Thursday, September 24, 2015

     


                     MY WAY: How Frank Sinatra Ruined My Life




     FRANK, I have been wanting to say this to you for years. I’ve Got You Under my Skin, and this is not a good thing. The Way You Look Tonight, your blues eyes still twinkling, just makes me itch. Night and Day, I perseverate about how much your music has ruined my life. Sometimes, I just tell myself, “That’s Life,” but then I would hear your crooning New York, New York, and I would recall my mother jumping out of my nightmare, swooping down in her low-cut chiffon cocktail dress onto my pillow prancing around singing her favorite song, “My Way.” Well, guess what, you two are in never-never land, so now it’s MY WAY. 

     You embarked on your solo career the year before I was born, Frank. A high school drop-out who delivered the local newspaper, I would have to admit, you were a self-made dude. Your music spanned seven decades and sent millions of women into a friggin’ fantasy world. You were a ladies man, all right, but you couldn’t quite decide which lady, as it took you four marriages to get it right. You were truly an “All or Nothing at all” kind of guy. 

     But,you may wonder, Frank, how you have ruined my life. I’m sure all those drooling divas out there would be aghast to hear me talk about you like this. Well, they didn’t have to live with my mother, Lois. Lois was annoying from the time I figured out that she liked you more than me. This was unacceptable to a three-year-old, and my psyche has never recovered. My mother swooned every time she heard you sing. Her swooning, shaking her sexy booty to your beat, obsessing about your baby blues—all of this became intolerable with each year of pre-school. By the time I was in fourth grade, I dreamed of putting a contract out on you. Unfortunately, the only person who was an expert on contracts was
you. My father was clueless. He played your pieces on the piano to please my mother, and that would just send me into orbit. How many nine-year-olds have Frank fever that won’t ever go away? Between you and John Wayne, my mother was smitten, and my father was too blind to see that he and I were but accessories in her world.

     Now I admit, Frank, that you’re not a bad looking guy, and your voice is decent. But you were way too mellow for me. As I matured, I found my own heart-throb, Elvis. Yup, the King. In my mind, you were nothing but a lowly servant, just standing around snapping your fingers. Elvis. Now Elvis was the bomb. You were old enough to be his grandpa, so he was no threat to you, I’m sure. Besides, you had a million Loises panting on your patent leathers. I think I purposely played Elvis as loud as I could just to annoy my mother. In seventh grade, I stayed home from school and listened to Love Me Tender while Lois was cavorting around at the bowling alley humming your latest hit. I’m sure her mind was in the gutter.

     You probably don’t know this, but there have been many crooners who have tried to walk in your footsteps. From Harry Connick Jr. to Michael Bublé—they are all Frank wannabes. The reason you have ruined my life is that I can’t  even enjoy them without thinking of your mushy mellow deep in the heart of me. Nope. Can’t listen to those guys either.

     Rumor had it that you were involved with the Mafia, Frank. I can’t imagine a nice clean-cut dude like yourself getting involved with a group like that, unless you were looking to start a Mafia Men’s Choir. Alas, nothing was ever really proven, so you went your merry way marrying, remarrying and recording. So many women wanted to marry you, Frank, including Lois, who  would have become a bigamist just to be your Stranger in the Night. 

     Well, blue eyes, I’m sure you were proud of the many awards and accolades you earned in your singing and acting career. Eleven Grammy Awards, three Laurel Awards, two Academy Awards and four Golden Globe awards—-nope, that’s no small thing. You were inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame, the New Jersey Hall of Fame, and the Hit Parade Hall of Fame. You even have three, count ‘em three Hollywood Walk of Fame stars. Wow. I’m impressed. 

     When I sit at the beach and feel the Summer Wind, I can now say, “Ah, maybe that guy wasn’t so bad after all. Maybe you and Lois are up there getting it on. In the meantime, I feel better getting this off my chest. This roast is well-done. The itching has subsided. “I’ve eaten you up and spit you out. I faced it all and I stand tall. I did it My Way.”