Archive for Monday, October 29, 2012


River City Jules: Justifying my love for Madonna

October 29, 2012


Like so many others this week, I am dressing up with my friends and heading out for some fun.

But my road to Tuesday’s Madonna concert stretches much longer than 45 minutes on I-70.

As an oldest child and, by nature, rather naïve, I started junior high in 1984 just past the borderline of childhood. Not only like a virgin, but actually a virgin in this new and foreign teen world, I soon found a group of girlfriends with whom I would begin my adolescent journey, guided, of course, by the trio of Molly Ringwald, the Huxtables and Madonna.

While my parents cringed at that last one, my friends and I shared the same girly passion for lace gloves, bangle bracelets and slow-dancing (or, in my case, hoping to slow-dance) with cute boys to “Crazy for You.” Before there was karaoke, there were 10 girls from Queen of the Holy Rosary Catholic School gathered for sleepovers every weekend, belting out “Material Girl” into our hairbrush/microphones.

While we all slowly lost touch in high school and college, Madonna did not lose us. And, as my circle of friends evolved over the decades, Madonna was always part of my gang.

Sometimes she was the one in the group we all envied; sometimes she was the one we all called a whore. Sometimes she was the one who broke up with her boyfriend or had a baby or married Sean Penn. Sometimes she was the one who showed us a new dance move or got us into yoga or made us think that if she could write a children’s book, we all could.

It would not matter where I lived or who my friends were, Madonna was the lucky star that bound us.

She got us into the groove, she told us to express ourselves, and she proved it is possible to star in “Shanghai Surprise” one decade and still win a Golden Globe the next.

And, last spring, she announced she was coming to Kansas City.

My gaggle of girlfriends jumped at the chance to “Vogue” out with Madonna, counting on me to buy the five of us tickets at 10 sharp the morning the pre-sale tickets were released.

Unfortunately, Ticketmaster only allowed four to be sold at a time.

Even more unfortunately, I, like Madonna, am far better at faking a bad British accent than I am managing other areas of my life (in this case, online ticket-ordering), so I am sitting by myself, two rows down from my four friends.

But don’t cry for me, Lawrence, Kansas. The truth is I am not worried.

While the rest of Section 109’s ninth row might point and wonder, “Who’s that Girl?”, if there is one thing Madonna taught me, it is that music makes the people come together.

And I cannot wait.

— Julie Dunlap can be reached at


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