Timmers PronounsHe/Him/His Popster This Way 656 Posted October 21, 2020 Share Posted October 21, 2020 (edited) When I was growing up, my aunt was my real mom. My mom provided the food and the clothes and the bed to sleep in. And she loved us, in her own way. But my aunt was the source of emotional comfort. She was the person who wanted nothing more than for us to be happy. She was the one who said "I don't care that I'm exhausted from work, we're going to the zoo" or "we're going to the mall." Even my mom, a couple years ago, admitted that "Julie was your real mom." Julie loved Gaga, but she'd never go to a concert. She made two exceptions that I can remember: P!nk and Hinder. She hated loud noises and avoided movie theaters because of it. She'd actually take me and my sister to see movies, and she'd always end up leaving early and waiting for it to end because the volume was too much for her (though she did come back and sit through Harry Potter & The Chamber of Secrets despite being terrified of the giant spiders). That's just one example of how she'd go out of her way for my sister and me, to make sure we were having a great time even if she wasn't. The only problem with Julie was that she was an alcoholic. Not the abusive kind. But the kind who would revert to a younger, happier, more careless time in her life when she was drunk. She preferred her teenage years and 20s so much that she'd always say "I want to die at 50. I never want to be older than 50. There's nothing left to do after that." She started having seizures around 2010, I think. Soon after, the situation with my mom became much worse, and I moved in with my aunt. She provided such a better space to live in, was so attentive that it was often annoying, and didn't hesitate to do things for me even if I never asked. For example, in July 2010 she paid for me to go to my first Gaga concert. In March 2011, she let me take her car to go to a city two hours away with some friends, just to see if we could meet Gaga outside her hotel (and we did). By dark, she'd called and asked if she could buy us all tickets to go to the concert. A little over a month later, she took me and my then-boyfriend on a six hour trip to go see The Monster Ball a third time, her idea. It was on that trip that I won the phone call with Gaga. She took me and a later boyfriend to New York City for the ARTPOP release party with less than 48 hours notice. It was literally like "So, Gaga's manager just added me to the guest list." She said she'd need to think about it. She called me back 10 minutes later and said "I booked our hotel, we're leaving tomorrow night." Big picture, she's the reason I had any source of love and comfort in most of my years growing up. And my history in this fanbase and my experiences with Gaga wouldn't exist without her. Even when she was on a bender or we had major fights or, in 2015, it was impossible to tell what she was saying some nights... I knew she loved me and knew I'd be nowhere (and maybe dead, tbh) without her. In June 2016, exactly one week after her 50th birthday, my aunt Julie died. And, like Gaga says of Joe, a piece of me died, too. The person I was and who I was trying to become was altered forever. I was scheduled to return home and spend a few days with her in just 10 days, after not seeing her for almost a year. But she was gone. Two months later, Gaga announced Joanne. Here I am, devastated, confused, heartbroken, somewhere in between wanting the pain to be over and never wanting to experience pain again... and this Ra Ra b*tch, my pop culture goddess, is out here ready to release an album about her dead aunt. Needless to say, the song "Joanne" is one of the hardest songs for me to listen to, even to this day. The era was timed perfectly and horribly for my life. On one hand, a new Gaga era meant something to be excited about, something to focus on, something to help me forget the real world. But on the other hand, I felt awful for being excited about something. The moments of excitement and distraction were met with moments of severe depression and guilt. But the real kicker is, as much as Aunt Julie loved Gaga, I know that Joanne was the album that would forever be her favorite, if only she'd stayed long enough to hear it. If you've made it this far, congrats and thank you. Knowing that it's been four years since Joanne was released has brought up a lot of feelings tonight, and writing this has helped me release some of them. Edited October 21, 2020 by Timmers 1 13 Link to post Share on other sites More sharing options...
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