You Are Who You Date
Like so many women who grew up listening to the radio in the 60's and 70's, I have been a fan of female singer/songwriters for as long as I can remember. So, I was excited to read the biographical piece by Sheila Weller, entitled, Girls like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon, and the journey of a generation. Ambitious to say the least, Weller tells three life stories, packed with juicy tidbits and sometimes endless side story footnotes. I was so intrigued by the three different routes these women took in order to get their music heard, and then to be taken seriously. What was less intriguing was the nonstop stream of bad relationships these women pursued. The lists include drug addicts, women beaters, mentally ill guys, embarrassingly young guys, tepee-dwelling mountain men, and just plain too many guys named Rick. Then there were the occasional guys in common -- including James Taylor, Jackson Brown and Warren Beatty -- which can get...awkward. I found myself the least interested in this element of the book and even cringing a bit now and then. I started to feel embarrassed that I knew about so many of the guys they chose to date. But why? Why the cringing?
and Gentle Ben.
The guys were far easier to appreciate in these characterisations -- an interesting cast of characters rather than a string of lousy choices. But it also pointed to why I found it so painful to hear Carol, Joni, and Carly's list of men. I would find it unbearable to think that was one of the way I was judged (as if anyone besides me would care). Let us all be grateful that in the end we are not who we date.