You look at the wreck on the celebrity highway that is Britney Spears, and you wonder just what happened in her formative years, what she inherited from all that genetic stuff, that caused her to flame out so fabulously.
And you start thinking about how the candy apple doesn't fall that far from the tree.
Daily Sally, who has been sharing her brushes with greatness for years on her blog, posts a beauty in her recollection of the day the 17-year-old Britney visited the AOL.com studios in Los Angeles, where Sally was working as a producer and the teen queen had come to chat. The Louisiana lollypop arrived with her mom, and the two put on quite a floor show.
Surprise -- chatting was not her strong suit.
To be fair, she was very young. Her mother, though older, was, well, not much wiser. There was a lot of dual gum chewing. Doe-eyed confusion. And near pathological unselfconsciousness.
Or hey, maybe just plain unconsciousness.
The take-away from this too-real post is that Mom asked Britney to show Sally her equipment.
We were in the Green Room, a fairly high traffic area. Soon conspiratorial mother-daughter whispers and giggles resulted in an "impromptu" wardrobe change.
Apparently part of Mom's ploy to solicit my opinion--read: affirmation--as a fellow parent. And who knows, maybe also to seek support (something Britney clearly didn't need) from other adults in the vicinity.
Note: I'm still not comfortable imagining us as even vaguely similar parents. Plus, I have a son, no daughters.
However, as her truly lovely and clueless child stood there naked from the waist up, jaws working, eyes staring into the middle teen distance, one foot tapping to an inner beat, her mother asked me ... wait for it ... "Do you think ah was wrong to buy her them thangs?"
Lynn Spears was a grade school teacher. Which doesn't guarantee good parenting. But it should at least require correct grammar.
The problem with wrecks is that it's so easy to slow down and look.