The other day I was shopping at Trader Joe’s. As I entered, they were playing Duran Duran (yea!). As I exited, they were playing “Maggie May,” and one of the lines stuck in my head as I pushed my cart out the door toward my grocery-getter. “The morning sun when it’s in your face really shows your age.”
And that’s when I realized… I am older than Maggie May.
I don’t know this for certain. Though I have read numerous biographies of rock musicians and digested the entire VH-1 Behind the Music series, I know relatively little about Rod Stewart and his music. I know that “Maggie May” is about a young(er) man’s relationship with an older woman. But, I am surmising that Maggie May is probably something like 30. My guess is that she isn’t in her 40s. I don’t get the impression it’s a Mrs. Robinson thing. My take is that she is an older hot chick who gives the guy an opportunity to put some things on hold in his life so that he can just embrace being a young adult or avoid growing up. And, as things like this typically transpire, it doesn’t end well.
My first thought was, “My God. I never thought I’d ever be older than Maggie May!”
Rod Stewart was involved in several situations in my life when I became aware of things for the first time, and among them was the idea that this kind of thing with the young guy and the older woman can happen. It wasn’t shocking to me, but I had never really thought of things that way. And because I was a dutiful teenager, I was mystified that this guy would leave school to hang out with an older woman. And what was this 30-year-old doing with a kid? I thought, “Who’d want to be a part of that scene?”
I see the story through a different lens now. To midlife me, the guy is just a boy… as confused as anyone is in their very early-20s, and I have sympathy for him. Maggie is scrambling to hang on to that last shred of youth, and I can appreciate the angst when the years force you forward, even when you don’t want to go there.
Please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong about Maggie’s age. It might be a bit of relief to know that I have a few more years before I pass her. But, I know it’s inevitable.
(This YouTube still includes a cool little intro to the song that we don’t get to hear on the radio or grocery story sound systems. Check it out.)