Like many people around the world today, I find myself feeling sad with each and every Michael Jackson song that comes on the radio. I can’t believe that he’s completely gone at the young age of fifty. I know he led a weird and questionable lifestyle later in his life, but I choose to remember the MJ that I idolized as a kid. I completely thought he hung the moon back in the day and listened to his albums over and over in my room. That famous Thriller poster hung proudly on my door, and I stared at his face (pre-surgery nightmares) every single day. So many of his songs bring back very specific memories of my childhood, and I am sad that he can no longer showcase his extraordinary talent.
I remember in elementary school when MTV was just a luxury that only a select few were even able to get on their old-school t.v.’s. We had to wait in anticipation for award shows like the Grammy’s on regular tv to catch a glimpse of our idol. I remember seeing him moonwalk for the first time, and I about peed my pants. I’d never seen anything like that before in my life! It was crazy to think someone could move like that. I stood in front of the mirror for hours trying to replicate his moves. Everybody wanted to dance like Michael, but very few could. Everything about him was magical, right down to that white sequined glove. I even had my friend’s mom make me one of those gloves, so that I, too, could try to moonwalk in style.
In sixth grade, a group of girls and I even made up a whole dance to “Off The Wall” for the school talent show, but, sadly, we lost to another group of girls who danced to “Thriller”, complete with zombie costumes and dried ice. Guess we couldn’t quite compete with all their special effects. And when it came time for our big sixth grade graduation dance, the school hired a Michael Jackson impersonator to lip synch a medley of songs. The guy looked and danced just like MJ, and all of us girls went completely wild. One of my friends and I even chased the poor dude into the boys’ bathroom. We had Michael mania, and there was just no stoppin’ us!
Watching all of his unbelievable videos on t.v. over the past couple of days reminds me of just how incredibly out of this world he really was. I want my own kids to know his music and to see his performances, because he was such an inspiration for a large percentage of EVERY type of music that’s out today. On the way to drop my kids off at camp this morning, every single song that came on the radio was a Michael Jackson song. I told my kids I’d teach them how to moonwalk later this afternoon. RIP, MJ — your music will always be a part of me….