How one woman's unexpected Michael Jackson mania helped heal her world.
Then, there's the physical. Frank is not black, but neither, appearance-wise, was the post-"Bad" Michael, and that's the point: Frank has advanced vitiligo, and was already coping with the disease when Michael Jackson walked right past us on a Bermuda dock in 1992 (but that's another story). When we first met, Frank had a long mane of curly, dark brown hair and, for a time, he could also sing falsetto.
Frank's smile is not as wide as Jackson's, but he deploys it often. When we dated, we danced a lot, and my husband—30 pounds thinner—once moved... well... not like Michael Jackson, but smooth. We'll never know certain things about Jackson, but it appears he was irrefutably a good father. Frank's first question to me, on our first serious date? "You want children, right?"
In This Is It, Jackson repeatedly invokes the word love, and one can almost hear the eye rolls. Frank tells me he loves me all the time, even when we're both furious, even when I'm not speaking to him. I began to ask myself how often I'd dismissed it. Maybe they both mean it. Michael Jackson's Greatest Love Songs
The longer I cruised the Jackson chronicles, the more I wondered: was my obsession on one level a way for me to reconsider the man I married? Sure, it's odd, but after 22 years of marriage, anything that rekindles love, and reminds us why we're with the person we're with, can't be discounted.
It's been a year now, both since Jackson died and since our Springsteen-induced fight. I know now we won't spill blood, and sometimes now it even feels as if we're thrilled with the way we make each other feel. Maybe, deep down, he thinks I'm a bit of a nut job or wants to growl and switch off the CD player, but so far he hasn't. I think that's a good sign, and one I know has registered with our kids. How To Fight In Front Of Your Children
My curiosity about Michael Jackson has also brought music back to our family. We play all kinds of artists now, and recently took our sons to see Bon Jovi, their first rock concert. I hope they remember the time. For my birthday, Frank surprised me with tickets to Bruce Springsteen.
"I wish I could have taken you to a Michael Jackson concert," he told me that night. But at that moment, all I knew was that Frank felt like another part of me. Again.
Lisa Romeo lives in New Jersey.