The other day as I was making my daily trek from Orange to Chatham County I started flipping through radio stations one by one after NPR started rattling on about something I knew I should care about, but didn't. I flipped and flipped then suddenly paused and flipped back and holy shit, it was Wilson Phillips hit single "Hold On." I'd had some coffee and hadn't heard the song in years, so I cranked it up and started singing like one is wont to do on her morning commute, wishing that the windows were a little bit tinted and that guy would stop looking over like, you know, you should be embarrassed, shouldn't you?
When "Hold on" came out I was at exactly the right age to think it was the best, most meaningful song I'd ever heard, and would prance around my room in whatever "cool" attire I'd chosen to adorn myself with thinking about the importance of being a teen in the 90's.
Needless to say, I didn't know what cool was. However, during my ninth grade year, myself and two friends did something that, to this day, I believe to be one of the coolest and most hysterical events of my young life.
The faculty announced that the school would have a lip-syncing contest at the next dance. Rather than worry about what we'd wear, whose parents would drive, and all the other crucial issues, my best friend Jennifer and I got down to thinking about entering the contest, and how we'd win.
The answer: we'd don short skirts, practice synchronized dance moves, and enlist the help of our good friend Matt Barbee to become the popular band Wilson Phillips.
We visited the thrift store and organized costumes. We memorized words. We laughed and laughed in anticipation of the most clever and amusing skit ever known to man.
When the night arrived, we were ready. The crowd didn't know our tactics, but as we entered the stage and began our performance, it became clear. As Jennifer and I, dressed as Chynna Phillips and Wendy Wilson, began to lip-sync to the familiar melody of "Hold On," Matt, dressed in a gigantic dress remained off to the side, disinterested, holding a full grocery bag. He was Carnie. I know - I know! It's not nice to make fun of the then overweight member of Wilson Phillips, but funny? Oh, it was funny. At one point Matt grabbed an entire loaf of bread and just started chowing down on stage.
We should have won.
When I hear the song today, not only do I sing, but I tell anyone who hasn't heard the story of how Jennifer, Matt and I dreamt up the most creative lip-sync performance but didn't win. Some girls from the tenth grade won, if I remember correctly, doing a lame rendition of "Respect" or something like that. Typical.
I still have some emotional attachment to the song, like any songs that get to you during those priceless teenage years. But I really can't take it seriously. The visions of Matt, the bread, the sounds of laughter are too much. I know it's wrong to make fun of people but it was a shining, sparkling moment, a memory of youth, of being cool.