When I was nine I wrote a letter to Olivia Newton John. I was THE BIGGEST FAN OF GREASE EVER and Olivia Newton John was MY HERO and I wanted to be JUST LIKE HER and so I wrote her a letter because I thought she should know. But I didn’t know where to send it, so I found a classified ad in the back of Tiger Beat magazine for a book of stars’ addresses, which could be mine for the low, low price of $3.50. Now kiddies, back in the olden golden days $3.50 was a lot of money, especially for someone of the nine-year-old-unemployed variety, but I didn’t know how else I would ever get my little hands on Olivia Newton John’s address, so I quite literally saved my pennies and when I had enough, I mailed an envelope filled with about seven pounds of change to the address listed. And then I waited. And waited. And waited.
The book never came. After a month of breathless waiting (more or less), I was utterly shocked and disappointed. But also, gripped by a steely determination. Because THIS video had just come out:
MY GOD OLIVIA NEWTON JOHN WAS SO FUCKING COOL.* ** ***
*I don’t still think that.
**No, I don’t.
It was suddenly IMPERATIVE that I tell her how AWESOME she was. So I tried again. This time I went all street-smart gangsta and asked my mom to write a check. Which she did. And two weeks later my book finally appeared, filled with the addresses of hundreds of (agents of) celebrities that I cared absolutely nothing about. I only cared about one. And that one was absolutely WORTH my seven bucks.
Dear Miss John Miss Newton John Olivia,
I am nine and I love you and I think you are the coolest. I think if you ever met me you would see that I’m really rad too and we would be very best friends. I have a best friend already but I would dump her if you thought you might want to take her place. You could come over to my house for a sleepover, I’m pretty sure my mom wouldn’t mind. We could watch Grease and eat popcorn and play Sorry! or Monopoly, if you wanted. I have a purple leotard and rainbow legwarmers.
My dog would really like you too. Her name is Amber and she only has one eye so she runs into stuff a lot but she’s really, really sweet. And she only bites really little kids that get in her face, so I’m pretty sure you’d be safe.
My mom likes you too but not as much as me, and she hates your headband and leotard. But she really liked that song “Have You Never Been Mellow,” which you recorded before you got to be super cool.
Debbie* ** *** ****
*I grew up with an unusual name before it was cool to have an unusual name. So I went through a series of fake names that I randomly assigned to myself in any given situation. My favorites included Debbie, Susan, Betsy and Jill.
**When I was seven my mom took me to the mall to meet SpiderMan, who had some kind of booth set up there, and my mom left me in line while she shopped and when she came to get me I had my autographed picture of Spidey in hand but didn’t want to show it to her. Because it said “To JILL, Keep groovin’, Love, Spidey” My mom was PISSED
***I also used to fly a lot as an unaccompanied minor because my parents were divorced and I was always shuffling from one place to another, and every time I’d get on the plane I’d make up some story about who I was, usually involving long lost royal relatives, some truly terrible foreign accent, and one of the aforementioned fake names. Whatever adult had the misfortune to sit next to me would get an earful about this fake life that I’d made up, and I was really enthusiastic and animated until about halfway through the flight, when I’d get tired and forget some detail or let the accent slip, and the poor schmo would finally figure out what a fucking weirdo I was and pick up a book or pretend to be sleeping or something. And I’d be relieved because, hey, that accent wasn’t easy.
****Just now typing this I’m realizing what a fucked up kid I was. And I’m probably the only one surprised by that.
Anyway, a few weeks later I got this in the mail:
Olivia was really grateful for your letter and while she is always looking for new friends, she lives far away and won’t be able to come to your house for a sleepover any time soon. But here is an autographed picture for you.
NOT Olivia Newton John
TOTALLY LAME FUCKING RIP OFF. I loved Olivia. Invitations to sleep over at my house were not easily come by. You had to EARN it. I had offered Olivia my home, my hospitality, my mom’s popcorn and a rousing game of Sorry!, and the bitch couldn’t even take TWO MINUTES to respond herself? Instead she has some stupid LACKEY do her dirty work? And the picture wasn’t even personally autographed – it was just some lame photocopy.
I tossed it in the trash and my lady crush was over.
Dear Meanie Bitch Olivia,
I realize it’s been nearly thirty years since your stupid lackey sent me that stupid note but I just want you to know that I’m still pissed. It was FUCKING LAME, and you know it. Yeah, okay, I *might* have been a little weird, and *maybe* I wrote that letter to you in a really bad French accent in my head, but still. I was nine, and Hopelessly Devoted to You, and I would have made one hell of a BFF and YOU’RE the one who missed out, Olivia, NOT ME. My mom made AWESOME popcorn with those old Jiffy Pop things that you’d always burn yourself on and she would always fold out the couch for me in the living room so I could watch Grease and how awesome would it have been for you to hang out on my couch bed with me watching YOURSELF on TV while my mom let us drink Coca-Colas and jump on the bed in our headbands?
And yeah, okay, I wasn’t *exactly* the best sport and I was known *on occasion* to throw the Sorry! board across the room when I didn’t win, but if you’d have let me win it would have been AWESOME, for both of us. You missed out, Olivia. You really missed out.
I’m totally over you now. I just wanted you to know. I’m moving on to bigger and better lady crushes. I’m pretty sure Fergie can kick your ass.
There was really no other point to this story.