I know, I know.  It’s been way too long and you thought I was never coming back.  I wasn’t sure myself, since I’ve had a bunch of ideas for posts and then did…nothing with them.  This blog’s name was eerily accurate for far too long, and I’m here to change that (for today at least).

As I’m sure all of you have done at one point or another in your lives, I was in the shower and started thinking about Lesley Gore’s hit songs.  It’s only natural.  Specifically, “It’s My Party” and the hit sequel, “Judy’s Turn to Cry.”  In case you somehow haven’t committed these songs to memory, here’s the gist from Wikipedia:

(“It’s My Party”) “The song lyrically portrays the discomfiture of a teenage girl at her birthday party when her boyfriend Johnny disappears only to surface in the company of Judy, another girl, who is “wearing his ring” to indicate she’s replaced the birthday girl as his love interest.”

(“Judy’s Turn to Cry”) “In this song, the teenage girl narrator gets her revenge on Judy. In the lyrics the narrator explicitly finds “foolish” how much she cried when she saw Johnny and Judy together, and seems determined to start anew. But after she kisses another boy at another party, Johnny returns to her.”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard these songs in my life, and yet something just struck for the very first time while thinking about them in the shower: Johnny got one hell of a free pass.  Let’s think about this for a minute.  A high school couple is dating, and the girlfriend throws herself a big party for her birthday.  She loses track of her boyfriend, and then finds that he’s secretly gone off with someone else…on her fucking birthday.  “Oh, I’m sure there’s more to the story; maybe they’re just talking or something,” one might say, especially since it’s harder to be a bigger douchebag than that.  But King Douche Johnny finds a way by coming back to his girlfriend’s birthday party and dancing with the new girl in front of everyone.  He even gave her his ring (though I have to wonder why the narrator wasn’t wearing it at the beginning of the song), so he’s not shy about making an overt “It’s over” statement.  So our heroine is rightfully upset, and at least in this song, it seems to be about the whole f’d up situation.

But things change in the sequel, and not for the better in my opinion.  King Douche Johnny and his new flame are hanging out.  Our narrator kisses “some other guy” to get Johnny’s attention, and then she practically squeals in delight as Johnny punches the guy and returns to her.  Wait, what?  She’s taking him back?  Yes, and enthusiastically so while giving a giant middle finger to Judy.  I’ll try to highlight my problems in convenient bullet points:

  • Why in the world would she want Johnny back after he so carelessly and publicly threw their relationship away?  How can she ever trust him again after he left her like that and then turned on Judy so quickly too?
  • Here’s something no one’s probably ever said: Poor Judy.  Seriously, we don’t know what lines Johnny told her at the birthday party.  “Listen, she and I have been having serious problems for months and it’s practically over.  I said I’d come to her party but then we’re through.  And to tell you the truth, Judy, you’re a big reason for our breakup because you’ve been all I can think about for a long time now.”  Not so evil now, right?  And after she buys his lines and starts giving him a little sugar, he’s off punching some dude and getting back together with his ex while Judy gets pointed and laughed at.  Keep your chin up, Judy; those assholes deserve each other.
  • And you know what else?  Poor “Some Other Guy.”  The poor love pawn probably went from, “Oh good, she’s ready to move on and finally noticing me after sitting together in class for two years” to “Ow, my fucking nose is bleeding!” in the span of five seconds.  Wrong place and wrong time, buddy.  Hope that kiss was worth it.

In my perfect scenario, that party ended with Judy caring for Some Other Guy’s injuries and commiserating over some wine coolers.  They call the other two assholes some names (like “assholes”), make each other laugh, talk about the way people deserve to be treated, and make plans to eat lunch together the next week at school.  A friendship quickly blossoms, and that friendship grows into love.  Years later, when they run into Johnny working at the local Pep Boys while getting new wiper blades for their Volvo station wagon, he makes it seem like they were all best buds back in high school.  Judy asks how the songs’ narrator is doing, and gets the answer she was quietly hoping for: “I don’t know and I don’t care.”


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