When: June 1993
Where: My living room
Who: My mother
3 1/2 is a number that haunts my nightmares.
3 1/2 is the age at which I first knew what my age was. When someone asked my age, I’d say, “threeandahalf.” One word. Sadly, I didn’t really understand what age was. On my fourth birthday my uncle asked me how old I was, and you can guess how I replied.
I don’t know if that’s an important age for child development, but it was for me. Suddenly I knew what year it was, who the president was, that I lived in the United States of America, in California, in Pasadena; and who my local weatherman was.* My first book was the 1989 Thomas Guide for Los Angeles County, and with it I learned how to read. At three, I was giving adults directions. I had started knowing things.
If you were born after 1960, part of being a small child is picking a favorite Beatle. My mother, a John fanatic and proto-goth, was thoroughly disappointed when I revealed a certain liking for Paul’s composition “Good Day Sunshine.” It was a crushing blow as she played Revolver for me on our turntable, which was sitting on the living room floor for one of her big cleaning-reorganizing rampages. I still appreciate Paul on a better level than John. I appreciate him for the same reason I appreciate Brandon Tartikoff. Marketability is such an important part of culture, and it pains me to see so much good stuff fall by the wayside.
*The answer, of course, was Christopher Nance. We were an NBC family.
Note: I owe a major league thanks to Sally O’Rourke of No Hard Chords fame for reading this series.
Next: Ace of Base and the Decline and Fall of Step-Aerobics