The Birthright of Proud Mary

“I didn’t have anybody, really, no foundation in life, so I had to make my own way. Always, from the start. I had to go out in the world and become strong, to discover my mission in life.” – Tina Turner

My mom was busy making pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving when I decided to free myself from her body a week overdo. I was born on the same day as Tina Turner only 41 years later. To this day, I detest anything pumpkin flavored and struggle with time management.

Looking back, it’s not at all surprising that I would stubbornly hold up in my mother’s womb until I was good and ready to be born into this wild world. I’ve always made my own clumsy, messy way through life. As if, I couldn’t manage to follow in someone else’s footsteps or learn from someone else’s mistakes. I had to march to my own drum, even if that meant marching into oncoming traffic. A rebel with too many causes and more than enough clichés to keep me distracted from real adult business. I blame Proud Mary.

Twerk it, Miss Tina!

Tina Turner is the true queen of rock. A legend. All flash and spinning sequin on stage, she’s a mix of punk rock and Motown soul. What she is on the outside is what I feel like on the inside. I just happen to be covered by pale flesh and freckles. The fact that we share a birthday is no coincidence. I discovered this odd notion when I was very young and used to watch Entertainment Tonight with my family, usually while helping my mom set the table or getting my little brothers cleaned up for dinner. At the end of each half hour the daily celebrity birthdays would scroll past the screen, to my shock and delight, Tina was born on November 26th, too. Since then I have filed that little tidbit away and used it as a funny little quip.

That is, until this past birthday hitting the scary age of 33, the idea that perhaps there is some sort of cosmic connection between Miss Tina and I. I’m no soul sister strutting in a mini skirt. My dancing skills lack sass, and I do the Robot without irony. I love to sing but can’t carry a tune. However, I share a spark with an extraordinary person. A secret kinship of Sagittarians who want to laugh and dance and sing – a feminist birthright of epic proportions. Haters be damned, I’m going to sing along to Duran Duran while I shop for groceries! (probably).

Besides, a mad compulsion to bust a move, Tina and I are both late bloomers. She recently wed her longtime partner at age 73 in a green gown. Something I can picture happening to me if my love life continues at this clip. Sure, my generation is getting married later in life due to an extended adolescence and drooping economy, but some of my cohorts are wedded and preggers by now. There is still a stigma to being a single girl. I don’t think I want to get married and while I love children, I don’t know if I want the option to screw up one of my own. At least, I never had to deal with an abusive husband/band leader like Ike Turner. I’ve watched What’s Love Got to Do with It more times than I can count, and still hold a grudge against Laurence Fishburne.

Tina found true love but it took roughly 30 years to seal the martial deal. Perhaps, my luck will change if I can live in the present and just be here now, instead of looking back with regret and into the future with anxiety. One thing is certain I need a dainty fan to keep my face cool while I languish in a metallic jumpsuit across from Oprah.

Beyond, boy issues, we both want out of the States. Well, Miss Tina is officially an expat choosing to live abroad (no doubt fabulously) with her new husband. I’m going to London to pursue higher education in a short 9 months (probably not as fabulously). We both had to realize that it’s time to move on in our way.

Surviving with only our names and fierce hair, Tina and I were born into a strange and strong lineage. For all the strife, drama, and setbacks, we thrive in the boundless energy to continue creating a unique path with a bright lip and leather mini.


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