Yes that Madonna
Soundtrack to my life (P1)
After all my elder sisters leave home, get married and start families, (Keep it Together) I’m home alone with no-one for guidance to ease me out of my teens and into the real adult world.
Madonna comes into my life sometime around 1983/84. I’m around 17 so the few years she has on me are a great help just as I am leaving school. She guides me through the end of my education and starting work, the heartache of early dating (Like a Virgin, Lucky Star, Dress You Up) and through my marriage – and divorce. Madonna keeps me going when I start to wane (Express Yourself) and celebrates my triumphs with me (Holiday).
Madonna is sassy to my timidity; active to my inexperience; outspoken to my curiosity and already where she wants to be as I’m embarking upon my media career.
The one thing we appear to have in common is the desire to be independent. It’s well documented that Madonna makes friends with the right people who may give her a ‘leg-up’. However, that’s still her independent choice, not a reliance on other people. I may be living under my parent’s roof but I’m buying my own food, clothes or records – whatever is more important this week.
Madonna directs me into the big bad world and I forge ahead with my self-determination. I decide against university as that would mean four more years being dependant on my folks. I want to get out there and work and to move into my own place. In this era in the UK, there are famously three million unemployed but I knock on doors every single day until someone gives me a chance (I Get Up Again) Over & Over). In April 1985 I’m offered a job at the only credible local newspaper where I work alongside talented columnists and my adulthood truly starts.
A highlight here is, however, nothing to do with my career. One day, the best looking man in town, parks his car outside my office, leaving ‘Holiday’ blaring from the speaker as he comes in to ask me out. It’s a jaw dropping diet coke moment for sure.
My clubbing years start with Everybody and move onto Into The Groove and it confuses us all trying to dance to Vogue but more recently I love dancing in my car to Get Together as the track takes me through an unrequited love at a way too old 38 years.
‘Papa Don’t Preach’ is number one the day I finally leave home, much to my Dad’s anguish and ‘True Blue’, ‘Cherish’ and ‘Angel’ take me through my first real romance soon after.
‘Open Your Heart’ will always remind me of my first apartment and Desperately Seeking Susan further enforces my childhood New York infatuation and I know I will ultimately end up in this extraordinary city. The only reason I go to Battery Park on every visit is because of the film’s scenes there although there’s something about the statue of Liberty that reminds me of Lady Madonna too.
Famously, Madonna implied that it’s fine to enjoy sex for the sake of it so my generation doesn’t know any different and although I wait until I’m ready, I then just want to be de-flowered and move on with my sexual life. I don’t need the first time to be special – I’d rather have a rehearsal and be better with someone I truly like! (Deeper & Deeper)
Later, as I embark on 10 fantastic single years, post divorce, with Justify Your Love and Rescue Me egging me on to a copious variety of sexual adventures.
In 2008, the song to listen to whilst I pack to go to New York to fully embark on my freelance writing adventure is Jump. Yes, Madonna, I’m ready to jump.
To this day, Madonna is still the soundtrack to my life and in Celebration of her 27 years in the industry; I too am moving forward in my career.
Thanks, sis, long may you continue to be my guiding Ray Of Light.