I’m a sucker for romance.
Movies, soap operas, songs. I rarely read a book that doesn’t have someone falling in love by the end of it.
Back when I was in high school, nothing was more romantic than the “Goodnight Line” on 105.7 KOKZ. It was a ten minute window where teenagers could call in profess their love for each other on the radio. Sometimes they were straight up – “Hi, this is Darcy, and I want to say goodnight to Jake. You are the love of my life. Can’t wait to see you tomorrow in study hall.” Other times, they were a bit more coy – “This is Troy, and I would like to say goodnight to my special girl S. You know who you are.”
Never once was there a call that said, “This is Crush A (or Crush B)and I want to say goodnight to Jean, the most beautiful girl in the world. I love you so much it hurts. Can’t wait to see you tomorrow in study hall.” I’m pretty sure the entire purpose of the program was to make me feel the sharp sting of rejection on a daily basis.
After the last call, they would play “One More Try,” a song that was so tender it made me want a boyfriend just so I could dump him and then have him beg me for a second chance. As Timmy T. sang, I would lie there and think that maybe tomorrow night would be the night Crush A or Crush B would call. If I tight-rolled my frosted jeans extra tight and put on another spritz of Exclamation! it would all fall into place.
Every once in a while, though, instead of thinking about Crush A or Crush B, I would lie there and imagine that the boy I would one day marry wasn’t either one of them, but a different boy altogether. And he was out there listening, too, like the song from An American Tail. What did he look like? What kinds of clothes did he wear? What were his hobbies?
It turns out he was tall and skinny with ears that stick out just enough to be adorable.
He was really into sports. He wore a Twins shirt and baseball cap almost every day and had a subscription to Sport magazine.
He didn’t have a girlfriend, either, but he listened to the “Goodnight Line,” too, hoping to hear his name.
He was out there. My husband of 15 years was a little over an hour away listening to the same sappy Timmy T. song I was. Just like Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram said he would be. My 14-year-old self would have been very happy to know that.
Bonus Track: “Somewhere Out There”
For all you lovers out there