The Plonker


All I seem to do lately is blog about male celebrities. I promise, I’m nearly done. There are few who are really special to me. They just seem to have reached milestones all in a big clump. My favourite movie actor died, my favourite telly actor completed his unicycle odyssey and now, my equal favourite singer of all time has reached a milestone of his own.

Josh Ritter, you’d better not do anything amazing in the next week, or else people are going to stop reading my blog, thinking all I can do is write about Men Who Do Awesome Famous Person Things.

But back to the man who reached the milestone.

His name is Robbie. And yesterday / today (depending on where on this crazy, mixed-up rock you happen to live), he turned forty.

People who don’t know me as well as my oldest friends and family often comment on my love of Robbie Williams. They find it incongruous. For the most part, I’m not all that “mainstream”, and they see Robbie as exemplifying middle-of-the-road. He’s a pop star, isn’t he? How can the girl who goes to metal concerts and travels halfway around the globe to watch an alt-country dude from Idaho play in Oxford be so in love with a pop star?

I dunno either.

I’ve just always loved him. Maybe it’s his cheekiness, or his truthfulness, or his messed-up-but-beautiful soul. Maybe it’s just that my dad branded him “the plonker”, when I first loved him, as a teenager, and I was determined to prove my dad wrong. Maybe it’s just because I did love him as a teenager, with the same ferocity as I loved Ben Folds and Kram from Spiderbait and Tom Waits and Nick Cave and all those other men who made me want to be a groupie and run away to the ends of the earth with glitter on my eyelids and be Kate Hudson in Almost Famous.

He’s part of all of that. Like Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robbie represented “The Other”, the “dream”, the Kate I could have been if I’d not been born in a tiny town on the wrong side of the earth. I could have been Yoko Ono and Marianne Faithfull and Astrid Kirchherr.

In the end, Robbie fell in love with a beauty and made a beautiful baby and now he’s a daddy and she is his world as Tiger is mine (even though right now she’s cuddling a piece of fish so she doesn’t have to eat it), and so is the way of life. And now he writes songs about her and I cry listening to them and I love him still, even though now he’s not nineteen and I’m not ten and I’m meant to be a grown-up and I’m meant to be too old to love pop stars.

I still wear glitter on my eyes.

I still love Robbie.

I hope he’s cuddling his little girl right now and that he’s happy. And my dad will still call him “The Plonker” and I’ll love him even more because of it.