I don't know what it is about this song. It's so depressing. Sure, I knew I was no Homecoming Queen, but I don't think I ever felt as bad as the subject in this song. But, something about its haunting lyrics has always reminded me of those pangs of growing up outside of the "in crowd."
I first heard it in my Mom's 1980's Oldsmobile Toronado; in the 8 Track(!) player it had. She had a bunch she carried in a small suitcase, and I would get to pick which one we'd play next on our many road trips in that car. This song was a mixed tape of "Easy Listening" favorites.
Man, that car... It was part car, part tuna boat. And, I learned how to drive in that car with power everything. So when I got my first car, what?!? I had to roll down my own windows? And my rack in pinion steering was like trying to weight lift a keg when you'd gotten used to picking up light cans. Don't know why I put in a beer analogy, but maybe because that big Toronado was just at the end of my high school life and leading into my college life.
At seventeen, I snuck out of the house one time to go to a party which my mother didn't allow me to go to. We had a single car garage, and my small car was in the garage and her hunking Oldsmobuick (10 pts if you get the reference) was parked in the driveway. Climbing out the window was no problem. We had an incline to our driveway so I just let the Toronado roll back and started it in the middle of the street then went off to the party.
No problem. But, like most things done like that, I couldn't have a good time at the party because I was afraid that something would happen to her car: someone would run into it, I would have an accident, I'd get stopped by police, something (insert Ferris Bueller Cameron riff here.) So I didn't stay long at the party, and when I got close to our house I sped up just a little and turned the car off just as I was rolling up the driveway. I hadn't adjusted the seats, so all I had to do was quietly close the door so the dog wouldn't bark. And, then I climbed back in the window.
I'm not sure if Momma ever knew I had done that. Even as an adult, I was afraid to ask. Even now I wonder...
Anyway, about a year or so after I left for college, Momma sold that Toronado for a fun Dodge Ram jeep-like SUV. We traveled a lot in that, but that's a story for another time...