When I was growing up my world consisted of three things: school, home and Bruce Willis. You probably weren’t expecting that last one, but I’m just being honest. I loved the man. L-O-V-E-D him. I wore black for a month when he married Demi and I had a framed picture of him that I took with me if I were to be away from home for an extended period of time. My bedroom wall was a shrine to his cute little sideways smile. I had over 350 pictures of him. I just stopped counting after that.
Few things mean more to a teen girl than her first celebrity crush. I don’t know why, and frankly, it doesn’t matter. But for the girl in question, that movie star means the world to her. For me it started small. Bruce wasn’t my first. I have kept this a secret for quite some time, but I think you all are ready to hear about it. My first celebrity crush was on none other than Eddie Mekka. Who? Um…Carmine Ragusa. You know, The Big Ragoo? Yeah, I know not super sexy, or even cool, and looking back I kinda think that he was gay and probably set the stage for me loving gay men later in life – but that is beside the point. The point is I loved The Big Ragoo. My diary confirms it. There were others as well, but this is not about The Big Ragoo or Bruno. This is about The Swayze.
While I was at karaoke Monday night we were all talking about this very subject and I brought up The Swayze – you know, how hot he is, good dancer (again!) and the super cool movie Dirty Dancing. It was then that my friend Becky completely shattered my little world. “Oh, Patrick Swayze is dying of cancer.” WHAT? I wanted to hit her in the face for telling me lies about him, and for doing it at karaoke while Noah and Austin were singing “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life”. What the hell? How can you just blurt out a thing like that?
I am completely devastated. It seems Becky is not a dirty liar. The Swayze has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer — one of the most fatal forms of the disease. The average life expectancy is six to nine months, with only 4 percent of patients living more than five years. I feel bad for the man.
I began to wonder why I felt such empathy for him. I met him once as a girl (yes, I HAD to throw that in) but I don’t think it really rocked his world, you know? But he was a part of my childhood in a way that can never be smudged out. I don’t know. I think girls today don’t get that. Do they even make Tiger Beat Magazine anymore? I doubt it. Today, it is all about celebrities in rehab and parties and how often they have hooked up with Lindsay Lohan and the Olsen twins. I didn’t have the internet and 24 hour access to Bruce, Corey or The Swayze. If I wanted to look at La Bacon I had to go out and buy a magazine with him in it, cut out the picture and stare longingly at it for hours. My celebrity boyfriends were completely untouchable and that, I think, made my little crush more real. I had to nurture it. I had to really show my devotion by clipping pictures, seeing (not downloading) the movie and writing fan letters. Hell, I felt like The Swayze really appreciated me. And I just don’t think it’s like that today.
So, Mr. Swayze I just want you to know that I still love you. I remember how nice you were to me when I met you and you gave me batteries. You still have the ability to bring me out of a bad mood every time I hear you say, “No one puts Baby in a corner”. You were like the coolest guy from The Outsiders to Ghost. For you Mr. Swayze, I rise up and shout at the top of my lungs – “WOLVERINES!”
Good Luck and God Bless.