When I was a teenager, I was in LOOOVVE with Donny Osmond! Those BIG brown eyes and horse-sized teeth – YOWZA! He was my Jonas Brother. My Zac Efron. I owned every one of his albums (CDs didn’t exist back then) and collected every Tiger Beat magazine that had Donny’s picture in it. His centerfolds were taped to every square inch of my bedroom walls. My oldest sister, Lori, was equally as smitten with David Cassidy, so there was a bit of a rivalry going on in our household as to who was the hottest teen heartthrob.
I was CERTAIN that one day, I would be Mrs. Donny Osmond. I just hadn’t worked out the little detail of how we would eventually meet. All I knew is that once he met me, his soul mate, his search would end, too.
Adolescence is a culture of cruelty, they say. And my 6th Grade friends fed right into this. My family and I lived on an Air Force base in Florida, and one day my friends told me that Donny Osmond was going to make a guest appearance at the Base Exchange that coming Saturday, and why hadn’t I already heard about it? It’s what everyone was talking about! We didn’t have the Internet or Google search back then to verify Donny’s tour schedule, so I had to believe them. I WANTED to believe them.
You know where this story is going, don’t you? Yep, I walked nearly two miles – alone! – up to the Base Exchange early that Saturday morning on a humid summer day in Florida, expecting to join a mob of teenaged girls screaming for my future husband and NO ONE, not even a janitor, was in sight. A tumbleweed blew by. (OK, I made that up.) As Ashton Kutcher would say, “I was punk’d!”
Life goes on, gullible, young girls grow up and crushes fade away. Donny eventually settled for second-best and married some lucky woman named Debbie. So fast-forward to last week. I’m in the kitchen cooking dinner, and I hear my teenager say, “OOOH! He’s CUTE!” Who, I ask? “Some guy named Donny Osmond,” she says.
I drop the spatula and fast-walk into the living room, and “The Insider” is running a story about the day Donny got married (click here). There he is, as big as life on our plasma TV, the boy of my dreams, looking right at me, all dressed up in his wedding tuxedo. The young Donny. The Donny I loved. The Donny with his real-life wife standing right next to him. It took me back, let me tell you.
“You think he’s cute?” I asked my teen.
“Uh . .. DUH!” she said.
My heart warmed. Not over seeing young Donny again, but because I realized that as much as my teenager and I disagree over music and everything pop culture, we could easily have been friends back in the ’70s. Best buds, rivals, competing for the love of the same teen heartthrob.