Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Icons Of a Certain Age

Yesterday...just another ordinary day until the first unconfirmed tweet.  Followed by another.  Both of which I ignored since Twitter is infamous for perpetuating false death rumors.  When a friend questioned the veracity of the chatter on Facebook, I determined to find a credible news source to debunk the matter so that I could get on with the rest of my day.

Well, it took about ten minutes of searching, but the unmistakable RIP tweet and TMZ link posted by Harvey "I'm a Lawya" Levin confirmed the mind-boggling truth.  Rapper Heavy D was gone at age 44.

There is a lot I could say about Heavy D, his music, and how the apex of his career evokes a certain time in my life and that of many of my friends.  For it was just about 20 years ago that we were all singing along to his theme song for the comedy sketch show In Living Color.  And just maybe a few years before that when my Catholic girl-school classmates and I were trying to decide which of his Boyz was cuter (G-Whiz or the late T-Roy), or whether it was the Heavster himself who was the most irresistible.  And perhaps it was because of his appeal, guys who might have thought of their bulk as girl repellent, were inspired by his swagger to make plays for our attention.

For those of us who are of that age and now sit in disbelief that we have lost yet another icon from our youth, this is a bitter pill to swallow.

Because those of us who are either approaching or settling into our 40s are navigating the real real world challenges of life, replete with troubled marriages, marriage envy, infertility, empty nests, adolescent angst, terrible twos, student loans, home foreclosures, bankruptcies, mid-career slumps, corporate downsizing, chronic health conditions, addictions, ill or transitioning parents, advance medical directives, life insurance, college savings, stock market fluctuations, pre-menopause, PTSD, low T or ED or whatever they are calling impotence these days--this is rough.

I expect that some callous anonymous pimple-faced teenager will pose the inevitable "who is Heavy D and who cares" question on a blog or news article because, well, that is how idiots express themselves nowadays.  Or the question will be asked by one of those snobby/snarky types who claim to have never heard of the man because "rap music was never my thing".  Or, some truly mean-spirited a$$ will make a particularly trite joke about his name and girth.  Into whichever category these puppy-kickers belong, as they wonder why so many thirty- and forty-somethings mourn the loss of someone most of us have never met, or possibly may have forgotten, we know that the answer is simple...

Heavy D was of that era before life got so complicated. Be Inspired on your Peaceful Journey.

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