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Who are we?



By Jennifer Layton


I made a terrible mistake when I got my car eight years ago. I got a personalized license plate that says, "DIVA."

Back then, almost nobody was using the word except occasionally in reference to Madonna. But now it's everywhere. VH1 is promoting its "Divas Live '99" show relentlessly. They even have a banner on the screen during other shows with a "Divas Live Countdown Clock." I'm surprised they don't have a DivaCam following the performers around and broadcasting their lives 24-7. And you know what's really too much: LeAnn Rhimes is going to be included in this new group of divas.

That is wrong. That is just so wrong.

What makes this license plate thing really frustrating for me is that I am now getting seriously into blues music. There's an attitude that goes with the blues. There is a new woman that wakes up in me when I hear the guitars moan and wail and the blues singer's growling voice. That woman is Blues Woman. And Blues Woman HATES driving a car with a license plate that says DIVA . Blues Woman gets severely irritated when people look at her car and say, "Oh, you're a Diva fan! Don't you just love Celine Dion? Isn't she amazing?"

Blues Woman does not think Celine Dion is amazing. Blues Woman wants to give Celine Dion a reality check in the form of force-feeding her a Big Mac and a Snickers bar and then duct-taping her mouth shut.

As I buy more blues CDs, listening to the legends as well as the new talents, I'm learning more and more about who Blues Woman is.

Blues Woman does NOT listen to morning radio. Deejay chatter makes her homicidal. She drives to work with George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers on the car stereo.

At work, Blues Woman does NOT take dictation. She looks pointedly at the computer sitting less than two feet from her boss and asks, "Your fingers broken?"

Come to think of it, Blues Woman's career ambition at the moment is to be a White House intern.

Blues Woman wants to sit Jonny Lang down and tell him to lose the movie star girlfriend and to never, ever sing "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl" again until he's at least twenty-five years old.

Blues Woman lives in jeans. She cures a cold with a shot of vodka in her orange juice. She can play the guitar without taking five minutes between chords to reposition her fingers. She loves the movie Road House. Given one hour alone with Noah Hunt, she would do things to him that would make him fall on his knees and thank God for making him a man.

She shoots pool. And wins money. And knows a million other uses for that pool cue in case she has to defend herself.

If Blues Woman sees one more VH1 promo for the Divas Live concert, she will drop-kick her television set out into the driveway.

LeAnn Rhimes, a '99 Diva. God help us. LeAnn honey, Blues Woman wants to talk with you as soon as she's done with Jonny Lang.

Copyright 1999 Jennifer Layton , J Street.
Reprinted by permission.

J Street