On the first day of July in 2016, I was at the hair salon getting my blonde highlights refreshed. As I waited for the color to develop, I flipped through a magazine and half-listened to the music that was playing in the salon. A song with a distinct 80s vibe came on and sparked memories of the pop songs I’d loved as a teenager. Over the cacophony of hair dryers and gossip, I caught snatches of lines about James Dean and tight skirts and crashing. The refrain “we never go out of style” reverberated in my head. Later, I consulted Google and learned that the song that had been tantalizing me was one of Tay-Tay’s — I’d never really had an opinion about her one way or the other before that day.
That holiday weekend, I went on three dates. The first was a hollow hookup, the second was a coffee date with a needy guy whose divorce wasn’t even final yet, and the third was a casual dinner with an otherwise normal-seeming dude who let slip toward the end of our meal that his ex-girlfriend had a restraining order against him. Three up, three down. I returned home from that dinner, defeated yet somehow still hopeful, to find about 30 text messages from bachelor #2, which I deleted before blocking his number, and one from a guy I’d spent some time with the previous month but didn’t expect to hear from again. That message was just a photo: a shot of a deck overlooking a lake, with a can of Yuengling Lager sitting on the railing.
I laughed, and then tapped my reply: “Oh, you bitch.” How dare he tease me with tasty beer I couldn’t even get in Arizona?
I sat on the floor in my living room, played “Style,” and really listened to the lyrics. I thought of my beer-teasing friend and felt the first rush of… something.
I say “I’ve heard that you’ve been out and about with some other girl, some other girl.”
He says “What you’ve heard is true but I
Can’t stop thinking about you,” and I…
…I said “I’ve been there too, a few times.”
’Cause you got that James Dean daydream look in your eye
And I got that red lip, classic thing that you like
And when we go crashing down, we come back every time
’Cause we never go out of style, we never go out of style…
(Song recommendation by Jeanne Sharp)