Jon Bon Jovi was dead for a little while yesterday. Twitter said so. It turns out he wasn’t actually dead. He was very much alive, and very much still in New Jersey (which is kind of like being dead, but that’s a subject for a different blog post).
By now, I have used enough of the Internet to read any celebrity death with a big ol’ sideye. I’m aware that journalism cannot always be trusted, but when it comes to bullshit “news” about famous people expiring facedown in a pile of hookers and tax debt, unless I can find it at CNN.com, it’s not real. So “I knew it!” was my first thought when the Bon Jovi Death Hoax was revealed. My second thought was “I hope my ex-husband is really pissed off right now.”
You can’t put this on divorce papers, but I think one of the reasons I got divorced was because of Bon Jovi.
Of course I’ll explain.
For quite some time, Bon Jovi was one of my favorite bands. You know what, shut up. I wasn’t ashamed then and I’m not ashamed now. Like all people my age, I was a child raised on classic rock, and at the time of my initial understanding that music was a thing to be continually created, produced, and released for consumption (roughly 1988, for anyone who’d like to know), New Jersey had begun exporting it’s rock stars in earnest and Bon Jovi was HUGE. They became some of the music I grew up with that I chose to carry with me into adulthood, and if you can’t understand that, then maybe you’ve never gone on a cross-country road trip and cranked “Livin’ On a Prayer” while hurtling past horse farms and Amish people in Kentucky (if you got car trouble I feel bad for you son, I got 99 problems but your boring life ain’t one). Bon Jovi is no longer one of my favorite bands, but like I said, I don’t have any shame about this part of my life. Yes I know it sounds lame. Yes I know I haven’t listened to one of their songs for more than five years. Yes my ex-husband tried to make me believe that I’d cheated on him by finding Jon Bon Jovi attractive. But I didn’t care than and I don’t care now.
Oh, that? Yeah. While we were married, my now ex-husband tried to make me believe that thinking anyone besides him was attractive was the same thing as taking off my clothes and having sex with them. And I didn’t even have to find someone personally attractive! Even recognizing that a person was empirically attractive by methods of facial symmetry, societal norms, and appearances in certain issues of People magazine was the same as sleeping with them. It was all cheating, according to him, although he didn’t share this same view when I caught him jerking off to porn on the Internet. Or, um, actually cheating on me, which is why my divorce was really about him being a piece of shit and not really about Jon Bon Jovi. Technically.
For my ex-husband, Jon Bon Jovi wasn’t a source of mild annoyance or bewilderment at my musical choices (and how dare he anyway, he liked the Dave Matthews Band). For him, Jon Bon Jovi became an obsession. He changed the track listings on all of my Bon Jovi songs to variations on the word “faggot.” He destroyed the CD cases. He became visibly disturbed when Bon Jovi appeared on TV, and frequently implied that I was just seconds away from leaving the house and running away to New Jersey to become the next Mrs. Bon Jovi. I assume most of you know better, but for those who don’t, I’d like to assure you that I was not about to leave the house and run away to become the next Mrs. Bon Jovi. For one, that’s crazy. For two, that’s fucking crazy, and for three, I think he’s still married to his high school girlfriend and for some reason I want to say that she does karate? I must have read that somewhere. I wish I didn’t know that but I do. So obviously me and Jon Bon Jovi were never going to happen, and the only person in the world who didn’t know this was the one I’d unfortunately chosen to marry. Because I know the sick, retarded, chronic liar way my ex-husband thinks, I know that he used this obsession with my imagined misbehavior to excuse his very real transgressions, which, again and among other even worse things, involved cheating on me in real life. This is why he still thinks he did nothing wrong, and why, even though I don’t listen to Bon Jovi anymore, I feel a sort of affection for the man who isn’t dead, after all.
Thanks for being one of the reasons behind my divorce, Mr. Bon Jovi. It’s been seven glorious, independent, mostly nutjob-free years, and I’m very gad you’re still living.
On a prayer.
PS – Did anyone ever correlate Tommy and Gina from “Livin’ On a Prayer” with Brenda and Eddie from “Scenes From an Italian Restaurant”? Was that the point of the former? Does anyone else like the way Billy Joel says “Brender”? Do I care too much about Bon Jovi and Billy Joel?