Sunday, February 14, 2016

Unfettered Valentines

Dear George,
What, I wondered the other day, if we could send Valentines to anybody in the world?  Like Queen Elizabeth or the Empress of Rangoon.  Who would I personally pick to send Valentines to?  After I mulled it over for a while, I realized that we can actually do this.  Though not having private mailing addresses used to be a barrier, the Internet solves this problem because we can transmit our greetings through the ether.  Excited about the prospect, I quickly compiled a list of over 70 people that I’d like to send Valentine’s wishes to.  It seemed appropriate to limit my list to the opposite sex, though, of course, I could include a Valentine to Garrison Keillor or Stephen Colbert too.  Seventy was too excessive, so I winnowed my list down to a bakers dozen.  Maybe I’ll even hear back from two or three.   In any case, here are my messages to just some of the famous personages for whom I have a soft spot in my heart this Valentine’s Day. 

Zsa Zsa Gabor, actress and socialite

Dear Zsa Zsa,
I’ve long feared that all of the Hollywood movie queens of my youth have gone on to meet their maker, so I was pleased to see that you were still around for your 99th birthday last week.  I still remember your glamorous performance in Moulin Rouge (1952).  I know your senior years are not going so well, but I wish you many moments of cheer as you celebrate your 100th Valentine’s Day today.

Cissy King, former dancer on The Lawrence Welk Show

Dear Cissy,
As I do most Saturday nights, last night at 7:30 I was watching you and Bobby Burgess do swing dancing on the PBS rerun of the Welk Show.  I was glad to learn that you're still performing at age 70 on the "Stars of the Lawrence Welk Show" tour.  When the tour arrives in Cincinnati, I plan to be in the front row.  Champaign bubbles to you on Valentine’s Day.  

Kelly Ripa, Co-host of Live! with Kelly and Michael

Dear Kelly,
When I first saw you on Live! with Regis and Kelly some fifteen years ago, my heart skipped a beat.  If anything, your charms have only increased over the years.  Please include me among the tens of millions of your Valentine admirers.

Lisa Kudrow (“Dr. Fiona Wallace”, Web Therapy, Showtime)  

Dear Lisa,
I used to consider going into psychotherapy, but the prospect was always too daunting.  Now that I've watched your brilliant therapeutic interventions on Web Therapy, I’m eager to be one of your Skyping clients.  Empathic Valentine wishes to you.  

Vera Farmiga (“Norma Bates”, Bates Motel, A&E)

Dear Vera,
I worry that playing the character of Norma Bates may be too much for you to bear.  It’s bad enough to lose your life savings in a disastrous motel venture, but being a single mom to a psychotic  adolescent serial killer is the pits.  When Bates Motel begins its new season on March 7, I will be rooting for you.  In the meantime, Valentine wishes from the dark side. 

Jane Fonda, actress and activist (at the Golden Globes, Feb. 2016)

Dear Jane,
Since we were both born in 1937, it always perks me up to see you looking so young and healthy.  Here’s to your Valentine’s Fountain of Youth.  

Mercedes Stafford (“Sadistic Sadie” on the Cincinnati Roller Girls)

Dear Mercedes,
In my college co-op days I used to frequent the Saturday night roller derby matches in the old Armory near 26th and Lexington in Manhattan.  I was pleased when the Cincinnati Roller Girls fielded their team here in town.  Thought I’ve only attended once so far, I was most impressed with Sadistic Sadie’s bravado and unprovoked aggression.  Roller Derby Valentine’s Greetings to you.

Michelle Dockery (“Lady Mary Crawley” in Downton Abbey)

Dear Michelle,
We love your perfect portrayal of Lady Mary every Sunday evening.  However, I do worry about Lady Mary’s psychic well-being.  Rich, intelligent, elegant, she’s been unable to find a true match among her never-ending parade of suitors.  If Lady Mary thinks herself superior to these chaps, that’s because she is.  Maybe tonight’s Valentine’s episode will turn the tide.    

Edith Wilma Connor, the world’s oldest female body-builder

Dear Edith, 
As the oldest competitive female bodybuilder at age 80, you are a true inspiration.  I keep you in mind when I’m lifting those twelve-pound weights at the fitness center.  Here’s to building our Valentine biceps. 

Lady Gaga, singer and actress

Dear Lady Gaga,
I didn’t pay close attention to your career until you started playing the Countess in American Horror Story.  The undead Countess is extremely scary, but I still hope she’ll be my Valentine.  

Eugenie Bouchard, Canadian pro tennis player

Dear Genie,
You probably don’t remember me but I was cheering for you from the twentieth row at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati a couple of years ago.  I was happy when you reached your number five world ranking in 2014, and then I was sad about your locker room fall and concussion at the U.S. Open.  I figure 2016 will be a great comeback year for you.  Valentine victory wishes!  

Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood

Dear Cecile,
I have been a fan of Planned Parenthood since since 1960 when I accompanied Katja to  pick up her birth control pills at the Liberty St. clinic in Ann Arbor (one of the first outlets for the pill in the nation).  I am sorry that your organization is coming under such malevolent, crazy attacks, and I fantasize that people will start coming to their senses on Valentine’s Day.

Stephanie Courtney (“Flo” in Progressive Insurance TV ads)

Dear Stephanie,
I DVR most of the TV shows we watch these days because I like to fast-forward through the commercials.  Your laugh-out-loud Progressive Insurance ads are the exception.   I not only watch them in real time, but then I sometimes rewind and watch them over again a second time.  I hope we’ll see your newest ad on Valentine’s Day. 

I could write a lot more, but now I need to go down to CVS and buy a real Valentine for Katja.  It will cost $5.99, and she will be able to open it and put it on the kitchen counter.  It’s the 58th Valentine’s Day that we’ve celebrated together, and I’d have to say a real card is more enjoyable than a dozen Valentines on the Internet.

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