Skip to main content

On Madonna’s True Blue


Like the rest of the virus-ridden world, my life adventures have become very, very small and very, very specific. Who knew there would be a time when we would simultaneously carry smartphones in our pockets that allowed us access to the world and to perform actions that seemed impossible only a few short decades ago, AND count down the minutes until it was time to visit the mail box. Yes, the humble mail box. (Junk mail now arrives into our home to delirious applause and whoops of joy.)

Gone are those heady London days of riding on the top deck of a double-decker bus, or spending the day at Ascot or popping over to Bath. Gone is London completely. I made it back into Australia before the doors closed and still feel ambivalent about my relocation home. But then I look at the news and compare virus figures between the UK and Australia and have to admit that being here rather than there gives a sense of extreme comfort.

To distract myself from the apocalypse, I have eschewed the 1000-piece puzzle in favour of unpacking boxes from my childhood (having access to a garage full of nostalgia is another ‘pro’ in the Melbourne v London war). A sort of time capsule exercise in reverse. It gives me a chance to remember a time when life was lived outside, when we could touch things and people with carefree abandon, and it helps me not count down the days, hours, minutes until we’ll be back to a time when going to Coles won’t involve military-style planning. 

And so to the first nugget of nostalgia. I give you my cassette tape of Madonna’s True Blue album.
When Madonna was Madonna


There is a LOT to unpack here.

The photo of Madonna on the cover of this cassette is… everything. And regardless of the spectacle she has become since, I’ll mostly remember her from this time. For some reason, though, I always find her neck distracting. Is it because of the shadow? Or the white wall behind her? Not sure.

The album is dedicated to her ‘husband, the coolest guy in the universe.’ Every time I read that dedication, I go down a Madonna/Sean Penn internet spiral that leaves me confused and fascinated. Did he go at her with a baseball bat when she was tied to a chair or didn’t he?

Maybe the less said about Sean Penn the better?
Why, on the sticker, do both Live to Tell and True Blue have speech marks but Papa Don’t Preach doesn’t?

And did Madonna know that True Blue is a term we use of real Aussie-ness? Was she trying to tell us something?

Next, yes, that is my name written in my mother’s handwriting on the front of the tape. The reason for this is because I didn’t want to lose this most important of possessions at school. And why did I take this tape to school, you may be gasping to know? Because I performed a dance routine in front of my entire primary school to the title track of this tape. 

My name doesn't really have the same ring to it, does it?
Sometimes we live our life a little too much outside.

So just to reiterate, I VOLUNTARILY performed a DANCE ROUTINE that I had CHOREOGRAPHED MYSELF to Madonna’s True Blue to MY ENTIRE PRIMARY SCHOOL.

Ahem.

I look back at the me who thought this choreographed dance would be a good, nay, stellar idea and wonder where all that confidence went? I could use some of it now as an adult going through one of the most uncertain times of my life. Maybe I just have to hope the next box I open will contain a tape player and I can listen to True Blue again, as I did when I was oh so young, and maybe a bit of that confidence will come back.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

On accidentally becoming a cat person

Building a new life in a new city can throw challenges at you both big and small. Most challenges are to be expected; learning a new public transport system, setting up a bank account, finding the local pub, getting a job, making friends. Some are not; Brexit, realising your old winter clothes are a laughing stock when compared to ACTUAL winter clothes, Brexit, knowing your phone calls home will always mean one side of the conversation is just waking up while the other is on its way to being drunk and never the two wavelengths shall meet, Brexit.
What I hadn’t planned on were challenges that would fundamentally change who I was. And in that respect, there is one challenge needs addressing, and has needed addressing for some time. For the eagle-eyed amongst you, you will have noticed a certain someone who has crept into my Twitter feed and onto my ‘currently reading’ page. And for those of you who have spotted this certain someone, and also know me well, will surely be wondering WHAT TH…

On the privilege of seeing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (no spoilers, promise!)

Beloved characters from books, films and television shows are often sacred ground for us fans. We have journeyed with them, taken them into our hearts and think about them when our real lives are being a little less than spectacular. And so, when these characters are revisited for what sometimes feels like a money grab, and what sometimes is (I’m sure) a form of closure for the creatives, we wait with the duelling emotions of hope and fear, wondering if those in charge are about to wreck everything. Most often than not, they do wreck things, a lot (Mitch Hurwitz and your Arrested Development season 4 shambles, I’m looking at you!). While I always want more Bridget Jones, Mad About the Boy didn’t quite do it for me and I’m terrified about seeing Bridget Jones’s Baby for fear that watching it will forever ruin the first film and first two books for me. Similarly, I’m nervous about the upcoming Gilmore Girls episodes even though I’d give my right arm to go back to Stars Hollow. And maybe…

On buying toilet paper in a new city

It’s the little things. They’re the parts of life that can offer the greatest moments of joy or send you into the darkest depths of despair. This is true never more so than when you’re trying to create a new life away from the comfort, security and familiarity of home.
The first time I moved to the UK was ten years ago. I was in my mid-twenties (read: actual mid-twenties) and I was lucky enough to have arrived with a job and friends to stay with until I got my own place sorted. Nevertheless, I still experienced some sharp learning curves and long, dark moments of doubt about the choices I’d made. Thankfully, I came out the other side a better, more learned, more experienced person who could often be heard remarking how living in the UK for two years was one of the best things I’d ever done.
On my second move to the UK, which entered its one-month anniversary this past Sunday (hence the reflective tone of this post), I expected things to be very different. I was at a different stage of m…