Yes, that's me in the picture below, age mid-twentysomething, and that's Fabio. Did I forget to mention our torrid liason? The yearning? The passion? The colossal wave of surging desire?
You see, back in the day, I was quite the hottie boombalottie. I had that great early nineties Aqua Net hair with bangs that stood up a good seven inches, a size six butt, and the hair was blondie-blonde and touched the top of that size six butt. I don't talk much about those days, because so much of it is a blur. I was working as a retail store manager, and I had...an addiction. Oh yes, I had a serious addiction problem. It shames me beyond all measure to reveal it to you now, but I pledged honesty in this blog, so you get to know the whole sordid scenario.
I was addicted to trashy historical romance novels. Occasionally, I'd find a trashy paranormal or futuristic romance novel, but back then they were few and far between. I owned over five hundred of the things, categorized by author, dog-eared and reread a multitude of times. No lame-ass harlequin stuff, either. These were hardcore: Nan Ryan, Julie Garwood, Linda Lael Miller, Kathleen Nance, Dara Joy, Johanna Lindsay and a plethora of others. I even have a personal note from Ms. Lindsay, after I wrote her begging her to write the next novel in a certain series she'd started. Oh yes, my bookshelf was full of heaving bosoms and throbbing manhood. I reveled in it.
My bookcase being what it was, you must know that Fabio and I became well aquainted long before we ever met. So when he "wrote" (read: posed for the cover while someone else wrote) a romance novel, I bought the thing immediately. Oh, it was dreck. Complete and utter dreck. I would have cheerfully tossed it in the trash if it weren't for the fold out photo of Fabio inside, reclining in a loincloth on a hot rock with an "I'm going to bend you to my will" look in his eyes. Oh. Oh my.
Not long after the book release, Fabio went on a book signing tour, and wonder of wonders, he was coming to a mall not 20 minutes from my house. I took off work early that day, and for company I brought along some 19 year old part-timer named Becky. We joked the whole way there about how stupid this was - we were grown women for Pete's sake, and here we were like a couple of pre-teens going to stand in line to get his autograph on a book I would rather look at the pictures in than read.
We got to the mall two hours early to find the line already queueing up. I kid you not when I tell you they were almost all middle aged, overweight women and half of them were wearing bedroom slippers. Seriously. The very first person in line was a little old lady of seventy-three, who happened to be the head of the Fabio fan club. She was wheelchair bound, and had gotten the priviledge of meeting Fabio one day when she was on a talk show with a bunch of other people who ran fan clubs. He actually took her out after the show. Apparently, Fabio was raised by his grandmother, who passed away from lung cancer, so he raises money big time for cancer research. Hmm. Who knew he was a nice guy?
Nice does not even begin to describe this man. Oh, holy God and all the angels in his orchestra...Fabio walked in and all of the saliva left my mouth. You know how celebrities don't usually look as good in person? I was totally prepared for that - in fact, I was sure it was going to happen. He has a largish nose, and probably huge crows feet from all the suntanning. I was ready to be let down. What I wasn't ready for was the fact that he looks a bazillion times better in person. I mean bow-chicka-bowm-bowm amazingly good. He sat down, someone whispered in his ear, and then his head snapped around and he spotted the old lady. He got up, strode right over, picked her up out of her wheelchair, swung her around, then set her down next to him at the signing table and gave her hand a squeeze. I think that's about when I decided I was irrevocably in love.
The line moved slowly forward, as woman screeched and flashed their cameras an inch from his eyes. His smile never wavered. What a good sport this guy was - these women were totally obnoxious. I was so embarrassed for him. Did he put up with this all the time? Women making utter jerks of themselves? I decided then and there I was going to be the one he remembered as being normal. After all, I was young and I wasn't wearing bedroom slippers. No, I had on my black leather high boots with the 3 inch heels, and my blonde hair was sprayed and standing at attention. I was together.
Or, more accurately, I fell apart. We were told to write our names on a scrap of paper and hand them to him, since English isn't his first language he had a hard time with spelling on some of the names. I got up there, handed him my scrap, and he read it.
"El-lie." He said. Then he looked up. "Well, hello El-lie." He smiled. He smiled and our eyes met and the world stopped and all of time stood still as a thousand miniature angels danced in a shaft of light that encircled his head. I fell into the fathomless depths of his crystal blue gaze and I drew in a shaky breath and said:
"I love your book! I love your book and I read it and it was great and I really, really loved it when I read it!!"
His smile faltered slightly, then he gave a nod and signed my book. I could see the love, the longing, in every stroke of his sharpie pen. He handed the book to me and said "Thank you."
"Oh, thank you!" I gushed. "'Cause your book is SO great! I really, really loved it and I read it and I couldn't stop reading it because it was so, so great and I loved it!!"
He must've been inflamed with lust, for his arm reached out to me and he said:
"Would you like a picture?"
"Yes! Yes, I would like a picture. I'd like a picture very much! And I loved your book!!"
"Yes." He was looking wary now. "Would you like a picture with me?"
I finally realized that I was holding up the line, and Becky the part-timer was holding my camera and screeching like a banshee saying "Take a picture!! Take a picture!!"
I leaned in. His manly, bulging arm encircled my waist. I trembled, everything blurred, and I realized I'd stopped breathing. There was a blinding flash, and then someone pressed my book into my hand and ushered me along. I looked back, to see if his eyes were following me, moist with the tears he dared not show - the two of us trapped in our respective lives, star-crossed lovers who were destined for another lifetime.
He didn't look up. Well, it was probably better that way. Sooner or later I would have felt trapped by his high-living lifestyle. Lavish vacations and sun-drenched villas with free-flowing wine and thick-crusty bread sort of pale in comparison to sitting here with a half a pop-tart in my hand, blogging for you good folks. I guess we just weren't meant to be.
Mostly 'cause I was, y'know...an idiot.
More from parenting