While Dirk is tripping fondly down the chronological REM path and Costello is reliving bygone moments of Dave Coulier, the time seems high for me to come clean with at least one glimpse into my past.
If you could travel back in time to meet 19-year-old Ross McLochness and got the opportunity to ask him what the ideal girl would look like he might have said something like this: "I don't think I could pick her out of a lineup, but I definitely know how I'll meet her. It'll be at a show."
Shows - now called concerts by grownup Ross - were the be all and end all of the mid 90's. You were who you were based on the shows you attended. You proved your mettle by going to shows. Big shows, little shows. Shows where you knew someone in the band and shows where you only wished you were in the band. Shows at the Emerson. Shows at Deer Creek. Shows at Door #3 and the second floor auditorium of some Methodist church. These shows were your life, and thus what better place to meet someone with which to spend the rest of your life...of course, going to shows.
This mythical archetype of a girl came from various sources. She was a sketch more than a masterpiece, but 19-year-old Ross did have a few concrete ideas to work with, and they came from the only stalwart bastion of unceasing feminine paradigms available before DSL: MTV.
First girl first, Ross and all inhabitants of NW 2 at Wiley Hall were big fans of the femme fatale featured in Nada Surf's video for "Popular."
This sassy, big-eyed Jersey girl is a straight-forward 1996 hottie. Don't think that Ross falls for the prototypical American obsession with cheerleaders or has some Ed Woodian angora sweater fetish, but he did know pretty when it came into his dormroom nightly via Alternative Nation and 120 Minutes.
Then came Dorothy Gale from the Blues Traveler video for "Run-Around."
Again, all gingham fetishes aside, Ross knew nice when he saw it. Dorothy is a bit older than the "Popular" girl - but not too much older (read: inaccessible) because she still needs a fake ID. Dorothy is now moving closer to the Ross fantasy of meeting attractive, like-minded girls at shows, even if she's got a lion, tin man and scarecrow running wingman and falls for the tomfoolery of one Ken Ober. (Ken, by the way, calls to mind the younger Ross's fancy for Remote Control's own Kari Wuhrer. That's a post for another blog entirely.) Dorothy here is not only beautiful but resourceful, and 19-year-old Ross is willing to forgive her youthful indiscretions with jam bands.
Then came the piece-de-resistance courtesy of MTV2. She's no bombshell. She's not ending up on any posters in a trucker's bedroom. On the contrary, she is the Volkswagen driving, ice skating girl-next-door from Orbit's "Medicine."
Dedicated, sweater-wearing athlete, not distracted by guys in penguin suits, bands on the ice, or random Zambonis; this is a girl you can take home to Ma McLochness.
Ross had a penchant for pale girls with dark hair. So what. The moral of the story is this. Ross met his wife on the porch of his house, not at a show. His first words to her weren't, "Have you seen these guys before?" but were in fact, "Who are you?"
Ain't life funny?