Published in the June 14 issue of Creative Loafing Atlanta.

Dear Betty Everett,

Perhaps it’s selfish to write you a letter, considering you passed away more than a decade ago and will never read this, but I need to get this off my chest: Betty, you lied to me.

OK, technically, you didn’t. After all, you were just offering some advice. I didn’t have to listen to you, but what did I know? I was but a young girl roller-skating in my parent’s garage to your 1964 hit “The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s in His Kiss).” I was singing along to lyrics about foolish girls who hurry loveasking if he will be her baby, and wondering whether or not he will still love her tomorrow.

My parents weren’t divorced yet. I hadn’t loved yet. I hadn’t vomited my heart onto a steel cutting board yet. I didn’t know any better.

“It’s not in his eyes,” you said. “You’ll be deceived,” you said. It’s not in his face (that’s just his charm), nor his warm embrace (that’s just his arm). You said, “If you wanna know if he loves you so, it’s in his kiss. That’s where it is.”

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