I would like to tell you guys a heartwarming holiday love story, delivered in several parts. Our tale begins in 1977 and comes full circle at its climactic end in the Christmas season of present day.
I was four years old in 1977. I first discovered Shaun Cassidy when my mother introduced me to "The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries" television show. I'd had a collection of old Nancy Drew books in my room that, since I couldn't read yet, I used for playing library, pretend-stamping the inside of each worn hardcover and marveling over the 1950's black-and-white drawings of Nancy in various states of peril.
I didn't know then that I would later grow to hate that bitch of a girl sleuth and burn at her with misunderstood carnal envy. See, not only was Nancy Drew a cool teenager, with developed breasts and long feathered hair and eyeliner, but she also got to solve dangerous crimes every week with Joe Hardy (played, of course, by Shaun Cassidy), who was a rock-star/boy detective with chest hair, and on whom I had developed a hardcore fixation.
I watched the show every week with religious fervor. I pulled the groovy gold pillows off our couch and arranged them the floor where I lay with my black lab, pretending to brush her with an ashtray while I somehow tried to make the precious hour of mystery and romance go sloooower.
My mother, with an instinct to feed her little child's interests/obsessions (a drive I fully understand now because of "High School Musical"), bought me Shaun Cassidy's rock record, which became my favorite thing ever.
I didn't realize until years later that "Da Do Run Run" and "Be My Baby" were not songs stolen from Shaun, original writer and performer. In my eyes he was a rock god. But the best part of the album was the centerfold inside the record sleeve. This was a full-frontal photo of Shaun lounging against a rock or a tree, wearing tight jeans that emphasized the wonderful bulge of his crotch.
I will confess that, after being tucked into my white canopy bed at night, I pulled that centerfold out from under my pillow and licked that bulge so many times that it began to look worped and worn. I simply couldn't help myself.
I got my hands on one of my older cousin's "Tiger Beat" magazines and convinced her to give me a glossy pull-out photo of Shaun, which I then taped to a pillow and stashed in my closet to also took out at night, in order to practice my kissing. (Again, this was really only licking the picture until there was a hole in Shaun's mouth, because I had no idea how to kiss yet.)
But I needed to be ready for when I actually met him.
I was utterly, utterly convinced that when I got old enough, I would go to Hollywood and sit in the front row of his concert and he'd drop his microphone, shocked at the sight of me, and pull me up onstage to sing "Be My Baby" to me.
Yes, Shaun. Yes, of course I will. Duh.
To be continued...
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