Suppressing desires usually tends to regurgitate itself in very public fashions. So when Mariah Carey notoriously Twitpic’ed those glorious mammary glands of hers directed to husband Nick Cannon in October, the realization hit like a ton of bricks.
That was supposed to be me, yo.
You see, because Mariah and I developed a connection in the ’90s. And given the fact she went on to marry Cannon – only six years older than myself – there’s a chance Mariah could’ve given a young Tins the time of day thanks in part to my then-impressive collection of Goosebumps books and Sports Illustrated magazines (because women love a man who reads, right?!).
Anywho, for the life of me, I cannot recall what the tipping point was, but I somehow convinced myself Mariah’s runaway smash singles “All I Want For Christmas Is You” and “Always Be My Baby” were about me. Perhaps it was a chemical imbalance from disgusting amounts of Wheaties and Gatorade I consumed in hopes of being Michael Jordan. Or perhaps it was my own mother telling me I could be anything and achieve anything as long as hard work was the common denominator (so untrue in hindsight).
How the story panned out isn’t exactly confidential. Mariah went on to become an international popstar, feuded with Nicki Minaj on American Idol, recorded a few songs with Cam’ron (hood pass forever stamped), made Glitter (yikes), but also appeared in State Property 2, married Nick Cannon, had twins, wore the greatest jersey dress of all-time, dropped one of the better R&B albums of the past 15 years in The Emancipation of Mimi and became the highest-selling female artist in recorded history with over 200 million albums sold.
Myself? I’ve got two degrees and can quote nearly every episode of the first four seasons of Martin word-for-word. Let’s. See. Nick. And. His. Eighty. Million. Hustles. Top. That.
With it being the holiday season, I’m constantly reminded with “All I Want” – the United Kingdom’s favorite Christmas song – and every three months or so when “Always Be My Baby” inevitably finds its way into my life of what once was.
She was focused on her career. I was focused on understanding why letters were being brought into math equations (algebra) and remembering my locker combination. It’s something we both knew was never going to work in the long run. We were kind of like Taye Diggs and Nia Long in The Best Man, only we were nothing like Taye Diggs and Nia Long in The Best Man. Plus, we’re both happy now with our own partners and pending the right opportunity arises, operating TSS full-time from Dubai could be a possibility.
But Mariah knows just like I know. What we had was real. Real stupid? Real fake? Real “is-this-idiot-serious?” Possibly all three, but real nonetheless. Long live Mariah Carey, one of the most talented and beautiful cougars this fine country has ever and will ever produce.