When I was in third grade I was totally in love with Donny Osmond. He was cute, happy and could sing and dance, plus his favorite color (purple) was my favorite color. But the thing that really tied us together was the fact that our birthdays were just days apart. Mine is December 6 (today) while his is December 9. Somehow that seemed really meaningful. What can I say? I was desperately looking for connections.
Anyway, my friend Katie and I sent letters to him (including our school photos) where I highlighted our special bond. She received a response (probably a form letter) AND a signed publicity photo. I got nothing and I was so devastated. Now I know that the responses were probably totally random but at the time I was sure that Katie got a letter back because she was a beautiful girl, while I was, well I wasn't.
My crush on Donny ended (painfully) and I moved on to Leif Garrett, Shaun Cassidy and then eventually on to a few real life (and also unattainable) boys.
Years passed, poor Donny became a joke and my life got worse, then better. I met Doug and then Donny released an album in 1989 that I really liked and it served as a pretty good comeback for him. He did a tour and in an interesting twist of fate, did a concert in Philadelphia in 1989, on my birthday. I told Doug that THAT was what I wanted to do for my birthday and because he was totally in love with me, we went. I should add here that Doug used to follow the Dead around in the 70's and actively eschewed popular culture. So it was a big deal for him to go to this concert and he got a lot of ribbing from his friends.
But the concert was great! Even Doug admitted it and I was a bit surprised myself. Donny had a really funky band, with a killer back up singer, he made fun of himself (he sang a kind of hip hop version of One Bad Apple and then stopped in the middle, said "No" and began a new song) and he was very engaging as a performer. I forgave him that night for the letter incident in third grade, although I didn't go so far as to stand down in front, jump up and down while holding an I Love You sign, screaming "Donny, Donny" like some women did. I am not that kind of girl.
Life went on. Donny found new success performing in musicals and eventually, in another interesting twist of fate, Doug and I moved to Utah, home to the Osmond family, including Donny! Wow! Actually, I didn't really care but it did seem mildly ironic at the time.
Donny and I had one more connection (unbeknownst to him, of course) in Utah. Around 1999 or so, Doug found himself standing next to Donny in a line at the Salt Lake City airport. They chatted a bit (Doug is very personable) and Doug mentioned that I had been a fan of his back in the 70's and that we had also seen him perform in 1989. He was just getting around to asking for an autograph for me when a woman came up to them and began to talk excitedly to Donny, then proceeded to nearly hyperventilate. Doug said that my Donny was very kind to her, helped her calm down, and signed some autographs. Doug politely bowed out of the mayhem and I missed out again.
This time it didn't sting at all, although an autograph would have been an appropriate ending to