Friday, July 28, 2023

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: I've Got Your Number (1965)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

Chosen in memory of Tony Bennett, who passed away on July 21.


1) In this song, Tony sings that he recognizes his lover's insecurities because she's a lot like him. Are you unsure in social situations? Or do you meet new people easily? During my career I gave lots of presentations and discovered I'm seldom nervous while speaking in public. You can prepare for that. Similarly, at the TCM Film Festival in Los Angeles last April, I was very comfortable talking to the shuttle bus filled with strangers. But after the movie, on the shuttle back, a man who remembered me from the ride over and wanted to sit with me and talk ... and I was nervous. One on twelve or twenty or two hundred and I'm fine. One on one with a stranger can leave me unsure.


2) While singing was his livelihood, painting was Tony Bennett's passion. What hobby do you participate in with the greatest enthusiasm? I don't consider them a "hobby," but I am passionate about these two. I love them very much.

Connie sprucing up Roy Hobbs

3) Tony was a proud son of New Jersey. Many singers hail from The Garden State, including Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi and Frank Sinatra. What heroes, heroines or celebrities hail from your home state? You're welcome, America.

#16 and #44

4) Though Tony dreamed of becoming a commercial artist, he had to drop out of school in his teens to help support his family. Looking back on your teen years, what did you want to do for a living? Is that what you ended up doing? I was going to be a journalist. It was the 1970s. Woodward and Bernstein cast a long, wide, shadow. I ended up writing, but as an advertising copywriter (aka "content creator").

5) During WWII, Tony served in Germany. The first time his voice was broadcast was during an aircheck for Armed Forced Radio. For the occasion he sang "St. James Infirmary." That was Tony's first. Let's contrast it with your last. What's the most recent song you sang? "Have You Never Been Mellow." I sang along with ONJ and my shower radio.

6) After the War, Bob Hope saw him perform under his real name, Anthony Benedetto. Hope told him that, no matter how great his talent, his name would hold him back because it was too long for a marquee. And so, Tony Bennett was born. Tell us about a marquee in your town. Is it announcing a movie, play, or concert performance? There's a movie theater around the corner from me and right now it features Barbie (<<<go see it!). But these are my favorite Chicago marquees. Seeing them always makes me happy.


7) In 2006, he recorded his Duets album, partnering with a variety of singers he admired. Tony said he enjoyed working with Paul McCartney at London's Abbey Road Studios, where the Beatles created their classic recordings. If you vacationed in London, what would you be sure to visit? I know it's outside London, but I'd love to tour Highclere (aka Downton Abbey).

8) "I've Got Your Number" was performed by Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore on The Dick Van Dyke Show. According to Dick, they were so believable as a married couple that he received glares from a hotel clerk while checking in with his real-life wife, Margie. What TV or movie couple do you feel had "chemistry?" Thinking of Downton Abbey, I'll go with Matthew and Lady Mary. (Sigh ...)

9) Special summertime random question: Would you have more fun at a pro baseball game or an art museum exhibit? Though right now my friend Elaine is planning a trip for us to The Art Institute of Chicago and I'm sure we'll have a wonderful time, it's no secret I love baseball more than just about anything.

Now pretend my shrink is talking to hers

I realized earlier this week that, during our long phone conversation, my oldest friend was parroting phrases from her shrink. Example: "I trust there is good in the universe." Really? That's something I've never heard her say in almost six decades of friendship. I did often hear her say, "People are no damn good." But not, "I trust there is good in the universe." Yes, it was annoying to hear her speak in such an inauthentic way. But she suffers from bipolar disorder, so it was also comforting that she's seeing a therapist and taking the advice to heart.

I see a shrink, too, and I channeled mine this week when I dealt with a conflict my friend and I had. A couple weeks ago, I volunteered for the local library book sale. I picked up a pair of DVDs for my friend. Films starring two of her longest-standing crushes: Tom Selleck and William Shatner. Not a big deal, but I knew they would make her smile. I packed them up, took them to the post office, and sent them off to her in Hesperia, California. 

My friend reported that the package had been received by another tenant of the property they share. Days later I texted, asking her if she got the package and she responded she had, no further comment.

On the phone, I asked her if she opened the package yet. "No," she said blithely. "I can see it from here but I haven't opened it. You know me and mail."

Well, actually, no I don't. Does she now routinely let her mail stack up? I know she's had money problems and in the past put off paying her bills, but she couldn't possibly have confused my little giftie with an invoice. 

The whole, "You know me and mail" thing really hurt my feelings. I'd be doing other things and it would pop into my head. 

I know I would never treat a gift as cavalierly as she treated mine. I am very careful of her feelings, too, because of her condition. I don't think she gives me as much care or thought, and it hurts.

On the other hand, allowances must be made. She is broken. She didn't choose to be bipolar.

This morning, four full days since our call, I texted her about the package again. Again she told me she hadn't gotten to it. "You know me and mail!"

I know what my shrink would say to me. She'd remind me that I am in this relationship, too. That even though it's uncomfortable I should let my friend know how I feel. "But she's broken!" I would say to my shrink if she were here. "She deserves compassion!"

"You can do both: You can stand up for yourself and still forgive her." That's what I imagine my shrink would say. 

And so I did it: I texted my oldest friend that my feelings were hurt. That here I happily collected, packaged and mailed those DVDs to her and she treats merely opening the envelope like a chore. I said I felt silly.

She told me not to feel that way. She explained that what she hadn't said was that she was saving the package for when she feels "blue" and needs a lift. Then she will settle down with a cup of tea and open it. 

Oh, well then! 

Does this make sense to me? No. But then I don't I live with the specter of crippling depression around every corner, either.

Maybe in the future, we should save time by just having our shrinks talk to each other. I imagine mine as the one on the right. 

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash