Pain and Whitney
I’ve never been a big Whitney Houston fan. I always found her voice too shrill and sharp, as if she was on the verge of singing a half tone above soprano. Belting out a romantic tune at the top of her lungs never made any sense to me. And her movies? Meh. The Bodyguard was so bad as to be painful. I never could get over that poster of Kevin Costner struggling to carry the 5’10” 165 lb Houston in his arms without falling over. Waiting to Exhale fared better but Houston was far from Academy Award material.
Don’t get me wrong. Houston was a brilliant talent, a gorgeous woman and boasted an illustrious ancestry. I can certainly acknowledge all that. She just didn’t do it for me. However, reading the news of Houston’s premature death on Rogers Yahoo! just about floored me. I knew about the “tumultuous” marriage to Bobby the Egomaniac Brown. I knew about the uncontrollable drug abuse. I knew about the rumours that Houston was bankrupt. But dead? At 48? A mere 3 years older than me. That left a pall that, after a week, still hasn’t left me.
I grew up to Houston’s tunes in the mid-80’s. I actually liked her then. And thinking of her early career brings a flush of nostalgia that can’t help but sadden me: I was a teenager, high school, fashion and boyfriends were my life. Houston appeared during that crazy, 80’s “me” generation when everyone’s hair was wigged out and every girl I knew, me included, was layered in the Jennifer Beal Flash Dance look. And Houston’s opening number “I will always love you” for the 1994 Grammy’s was aired the year I was expecting my only child. Those are probably the reasons her demise hit me so hard: those days are gone forever and I will never get them back. So is Houston. An undeniable legend, gone forever. And not only will she never be back, we’re not likely to see her equal again in my lifetime.
Houston’s personal pain dredges up a bit of sorrow in all of us.
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