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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.

To distract myself from the apocalypse, I have eschewed the 1000-piece puzzle in favour of unpacking boxes from my childhood. 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 the supermarket 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.



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