Regarding My Teenaged Affair with Paula Abdul
Now that others are “outing” Ms. Abdul, I feel the need and desire to talk about what she and I had together back in the mid 1980s. It was simply a mismatch of worlds, but for a few wonderful months, it was beautiful. Ms. Abdul had just joined the Laker Girls when I met her, entirely by accident, in a Whole Foods Market in West Los Angeles. She was 21, and I was legally jailbait, but I certainly would have never pressed charges against the future diva—neither then nor now. I was a bagboy at the time, earning a little extra money to finance my science-fair projects on the effects of radioactivity on housecats. Ms. Abdul always checked out at the register where I was bagging. For a few weeks I wondered if this were mere chance, or if this shy, shapely, basketball cheerleader was sending me subtle signals. Soon she started giving me bagging tips and coaching. “Don’t put the eggs on the bottom.” “I don’t need a bag for the milk.” Simple guidance and helpful utterances that betrayed her true feelings for me. The third time she told me not to put her eggs on the bottom, she reached into the bag herself in a faux display of anger and frustration, just so that she could brush her silky forearm skin against mine. Our eyes locked, and mere moments later we were making love in the back seat of her Chevy Impala in the parking lot.
Ms. Abdul is a dynamo of emotion and passion. This is what makes her such a sensational performer. Often, however, her intellect takes a back seat to the raging inferno in her heart and loins. I could tell from the start that Ms. Abdul did not care for me in a serious way. I could tell that making love to me was merely a displaced refocusing of her anger over my slipshod grocery bagging practices. I mean, I was a two-time California state science-fair semi-finalist, and she was a Cal State dropout. Who was fooling who here? No one; that’s who. We both knew what we were doing, and what we wanted from this relationship. Once a week for two wonderful months, we made love in the back seat of Ms. Abdul’s car in the parking lot of the grocery store. A couple of times she drove me to McDonald’s for “a snack” after our intense lovemaking. She made a lot more money than I did then (in fact, she still makes a lot more money than I do), so I never felt embarrassed or emasculated when she paid for my Big Mac and fries.
A couple of times, while I lay panting on the gritty floor of the Impala, or between bites of my Big Mac, we talked about our dreams of the future. I told Ms. Abdul about how I intended to determine if low-dose radioactivity exposure really did follow a threshold law, or if the damaging effects were cumulative over time, and that I had applied for early admission to U.C. Berkeley and Cal Tech. She told me she had written several songs for an album she wanted to make that she was thinking of calling “Forever Your Girl”. She eventually did make that album, and it launched her career, selling over 20 million copies and producing four hit songs, but at the time I just thought she was full of shit.
As spring warmed into summer, the back seat of a car in a parking lot in West LA became less and less enticing as a bed of passion. A new Whole Foods Market opened in Santa Monica, closer to where Ms. Abdul lived, and we slowly drifted apart. She did come to visit me a couple more times that summer, however, and once we almost made love in the dairy cooler in the back of the store, but my manager walked in on us, thankfully before any of our clothes were off, and I had to quickly make up an excuse about finding the freshest possible eggs for Ms. Abdul. I took her groceries out to her car for her one last time and we chatted in the California summer sun by the side of the car. She told me she might not be shopping there for a while, and she wished me luck with my biophysical studies. I told her I thought her music would bring her fame and fortune, even though I’d never even heard one of her songs. I didn’t tell her that I thought her whole songwriting story was a typical load of L.A. crap, and it’s a good thing I didn’t because I sure would have egg on my face now, wouldn’t I? We kissed, and I squeezed her buns one last time before she drove herself and that crappy Impala out of that parking lot for the last time. I sadly and slowly drifted back into the store where I found myself bagging groceries for a beautiful young lady who said her name was Ms. Lopez, and who, it turns out, was also an aspiring songwriter.