Let’s say we’re at a party. It’s a nice night. Everything is going well. And, then, somehow, one of the following topics gets brought up: Radiohead, theater majors or little brothers who are in love with pretentious theater majors. I will get all excited. I will barely let the person finish their thought.
“Oh, no, no, no, wait,” I will say, waving my hands to make sure everyone is paying attention to me. “Have I got a story for you.”
My husband will roll his eyes because, surprisingly, one of these topics has come up frequently enough at parties that he could recite the story word for word. But I will tell it anyway because I don’t have that many good stories to tell at parties.
Here’s how it goes.
My youngest brother was a theater major in college, and he had this massive crush on this other theater major…let’s call her Pammi Sue Blumfeld. Although I changed her name here, she really did have three names. The three name thing is very important because we had to refer to her by all three names. Never Pammi or Pammi Sue. Pammi. Sue. Blumfeld.
So, Pammi Sue Blumfeld had been leading my brother on for his whole freshman year. She would do things invite him out for ice cream cones and sit real close to him and then babble on about some other guy she liked. You know, real nice girl.
But he was in love with her because she was some magical, glittering butterly of a girl who put all other magical, glittering butterly girls to shame.
So, one night I went over to hang out with my brother and he announced that Pammi Sue Blumfeld was coming over. I had yet to lay eyes on this elusive creature, so instead of hightailing it out of there so he could make his move, I was like, “Great! Let’s meet this human unicorn!”
When she gets there she just looks like a normal girl. It was a little disappointing.
But my brother is all excited because she’s there! In his apartment! And he didn’t even have to lure her in with the promise of an ice cream cone! This had to be his night!
Without the aid of frozen treats, though, he needed something to seduce her with. He knew she was a Radiohead fan and it just so happened that Radiohead had recently released a new video. So he pulls out the videocassette like a bottle of fine wine and suggests we watch it.
The whole thing takes place underwater. It’s lovely and haunting, just like a good Radiohead video should be. After it’s over, my brother turns it off, turns to Pammi Sue Blumfeld and says, “So, what did you think?”
She sat there a minute, clearly thinking of the best way to wrangle her deep thoughts into simple human syntax. Finally, she sighed and said, “It’s so apropos that the video takes place underwater, because when I listen to Radiohead, it’s like I’m drowning.”
How’s that again?
I was trying not to laugh but it was hard because that didn’t sound like something a real person would say. I looked over at my brother wondering if this girl was like this all the time or if it was just Radiohead making her sound like a Sylvia Plath poem. But he was just sitting there listening and nodding at her like she’s Buddah on the mountaintop. So, yeah, clearly, Pammi Sue Blumfeld was like that all the time.
Encouraged, she continued, “Its like when you get lemon juice in your eyes, and you don’t want to open them because it hurts, but you have to open them because it’s so beautiful.”
I left not too long after that. I didn’t want to interfere any further with the seduction scene. I was also afraid I would start openly laughing at her.
And, in case you’re wondering, no, he didn’t get anywhere with poor, fragile Pammi Sue Blumfeld. She must have been too overcome with emotion. I can’t say I’m too sad, though. I’ve gotten lots of miles out of that story and I wouldn’t be able to tell it if she had ended up my sister-in-law.