This has been a rough year for me.
People I know have died.
People I love have died.
People my age have died.
It has taken a toll.
It has been, what Alexander might call, a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year.
Real people - people in my life. Real tragedy.
And yet, when I heard that Davy Jones had died - well, ok, I didn't cry. But I was genuinely sad.
I've often wondered why we do this - actively mourn our heroes and idols - people we've never met.
Facebook sort of answered that for me today.
It's the shared experience.
I never met Davy Jones.
To the best of my knowledge, neither have any of my friends.
Within a half hour of his death being announced my Facebook wall was alive with videos and remembrances and wishes. People of various ages (although not too various - mostly mid 30's to mid 50's - but that's still a little span) all feeling the same loss.
I turned on the radio instead of a CD when I got into the car, hoping to hear some Monkees. I was not disappointed.
It's not like losing someone real.
It's nothing like that.
It doesn't compare to it in any way.
But it is definitely a shared moment.
Where were you when John Lennon died? (I bet you didn't have to think about that too long...)
I can't remember not loving Davy Jones. Oh, sure, that love ebbed and waned. There were years, decades, even, when I sort of forgot all about him. But then he'd show up in the mass consciousness again and I'd say, "Oh, I love him." Not squealing like a fangirl - just a matter of fact. You too? I'm not surprised. He never bit the hand that fed him by denying his teen idol bubblegum roots - he embraced it. He was in on it. I adore him for that.
He was the cute Monkee. The safest one for a little girl, new to crushes, to dream about. I went through stages of my life when I crushed on each Monkee for situationally appropriate reasons - Davy was cute and huggable, Mike was smart and dry, Peter was goofy and sweet (and I always had a feeling that there was more to him under that shallow exterior), and Micky was funny and sharp.
Of course that was all very calculated.
But you know what?
It doesn't matter.
They shouldn't have flown flags at half-mast for Whitney Houston. They shouldn't do it for Davy either. But I don't see anything wrong with clogging up the airwaves with a little bubblegum for the next day or two.
RIP, you sweet, sweet daydream believer.