Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Dear Selena Gomez...

Dear Selena,

I am writing on behalf of my daughter, Josie, who would like very much to attend a performance of yours.  She is madly in love with you, and has been for nearly a year.  While that may not seem like a long time to you, Josie is only six, and a year represents a significant portion of her lifetime.

When I say that she is in love with you, I am not exaggerating.  She has all your CDs, even that first one that was, well, not your best work.  (The latest, though... pretty good!  None of us complain about having to hear it in the van, even the third or fourth time in a row.)   When her friends come over, she makes them all watch your videos on the computer.  I tried to explain to her that not everyone wants to watch videos and sing along to them for the ENTIRE playdate, and she looked at my as if I had just informed her that puppies come from stars and rainbows taste like fish.

We look at your website and follow your twitter feed.  Or rather, she will regularly, if I can figure out how to use twitter.  She has her own feed - RandomJosie, which we never update.  Sorry about that.

She has your poster in her bedroom, and she is now making her own posters.  There are several of them in our house, taped to walls, the refrigerator, pieces of furniture.  All of them at about 3 1/2 feet off the ground (eye-level for the six year old groupie set).  They are all some variation of this:

I particularly like that you are both wearing crowns.  In Josie's world, you are both pop princesses.

I know that you will eventually go on tour again, but I urge you to do it soon.  Because you are the kind of pop princess I can totally get behind, as a mother.  You haven't gone Britney (crazy) or Miley (slutty), and I was thrilled to read that you had turned down the lead in the movie, 50 Shades of Bad Writing.  Good girl!  I know I can say without hesitation that your mother is very proud of  you for that.

I'm sure this seems a bit excessive, a mother begging you to go on tour for her six year old.  But it's not.  Not really.  Because I know exactly how she feels.  I know the depth of her adoration.  How do I know?  Because when I was very young, I was going to marry Barbra Streisand's son so she could be my mother in law.  Because I loved her THAT MUCH.  I knew all her songs.  I LIVED Funny Girl.  I have "Sadie Sadie Married Lady" running through my head, even as I type.

I would have given anything A N Y T H I N G  to have gone to a Barbra Streisand concert.  But alas, it was so far out of my reach as to be just a fantasy.  One that I indulged by copying all the Streisand albums from the library (onto a cassette, so I could pause it and write down the lyrics, so I could sing the songs better), seeing all her movies, and having brief crushes on Omar Sharif, Ryan O'Neal, and Robert Redford (but mostly Ryan O'Neal).

Just this past weekend, we went to see the Sound Of Music Singalong, and I sang, "The hills are alive... and it's pretty frightening", just as she did, in her live at Central Park concert.  The music of your first love stays with you forever.   You are her first love.  You were her first "grown up" CD.    My first grown-up song was the 45 of Devil Woman, when I was maybe 9?  I don't know how old I was, but I can still remember playing it on the boombox on the dining room table.

Memories of music have staying power and you will always be a part of her life.  It sounds silly when I say it, I know.  She's only six.  She's got a crush on a popstar.  How serious can it be?  It's serious.  You will always be one of her favorite memories of her childhood.  And I can't think of any better present I could give this child of mine than to take her to see you.

She asks me weekly to check your website and see when you are going on tour.  I do it, because I don't want to miss it.    I want her to see you, and more importantly, I want her to see you as you are NOW.  Before you've grown up too much.  While you still have the fresh-faced Disney Princess look going.  While you are still young and sweet and innocent enough that we can go to the concert and enjoy your music and your dancing and not have to worry about the show being too mature (see above notes about Miley and Britney).  While you are still both what she wants to be when she grows up and what your mother wants you to stay, despite your growing up.  Because Josie wants to be you when she grows up.   And I am totally okay with that.

Because even at 45, I still want to be Barbra.