There’s nothing headier than a new friend crush. I become 14 again, cooing to my husband about all we have in common — like kids! And husbands! And how we both don’t like that other mom who wears the hooker skirts to every school event!
The only thing headier than a new friend crush is a new couple crush. Oh, it’s almost too dreamy to write about. He’s a good guy, my husband says. She is so funny and down to earth, I enthuse. Their kids are nice like our kids, we agree.
The husband component of this new couple was in some way connected to the music industry. They were always going to fabulous places and attending fabulous concerts (but never bragging about it because we would never date a couple like that), and one day they invited us to the Marc Anthony concert at Chastain Amphitheater.
I did not know Mister Anthony very well (this was before he became Mister Jennifer Lopez), but the tickets were free, they were our new we’ll be best friends forever couple, and I had been singing a certain popular song of Marc Anthony’s almost constantly. The name of the song was ‘I Need to Know.’ I would learn this later. Had I known the title, my life might be different today.
The night of the concert was going swimmingly. They brought champagne (of course), and I brought shrimp (which everyone loved, of course). The concert began and although I didn’t know any of the songs Marc Anthony sang, it was a beautiful night under an inky black sky with new friends. It was perfect.
Until Anthony began to sing his hit song, the one I had been singing for weeks in my car on the way to work. The crowd was on its feet, dancing and singing along. I was clapping and singing, sandwiched between my husband and the new couple husband. When Anthony reached the chorus of the song, “Tell me baby girl, cause I need to know. I need to know, I need to know...” I sang what I thought were the lyrics.
The head on the husband of the new couple jerked in my direction and he stopped dancing. “What did you just say?”
***The chorus of the song is 1 minute in.***
And in that moment I knew. Just like when my husband and I had been dating and we were in the car singing along to Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Thunder Road,’ and I belted out, “It’s a town full of losers, and I’m pulling out of here on a whim,” instead of “It’s a town full of losers, and I’m pulling out of here to win.” As he explained to me, “The Boss doesn’t do things on a whim. He’s the Boss.”
Cornered, like my daughter who denies taking the stick of gum as she’s chewing it, I confessed. “Tiny Thimble,” I said.
“What?” He looked at me like I was giving him the finger.
“Tiny Thimble?” My voice was tiny now, like the thimble I thought Anthony was singing about. Like the thimble I had wondered about. Like why would a man sing about a thimble? Was it because his love for the woman overflowed the tiny thimble? I’m not kidding. I thought these things as I sang the song countless times in my car, because even I knew, it was a weird name for a pop song. But it fit, “Tell me baby girl ’cause I need to know, tiny thimble, tiny thimble…”
The new husband portion of the couple did not fall to the ground laughing, did not squeeze me around the shoulders and good naturedly tease me. He did none of the appropriate friend things. Instead, he shook his head, the kind of shake I give my husband or kids when they have annoyed me so badly I have no words. He had no words for my tiny thimble.
We saw them a few times after that night, but it was too late. It turned out the husband half of the couple was quite a stick in the mud. The Tiny Thimble incident had been just the tip of the fuddy duddy iceberg. And the wife was insecure and obsessed with keeping up with the Joneses. The new couple shine had come off. They’re weird, we decided.
We haven’t dated any new couples in a long time. I don’t like auditioning. I love my old friends, the ones who know I like to sing loudly and dance in my kitchen, mercilessly butchering just about every song lyric that crosses my lips. And when I get called out by these friends, they laugh and I laugh and my love for them overflows…my tiny thimble.
***** Elle Duncan and Commuter Dude sing my smash hit ‘Tiny Thimble.’ *****