Thursday, May 23, 2024 May 23, 2024
74° F Dallas, TX

The Old Man’s Guide to Buying an Erykah Badu Record

Were there drinks involved? You can't prove that.

Noon on a recent Saturday, I see my girlfriend at our front door with a suitcase. Huh, I think. She’s finally leaving me. Smart girl.

“I’m headed to San Antonio,” she says. Oh, right! Business trip. She’d told me that earlier. I’m totally prepared.

Before she closes the door behind her, she says, in all seriousness, “Don’t be an idiot.”

Tough but fair. I’ve earned that admonition. During my past three decades of cohabitation with her and with the previous woman, I have proven that I am no damn good when left alone. That said, c’mon, girlfriend! Don’t assume I’m going to do something stupid just because I’ve done it a million times before. Believe in my personal growth. No longer do I want to explain to my returning cohabitant why I lost the car keys in a field off Greenville Avenue; why one arm—and only one arm—is completely shaven; how one could possibly lose $1,200 in a $1 ante poker game with friends; why we need a new cat.

I’m 51, for heaven’s sake. I’m an executive at a financial firm. I wear a suit to work. I have, like, four grand in my 401(k) account. I’m an adult.

First smash cut: late afternoon, a six-pack of beer in the fridge, an empty pizza box on the coffee table, a half-empty bottle of red wine on the coffee table, the third consecutive NBA playoff game on the television. Dame Lillard is a beast! Should I tweet that? Of course.

No, enough silliness. I need to get off the couch. Knock some items off the ol’ honey-do list. That will show her I’ve matured. And as soon as this nap is over, that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

Second smash cut: dark outside. Two-pack in the fridge. A harmless nightcap made from liquor cabinet dregs—a White Russian—in hand. Watching DVR’ed version of John Wick: Chapter 2, which is not a rom-com, so it’s fine, because I stay up too late only when I’m watching rom-coms. You’d think all that crying would put me to sleep. Anyway, I’m only watching the firefight in the catacombs. When JDub uses that match-saver on the Benelli to toast that dude, it’s so sweet. How late does DoorDash deliver?

Third smash cut: 2 am. Second White Russian in hand. Two-thirds through Shakespeare in Love. Empty Taco Bell bag on couch. Me chuckling about that Twitter burn I just posted.

That’s when I see the tweet: Erykah Badu drops 7-inch single for Record Store Day in which she covers “Tempted,” by Squeeze. I love Badu! She’s from Dallas and I also love Dallas!

But that means I have to go to a record store to get it. Ick. Driving to Good Records, standing in line with beanie-wearing new-age East Dallas beatniks who think owning a dozen vinyl albums makes them cool. Pfft. I own hundreds of vinyl albums. That makes me cool.

Or, worse, I have to go all the way to Josey Records. Farmers Branch? That’s practically Denton. What if I run into frequent Josey Records promoter and Mavs broadcaster Skin Wade there? He’ll want to talk deep-cut rap with me. Nossir.

I know: I’ll see if by chance someone is selling it “semilegally” on, the eBay for music. There it is! Two copies in the world, ready to order. One in Italy, one in Germany. Man, I’m smart.

Wow. Nearly $50. For a single. But this is for Dallas!

I click “buy” on the one from Italy. I celebrate with a White Russian, a few mean texts to my enemies, and the “Tiny Dancer” scene from DVR’ed Almost Famous. I fall asleep at 3 am.

Final smash cut: upon waking, I grab my phone in a panic. I scour social media and sent texts. Nothing irreparable. I check email. One says I have a package that will soon ship from Italy.

I check the site and realize that because Record Store Day has passed, there are now dozens of copies available stateside for less than $10 each. Hmm.

The next email in my queue also says I have a package that will soon ship. From Germany. With shipping, another $50.

I can see what’s happened here. I forgot I’d bought the first Badu record. So before I went to bed, I bought the second one.

Soon after, my girlfriend arrives home. “You’re back!’ I say. “I’m so happy. Quick question: can you define ‘idiot?’ ”   

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