Paul McCartney was my first boyfriend. Really. I know it’s true because he first came to the United States in time to celebrate my fifth birthday.The year was 1964 and I heard rumblings, and seen photographs, of four mop-top British musicians who were heading to America. I knew about them because as the youngest child I learned at an early age a lot about music (and a lot of other things) from my two older brothers who were crazy about music.
Of course, I followed their lead.
My mom was busy planning my birthday party, getting ready to make platters of tuna fish sandwiches and Velveeta dip with corn chips for me and my friends to gorge on.
She baked my favorite Duncan Hines white cake with chocolate frosting for dessert, and prepared games like pinata and musical chairs for us to play in our basement. Pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey was always my favorite.
But I was sure I knew what my real birthday present was going to be. That angel faced guitar player, the one I’d seen somewhere over the past few weeks, was coming to my party. Where had I seen him? Was it on television? In a magazine? I don’t remember, but his face stuck to my heart.
I clearly remember one bad in kindergarten while I was sitting next to my best friend, D. It was time to get ready for snack time. We always made sure to run back to our chairs after stuffing our crayons and smocks into our assigned cubbyholes so we we could sit next to each other.
But this time was different. After we took our seats, I announced I was going to make pretend Paul was sitting next to me. Then it happened. She proclaimed he couldn’t possibly sit with me because he would be sitting next to her.
How dare she.
Those were fighting words, and we began to argue back and forth and back and forth, until our kindergarten teacher had to separate us.
I knew I won the fight, because Paul would only want to sit with me.
At my birthday party, D was still invited. We had made up, mostly because I knew I had won. What was the point of staying mad at someone who could still choose between John, George or even Ringo?
She could come to my party, and we could remain best friends.
My birthday came and went, and my party was a smashing hit.
But, alas, there was no Paul.
Until the next night, when some old sourpuss looking man on a TV show announced it was going to be a very special night. I wasn’t paying too much attention, until I heard the deafening sound of a lot of screaming girls.
I looked at the TV, and there he was. My angel-faced boyfriend, standing on a platform with three other guys, singing a song that melted my little girl heart.
Sigh. I knew I was right all along. Paul McCartney did come to America to help me celebrate my birthday. I forgave him for being a day late, but that didn’t matter. There, in beautiful black and white, he was singing his way into my heart.
She loves you. Yeah, yeah, yeah.