my sweet georgia
I was this many years old when I realized Frankie Valli's song, My Eyes Adored You was--first of all, by Frankie Valli--and secondly, WASN'T called My Sweet Georgia.
We were somewhere on the road in middle Illinois when I woke up in the passenger seat to this, one of Maggie's favorite songs.
And rattling around in my mind all day was a way to craft THAT story. The sweetness of a Sunday drive home. My shock upon discovering that my whole life has been a lie. You know. That kind of thing.
But another story usurped that story while I was at work today searching to see if ANYBODY at work knew this song.
My first attempt came in the form of my lovely coteqcher who--even when given the name--had never heard of the thing.
"It's by Frankie Valli!"
"Who is Frankie Valli?"
"Have you ever heard of a little movie called GREASE?"
And we about tipped over laughing about that. But it was early. And there were lots of sugary snacks in the copy room making us punch drunk. And plus, this is a woman who also had never heard of The Rhinestone Cowboy.
"Damn your six years!" I say to her often, of the six years she is younger than me.
Bess and I sit on a generational faultline from each other. It messes up large parts of our friendship.
My 2nd stop was the copy room where I asked two ladies who I KNEW were of my generation. Joan did know it. The Administrator I asked knew it and thought it was sung by Justin Beiber.
I said, "Well, close. Frankie Valli." And she about died laughing right there over the cupcakes.
"YES! FRANKIE VALLI!!" She said. But it's too late, really. The ghost of Frankie Valli is rolling over in his grave.
By the afternoon I thought my singing of it wasn't helping so I fired up YouTube and played it--literally PLAYED IT for my third attempt to gain some ground.
"I've never heard that song in my entire life."
"Fine." I said to McHugh. You know who will know it? Welby."
And she did. God. Love. Her.
"Welby's singing it with me!" I told young McHugh and young Kleckner who were standing nearby on a plan period.
"That's because you two are ancient!" Was her hilarious response.
My eyes adored you.
My sweet Georgia.
Sing it...go on. I swear it sounds the same.
🎵Til we grew into the me and you who went our seperate ways"🎵
"Do you think he ever got her?" I asked Maggie in the car after I positioned my seat upright and we listened to the song.
"Who? The guy in the song?"
She listened to the next verse. How he sort of loved her from afar but never made any kind of move.
🎵Though I never laid a hand on you, my eyes adored you...🎶
"No," Maggie said.
"Really?" I said.
"Yeah. I think he just remembers her. You?"
"I think, yes." I said. "I think you don't remember someone that fondly and don't go get them if you can."
We fell into silence again.
"Do you have someone you remember like this?" She asked.
"Like...I liked them from afar?"
I thought. Then.
"Yes." I smiled. "I think maybe Dan."
She smiled, touched. Happy.
"You?" I asked. And she thought her way through another verse.
"Yes." She said, then spoke a name that is familiar to me--though I won't be the one telling Margaret's secrets.
"Yeah," she said. Then repeated his name. But it wasn't a sad thing. Not a lost anything. Just a sweet, mature, knowing smile that she just kind of adored him, but not enough. Not enough to change her path. That's a kind of wisdom I think, right?
And since I didn't feel a worry in there, I let it go just like she did. Like the breeze out the window. Like the sunshine on the road, we passed it all by, and joined in the refrain.
"My eyes adored you..." I sang out the passenger window, happy to feel the real words coming from my lips.
"My sweet Georgia..." Maggie sang, laughing as she sang at the top of her voice. Both hands on the wheel, driving us across the plains, going at the speed of life.