I had the opportunity(?) to see Rick Springfield in concert recently.
And lo, it was a shitshow and is burned upon my brain space. Forevsies.
The singer of Jessie's Girl is 63 and is, for all intents and purposes, a wiry old man who can still sing to the back balcony and--honestly--sounds great if you're a super fan of that dirty 80's sexpot rock sound (and I am).
(Also, bonus points for best rock song rhyme of "cute" and "moot.")
But the dude is still somewhat of a wreck. He very recently got a DUI (which he joked about, because DUI's are HILARIOUS), and made the crowd sing happy birthday..to himself. This also happened:
OMG, I was thisclose to Rick Springfield...when he drank some stranger's beer. #cmworld— Sarah J. Storer (@sarahjstorer) September 6, 2012
And so did this:
OH. EM. GEE. He just did a FOR REAL scissor kick. If he didn't have prostate problems before... #jessesgirl— Sarah J. Storer (@sarahjstorer) September 6, 2012
Also, I say "OMG" in Tweets a lot.
However, even with all the shenanigans, he was obviously born to perform and the crowd was thoroughly entertained through his entire set. And as I was walking along the other day, in a state of near bliss from the early fall weather, I realized:
Rick Springfield taught me something.
About dating. And relationships.
And here they are.
1. Practice Makes Perfect
Say what you will about the man's genre of music, but after 40 odd years in the industry, each song was executed and played well. His voice sounded great, and he blended nicely with the band. In fact, besides the amount of sweating anyone would do with a leather jacket on underneath stage lights, the entire set seemed effortless.
You can probably bet that Springfield didn't stop practicing music after Jessie's Girl became a huge hit, and he didn't stop practicing when nobody remembered him for anything else.
All that to say, when it comes to dating and relationships, practice what it means to be a good date or partner. Work on your conversation skills. Read interesting books. Continue to develop your sense of self, whether single or in a relationship.
It also never hurts to "try, try again" regardless of success or failure. This point is kind of particularly apropos to anyone who has recently gotten le dumped (as the French say). You know, because you may find yourself, like me, waffling between "I'm so glad I'm back out there!" and "DEAR GOD I HATE THIS SO MUCH I'M GOING TO BECOME A NUN."
2. Sexy is a Mindset (but it's also an action)
PS-Rick Springfield and I are wearing the same shoes, which means one of us is awesome by proxy. #cmworld— Sarah J. Storer (@sarahjstorer) September 6, 2012
Whether it's for vanity or health reasons, or simply a product of years in a business that favors the beautiful, Rick Springfield was in fantastic shape for a man my father's age. In fact, several of my co-workers gave a loud "BULLSHIT!" when they heard Springfield is 63. But an hour after he started the show, he was still running around like a crazy person, and I gotta say, for someone who calls herself an "arm girl"...not too shabby!
And sure, Springfield obviously works out, but he also believes he is still as beautiful as he was 40 years ago. It's a two-fold thing: body and mind.
Everyone has an opinion on fitness and weight and health and whatnot and how it relates to dating and sex and overall sexiness. Some people even get real ranty about it and some have a definite idea of should's and shouldn'ts and blah, blah, blah.
Here's my opinion: move around and do good stuff for your body because you want to, it feels good and contributes to your overall health. You don't have to run a marathon or get huge arms or be able to do 100 pushups. Just move. Because you want to. Because...
...sexy comes from a mindset, sure, but it also is based on how you achieve that mindset. So if your thing is that you feel great after two hours in the gym, or simply after a leisurely walk with your lady/dude/self, cool! Just don't think that "sexy" is exclusively achieved only by one or the other. At least, for me it's not. It's cyclical.
3. Be a Goddamn Tease
Anytime Springfield felt like he might be losing some of the crowd's attention, he'd play the first three chords of Jessie's Girl. If he saw a group of women exiting en masse for the bathroom, he'd yell, "You're gonna go to the bathroom and I'm gonna play it! You're gonna miss it!" And of course, he saved the song for the end and it was by far, the highlight of the show.
There's not too much I like more in dating than fostering the sense of play. I like some witty banter and a little teasing and hints of deliciously debaucherous things to come all mixed in with good conversation. You could call it being a tease (though sometimes this term has a negative connotation) or you could call it flirting, or you could simply call it building (sexual) tension.
Either way, our dates and relationships should be FUN. Or at least have a balance of fun and seriousness. I mean, no need to like, set a cat on fire or whatever (not that that is fun! What is wrong with you people!?), but try not to take things too terribly seriously all the time.
Shake it up. Flirt a little. Play a few chords and move on to the next topic.
There you have it. My little take on what you can learn from a fixture on the American musical landscape. Boom!
Oh! I'd be remiss if I didn't leave you with this: