Just because you’re late to the party doesn’t mean you can’t have a grand old time. Case in point: I was among the last red-blooded Americans to discover Lizzo. I knew of her, of course—the 20-somethings on Houstonia’s editorial team made sure of that some time ago. But it wasn’t until this summer that I myself finally fell for the Houston-raised superstar, as one does, in New Jersey, on a family vacation to the Shore.

One night during the trip, my cousin’s 12-year-old daughter, Finley, asked me to take her to the Avalon Freeze for an ice cream cone, and as we were walking down the block, she asked me to play music on my phone. The next thing I knew, “Truth Hurts” had become our soundtrack, and the two of us were dancing down the street, oblivious to other vacationers’ stares. We did our walk-dance all the way there, and on the way back did it again.

Back at the beach house I found myself thrilled by Lizzo’s tale of quitting that once-great man who was holding her back, washing him out of her hair, and moving on to see a Minnesota Viking. While she had boy problems like anyone else, she didn’t mind being single. Yes! What a bad bitch!

Needless to say, it was all Lizzo, all the time for the rest of the week. One evening Finley, my niece Jade, and I tried, and failed, to share the fabulousness with my aunt and uncle, playing “Truth Hurts” and “Good as Hell” and singing along as we danced out on the deck, waves crashing in the distance. They were polite but unconvinced, and for a moment I felt oh, so in-the-know.

When I returned to the office, our lifestyle editor, Abby Ledoux, amused that I’d finally come aboard the Lizzo train, shared her cat’s Instagram page with me, where she’d been posting alluring photos of the cute tabby along with Lizzo lyrics, for example: “Slow songs, they for skinny hoes / Can’t move all of this here to one of those / I’m a thick bitch, I need tempo.” There weren’t enough applauding emojis in the world for this endeavor. Had I ever been so proud of my staff?

Lizzo was born in Detroit but raised in Alief, studying the flute at UH before launching her career in Minneapolis. Houstonians were beside themselves with joy when she came through town and posted a video of herself twerking in front of a Shipley’s, but really, her Houston roots are always present: in that independence, that brashness, that eff-you-I’m-awesome, take-my-bad-self-as-I-am approach to life so often seen here.

And so, this month, I’m feeling thankful for Lizzo, and also for the bad-bitch city that formed her. Bom bom bi bom bi dum bum bay.

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