Saturday, July 12, 2008

I wanted to be Karen Carpenter

When we were eating dinner last night at Baja Mama's in Punta Banda, I had a flashback to a childhood dream. The owner/chef, a muu-muu wearing, tooth missing, elderly woman sauntered over to her boom box and began to play a cassette tape of a compilation of The Carpenter's Greatest Hits. I immediately began to sing along and knew all the words to each song. This would only come as a shock to anyone who didn't know that I wanted to be Karen Carpenter when I was a little girl.

My mom had their albums and they played constantly on our turntable during my lower elementary school years. One album even had pages of photos of the 70's drumming diva and her piano playing brother, which I'd study to try and replicate her poses. I thought she was beautiful and so talented. What young girl wouldn't want to be like her? I think my fascination began when my mom would hold me on her lap and sing along to Close To You -- "on the day that you were born the angels got together and decided to create a dream come true, so they sprinkled moon dust in your hair of gold and starlight in your eyes of blue." I have to confess that I thought the song had been written for me. What can I say, I was young and naive.

As I got older I was sad to learn of her battle with anorexia and couldn't understand how someone so beautiful could struggle with that. Clearly she couldn't see what I and so many others saw. I guess Rainy Days and Mondays really did get her down.

For the record (pun intended) I no longer want to be her, but it was fun to take a trip down memory lane. I know that this post really shows my age and many of you may never have heard of this superstar songstress. I'll gladly take the ridicule and maybe even add a few of her songs to my iPod when I want to remember what life was like Only Yesterday.


Chris said...

Karen Carpenter lived in my home town while I lived there--we were so proud to have someone become a success. It is so sad that she didn't see herself as the rest of us did.

Linda Vujnov said...

Karen is the best ever!

kru clan said...

there is no shame in being a carpenters fan. i sing the same song to my kids, and i'm pretty sure they think it was written for them as well!

Tracy said...

"Don't you remember you told me you loved me, Baby. Said you'd be coming back this way again, maybe"...Okay, that is my favorite song by the Carpenters, I don't know the name.

Cheri said...

Tracy, I love that one too -- it's Superstar.

Anonymous said...

a whole other reason for me to like you. I can sing along to just about every song on their Greatist Hits.
My mom used to have one of their albums and I played it so much that can I still picture the image on the cover of Karen and Richard standing on a bridge somewhere.
hmmm... something else to download from iTunes.
Is it acceptable to have them on the same iPod with Poison's "Every rose has it's thorns?"