our homes. This was in the days before Beck, when most of us had just one turntable, and no microphone.
Young me let my birthday wishes be known to my mother. Weeks passed. My birthday anticipation grew.

On the big day, my mother handed me a thin, square, 12" x 12" package wrapped in festive paper. I remember grinning from ear to ear as I started to peel back the tape from the corners of the package. But as I pulled back the wrapping paper, my smile turned to a look of confusion and then intense displeasure, as my birthday gift was revealed to be not the new album by Pet Shop Boys, but, well, something else entirely. Something...totally unwished for.

Staring down at this totally-not-the-new-album-by-Pet-Shop-Boys, I could only imagine the conversation my busy mom must have had with the record store clerk:

Mom: I'm looking for an album for my youngest daughter, who's turning 11. I can't quite remember the name, but it's by a band called... the something something Boys. And I think there's just one word in the album title.

Clerk: Uh-huh. We've got several boy bands that would appeal to an 11-year-old.

Mom: Well, I don't think it's the usual kind of music that kids listen to these days.

Clerk: Oh, so, like, something kind of weird for a young girl to like?

Mom: Yes. Something a little out of the ordinary.

Clerk: I think I know just what you're looking for. Here you go.





Wait for it...





              Wait for it...




Keep scrolling...





....aaaaaand....


Ta daaaah!



Seasons, the new album by the Oak Ridge Boys.

Thankfully, the record store had a 7-day return policy, and birthday harmony was restored.

3 comments:

Ryan said...

I never knew John Oates was in The Oakridge Boys.

Anonymous said...

I totally know how they manage that! I received "Sweet Dreams" in an Air Supply's Greatest Hits instead of "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" by the Eurythmics. The horror!

katybee said...

hear that sound?
that is the world's smallest banjo, playing just for you.