I was 13 in 1985, when Whitney Houston’s self-titled debut album arrived at my house as a Chanukah gift.
I knew only a little about Houston, whose song, “You Give Good Love,” was starting to get a lot of play on the radio and MTV. Like, for example, I knew that she sang like the most beautiful of birds. And I knew that her voice was unlike any I had ever heard. And I knew that the photograph of her on the record’s back—the one pictured above; the one I gazed longingly toward as I played her record over and over—made me want to marry her.
Literally, I would try and figure out how I could possibly marry Whitney Houston. No, she wouldn’t have interest in a zit-faced, gangly 13-year-old. But one day I’d be 20, and she’d be 29. One day I’d be 29 and she’d be 38. One day … hey, it could work.