I hadn’t given him any thought in years.
But a friend of mine recently lost her father, and after talking to her, trying to comfort her, I remembered my own loss, which happened a couple of years ago. And all the feelings came rolling in. That’s when Ricky Martin resurfaced.
Pinche Ricky Martin.
There’s a point in everyone’s life when you realize that your parent was trying to do something nice for you, trying to perform an act of kindness. There are times when you get it. You realize that it is happening and you appreciate it and hug it out. This was not one of those times.
This was the time when I was a jackass.
Luckily I corrected my mistake so that ugly window didn’t last long, but still … still I was a jackass for a couple of minutes and that wasn’t cool and for some reason that memory seems to stick with me whenever I see Mr. Livin’ La Vida Loca.
Everyone has an I-love-this-singer-so-much-that-I’m-going-to-marry-him phase. Yeah I was in college. I had dreams and I was going to be Mrs. Enrique Iglesias. He had just come out with his first CD and you know when people sing in Spanish the meaning seems to be even deeper. I had gone to three of his concerts that semester, listened to his CD over and over, and knew all the words to his songs. I was hooked.
He was my man.
So when I came home to celebrate my birthday that summer, I had a little shindig with my family and a couple of friends. My dad came home from work, exhausted, but still managed to smile, pat me on the head, and wish me a happy birthday. He set down his briefcase, opened it up and handed me a small gift.
It looked like a CD. I was excited. My dad smiled. Had to be his new CD. I unwrapped it and there he was staring at me …
Mr. Cup of Life
Ole, Ole, Ole.
I was so not excited and had the “Oh…um….thanks” look on my face. And then my dad’s smile faded into confusion. “That’s your guy, right?”
And you know what I said? Do you know what I said? Instead of saying thank you, instead of smiling and giving him a hug and appreciating the effort you know what my ding-ding knucklehead brain said?
“Oh, Dad … this is not Enrique Iglesias.”
And as soon as I said it, I wanted to kick my own ass.
I visualized my dad at the Tower Records browsing through the Latin Heart Throb music section, probably being the only white-haired bald dude in his late fifties hanging out in that aisle. I pictured him confused and trying to decide which CD out of all of them was not on my shelf. All the hunks look the same.
I pictured him standing in line behind a couple of kids, who were probably looking at him strangely as he proudly held onto that Ricky Martin CD. I pictured the clerk giving my dad the one-eyebrow raise as he happily paid for my present. I pictured my dad patting himself on the back on a job well done.
These images flashed before my eyes.
“No dad it’s not. It’s Ricky Martin and it’s an awesome CD. Thanks dad! Thanks.”
I gave him a hug.
The CD still sits in my collection.