Plus ça change

“Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose…”

Which is a French cliché meaning, “the more things change, the more they stay the same”.

The year is 1983, I am a 15–year-old high school student. My dad is undergoing a mid-life crisis and has taken the expected route of buying a sports car. It’s a nifty little grey Mazda RX-7. With a sun roof. Oh, Dad.

He asks me what the popular bands are. He wants to buy some cassette tapes for his car stereo. I tell him Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, Men at Work, are all good choices. He purchases Rio, by Duran Duran, and also Taco’s After Eight album, which featured the hit, “Puttin’ on the Ritz”. I know you’re joining me now with the “Oh, Dad.”

One day, he and I are running errands while in his car, and the Duran Duran tape is playing. “Hungry Like The Wolf” is up in the queue and I’m ecstatic because it’s my favorite song. At first I begin singing along, then it occurs to me that before long, the song will feature the sounds of a woman, um, enjoying herself, um, sexually.

I think my Dad’s and my relationship is like most fathers and daughters. And, I think that if you’re in a normal father-daughter relationship, discussions about sex don’t happen, unless the mom has, by choice or chance, delegated the role to Dad.

So I immediately begin casting around in my brain for something to discuss. I search for any topic that will be engrossing and lengthy enough to drown out the sounds of the part in the song I knew was imminent.

My efforts were for naught, as my Dad shushes me. Apparently, it is his favorite song, now, too.

Crap, crap, crap. I continue to jabber, about nothing, really, and finally, when the song ends, he says, “Cari, why were you talking the whole time? I really like that song!”

I blush. If you know me, you know I can blush like a champion. So, I blush and mumble something about not wanting him to hear part of the song.

“Oh!” he exclaims. “Are you referring to the orgasmic moans that woman makes?”

Let the earth open up and swallow me now, I pray.

The year is 2013. I am in my grey Mazda Tribute with my 15-year-old son. We’re running errands. Robin Thicke’s “Give it 2 U” comes on the radio. Oh my gosh!!! Have you people heard this song?? It’s far more suggestive than Hungry Like The Wolf ever dreamed of being.

We listen in silence for a while. I become increasingly shocked, blush, then turn off the radio and say, “That is the filthiest song ever!”

My son grins, “Yeah, I know.”

See what I mean? A parent, a teenager of the opposite gender, and a song laden with adult themes combine for awkward moments in both 1983 and in 2013.

“Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose…”

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Cari McGee

My full name is Carol Marie McGann McGee. Most people just call me Cari. But, I answer to Pumpkin (my mom calls me that), Carol Love (from my brothers), Love (what my husband calls me), McGee (many of my real estate colleagues call me that) and, my favorite title, Mom.I love to read, run, and sell real estate. And laugh. I really love to laugh.

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  • Steve Meddaugh

    I LOVE this story – I actually laughed out loud. I think Rio still ranks among my all-time favorite albums. Thank you for making me smile today…

  • Suzy Garza Higley

    So funny!!!

  • That is hilarious Cari! And excellent writing by the way. Really well done!

  • I love this. What I love is not the story itself, though hilarious (and well executed), but the insight into what makes us uncomfortable usually has nothing to do with the other person and everything to do with ourselves. xo

  • Steve Meddaugh

    Great point Erin!