I’ve been in a very “Dolly” head space lately. I like her a lot. I’m not fanatical; I’ve never actually seen her in concert, I don’t own much of her discography. But I do so enjoy her music, and her songwriting. And, if I’m being truthful, my idea of “beautiful” was defined, for better or worse, by Dolly. No matter how hard I try to deny it, “beautiful” for me will always be big blonde hair, huge white teeth and Barbie-esque proportions. It is what it is.
I found some Dolly facts on the internet tonight. The parallels between she and I: undeniable, compelling, downright eerie:
1946 – Dolly is born. Grows up rural and dirt poor.
1946 – Ginny’s parents aren’t even born yet. But she, too, will grow up rural and dirt poor.
1974 – “Jolene” is number one on the country charts.
1974 – Ginny is conceived. Her parents may or may not have considered the name Jolene when choosing the appropriate moniker for said fetus.
1976 – Dolly, her syndicated television show premieres.
1976 – Ginny (most likely) watched some television.
1980 – Dolly’s first film, 9 to 5 is released.
1980 – Ginny tries to get used to the 9 to 3:30 grind of Grade 1.
1982 – Dolly stars in “Best Little Whorehouse in Texas”.
1982 – Ginny sees a commercial for “Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.” She asks her parents what a whorehouse is. They come up with a surprisingly age appropriate explanation.
1984 – Dolly records “Islands in the Stream” with Kenny Rogers. It is a massive hit, as is their resultant World Tour.
1984 – Ginny’s mother goes to said concert. Even second-hand, explained (painstakingly) the next day, it is awesome.
1987 – Dolly records the “Trio” album, with Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt. It is a huge success.
1987 – Ginny is part of a group of 3 best friends. This junior-high trio does not work out so well.
1991 – Dolly’s song “I Will Always Love You” is recorded by Whitney Houston.
1991 – Ginny gets her heart ripped to shreds by a boy. Listens to “I Will Always Love You”. A lot. On a tape recorder. With auto reverse.
2002 – Dolly plays a show in Vegas, as part of her “Halos & Horns” tour.
2002 – Ginny visits Vegas. She has found her happy place.
2006 – Dolly is nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song for “Travelin’ Thru” from the movie Transamerica.
2006 – Ginny gives birth to her second child. She does not make it out to see this movie (or any other movie, for the rest of the year). As her 3 year old son discovers his love of high heels, she makes a mental note to go back and see this movie when it comes out on video.
February 2008 – Dolly postpones several dates on her much-anticipated “Backwoods Barbie” tour, due to back pain.
February 2008 – Ginny doesn’t feel well.
The similarities are chilling, no?