Jim, my husband, had been talking about some article he happened to read in a magazine that included a segment on not only Lady Gaga, but Katy Perry as well. He was at a loss. What songs do these women sing? Who are these people? Should I know more about them?
Being the second rate pop culture enthusiast that I am, I explained that Lady Gaga was the meat dress lady, but no I could not sing or name a single song she sang. Then I went on to talk about Katy Perry, except there wasn’t any talking. It was mostly crickets. Because I am old. I followed her on Twitter for a while a few years ago. Some of my funny blogging friends followed her and so I thought maybe she was the comedic type, but a year later I unfollowed her because she never said anything funny at all, or if she did, I didn’t see it or read it or retweet it or anything. The only thing I knew about Katy Perry was that she once had blue hair and that she may have been a Christian singer at one time. Possibly. Or maybe she sang in the church choir. I wasn’t really sure. I just knew she was all the rage in certain circles. Circles I was obviously not a part of.
Anyway, a few days later we happened to be staying in a hotel and VH1 was on when I turned on the TV. A video was playing. It was Katy Perry! I yelled to Jim, “Come over here! It’s Katy Perry. We’ll finally know one of her songs!” I was so excited. I was moving from living under a rock to living under a smaller rock…one I might even be able to push off my mommy brained, inadequate, non-pop-culture referencing self. There was hope. I was on the road to cultural awareness and pop relevance once again. It was liberating. I may have even been standing in front of the TV waving my hands over my head like a middle-aged cheerleader.
Playing on VH1 was a song with the title “This Is How We Do” which sounded like a sentence that was missing the second half of itself. Possibly it’s better half. Then Katy Perry started talk-singing while girls in bright dresses walked around and then there was a kitchen, pancakes, ping pong ball, purses, and Katy Perry in a bathtub. Jim and I looked at each other. Then Katy Perry started saying, in her best smokers voice, “It’s no big deal. It’s no big deal. This is no big deal.”
Our daughter ran into the room. She is 4. She was mesmerized. All three of us were. We sat on the end of the hotel bed staring at the TV as if we were passing the most gruesome accident on the highway. We could not look away.
Finally the video ended and I was dumbfounded. Jim said, “Well, that’s Katy Perry. She’s no big deal.”
I just stared ahead. Then I asked, “What was that? I mean, what was it about? I’m so confused.”
Then Jim just laughed and said, “It’s not about anything. It’s pop. It’s just noise.”
Later that day our daughter was running around singing, “It’s no big deal! It’s no big deal!” The song clearly resonated with her. She seemed to get the message Katie Perry was trying to convey. That’s when I realized I was too old for VH1, which was supposed to be for old people to begin with, and I wondered if I would ever feel cool again.