First things first, I need to apologize. Had I known that a moment of weakness after drinking a bottle of Chablis and “reading” the 1974 Christmas issue of Playgirl that I kept hidden under my pantyhose would result in the creation of this terrible yacht rock earworm, I would have popped a Quaalude and gone straight to bed that night instead of writing the personal ad that has become, as my therapist likes to say, “the reason you see me twice a week.” I just need to get that off of my chest, because I’m getting older and when I exit this mortal plane, and the obituary headline inevitably reads, “Woman Who Inspired the Famous Piña Colada Song Dies After Bleeding from Ears,” I need the world to know that this was not the life I wanted, for myself or for any of you.
The truth is, I was lonely. One thing you won’t hear in the song is how my boyfriend worked the night shift selling Dexatrim at a call center, so the only time we crossed paths was from 6:30 to 7 a.m., when he would get home while I was showering. And let me tell you, no one is hornier than a man who’s been up all night on a cocktail of Mello Yello and amphetamine pills! It was exhausting. We never spoke except for me saying things like “Aren’t you tired yet?” or “Gee, Your Hair Smells Terrific is not meant to be used as a lubricant.”
Anyway, so, yes, sue me, I was looking for more! And they didn’t have Tinder back then, so if you wanted a date you had to either write an ad in the paper or go to a disco and inhale enough amyl nitrate and Paco Rabanne fumes until the barback started looking like John Travolta. I went with the ad, and the rest, unfortunately, is history.
I won’t torture you by reprinting the lyrics. What I would like to do is expose some of the more creative liberties my ex-boyfriend (and the defendant in my ongoing civil suit) took while “writing,” no doubt while he was pulling another all-nighter at work, higher than Nadia Comăneci doing a handstand on the uneven bars. Let’s begin at the beginning:
“I was tired of my lady.” Oh, really? Is that why you tried to mount me in the shower every morning like Luke Duke sliding across the hood of the General Lee? Also, the whole “I read the paper in bed” line is rich. I only ran my ad in said paper because I had never seen him read anything but cartoons on the toilet! He can feign literacy all he wants, but clearly, being tired of his “lady,” he was looking for a side piece. And he wasn’t above lying to get one, because believe me when I tell you that none of the descriptions in my ad applied to this man!
Why would I ask for what I already had? You’ll note that nowhere in my solicitation did I mention a Cheech Marin mustache, a Ford Pinto, or a micropenis. I thought I had communicated my vision: cocktails in the rain. An intellectual who preferred athletic sex on Massachusetts beaches to downward-facing dogs. Did I stutter? This ad was written with anyone other than my boyfriend in mind. And yet…
I’ll admit, I was excited when I saw the response a week later. Sure, he mistook “yoga” for what I can only assume was “yogurt” (“I’m not much into health food,” LOL okay), but beggars can’t be choosers. I did raise an eyebrow at the suggested rendezvous, “tomorrow noon… at a bar called O’Malley’s.” Broad daylight at an Irish pub wasn’t particularly romantic, and O’Malley’s in the seventies had a bartender with a missing front tooth. I don’t want to sound snobby; it’s a good first date spot for a drug mule, maybe, but not for a purported champagne connoisseur. Still, I had a pep in my step as I walked in. This, I told myself, is the first day of the rest of your life.
And then I saw him, and from that point on our accounts diverge irreconcilably. “I knew her smile in an instant,” he wrote, but I don’t remember smiling. I guess the corners of my mouth might have turned up in a horrified grimace? Anyway, he immediately pretended the whole thing was hilarious. I think he may have even pointed finger guns at me and said, “What a coinky-dink!” I did manage to choke out the words “Oh… it’s you.” That part holds up.
The rest of the song describes a complete fantasy. We did not laugh or rekindle our flame. In fact, we broke up on the spot over a sticky barstool that had been engraved with a crude, if enthusiastic, phallus. My lawyer had me write an affidavit and I’ll reprint an excerpt here:
“After I gathered my composure, I asked the defendant to list the ingredients in a piña colada. He stared at me for what felt like hours but was actually, according to the jukebox, only one verse of ‘Night Fever,’ and then said, ‘um, rum, triple sec, and… bananas?’ I replied, ‘That’s a daiquiri, you moron.’ I then exited O’Malley’s and cried in my car. I called in sick to work and returned to my apartment, where I threw the defendant’s Nehru jacket out of a second-story window.”
So that’s how it happened. I wanted you to hear it from me. I know you’re all wondering, and no, I haven’t had a piña colada since 1979, but I did manage to get railed in the dunes of the Cape one time, and, pro tip from me to you: bring a blanket. Anyway, I’m currently gathering signatures to have the song pulled from streaming platforms while my lawsuit is pending. So if you’ve been moved by my story, I have one final plea:
Write to me and escape.