When I was in high school I was obsessed with the Joshua Kadison CD "Painted Desert Serenade". They were all love songs and to my 17 year old heart they played into every single fantasy I had about what relationships should be like. He really seemed to get women.
I remember telling my mother that I would fall madly in love with any boy who liked the CD as much as I did. In retrospect that seems like a fairly unreasonable expectation of a high school boy but to me, if a guy could "get" that CD, he would obviously be able to "get" me. Oddly enough I did go out with a kid that year who did indeed like Joshua Kadison. It was terribly confusing to me that I had zero interest in this cute, smart, athletic boy who so clearly fit the list I had in my head of things I wanted. In fairness, I had had a huge crush on him a year earlier and he was blinded by my much flashier/blonder/thinner/more experienced friend. I wasn't thrilled when she broke his heart and he started noticing me. Getting my friend's leftovers certainly wasn't something I had ever day dreamed about no matter how lovely his blue eyes were and how sincere he seemed to be about wanting to hang out with me. But all of that aside, I was sitting in his car, listening to these songs that I had been so convinced were some secret key to who I really was and I just wanted to go home. It was so disappointing.
I got thinking about Joshua because I was out with someone on Friday and as is often the case with me and new friends, we started talking about music. He is a big Dave Matthews Band. There was a time in the recent past that I didn't go a day without listening to DMB and I'm pretty sure I said more than once that I would never never marry a boy who didn't like them. And now, although I still have fond feelings towards the Dave Matthews Band, the CD's have dust on them. I have made many, many statements like that over the years. Arbitrary and sweeping statements about what he must or absolutely CANNOT like in order to understand me. It makes perfect sense to me that if you think Arrested Development is funny, then your brain works in the same way that my brain works and thus, we will also think the same things about where to live, what furniture we like and how to parent. Right?
So imagine my surprise last night as I was looking up "Painted Deseret Serenade" to see how it stood up after 12 years and I discovered that Joshua Kadison is actually gay. The perfect guy who just really seemed to understand women. Likes guys.
The fact of the matter is that one of the men who has been able to understand and appreciate my personality best in the last 10 years is one who shakes his head at my taste in nearly everything. And boys who are practically walking versions of my "list" haven't noticed me at all.
I should be clear that at 30 years old I actually dropped the idea of a list a long time ago. But finding out about Mr. Kadison last night was a nice reminder that things are so rarely exactly what they seem and contrary to the line from one of my favorite books, it IS what you're like, not what you like.
So just for fun, here's a live performance of my favorite Joshua Kadison song "Jessie." Turns out he wrote this song about his then girlfriend, Sarah Jessica Parker. It also turns out that gay or straight, I can totally see why high school me thought this song was so romantic...