I am an obsessive person. And I can be an elitist about the things I love.
Only very recently have I been able to publicly admit that I like the movies better than the books.
You know what I’m talking about.
Okay, fine. It’s been a while.
The real reason I read The Lord of the Rings in high school was to prove to myself and other Tolkienites that I was indeed a true fan and not some peon of a moviegoer who will like any commercial success just because it is a commercial success. Remember that part about being an elitist? I’m not proud of it; but we all have our vices. This one doesn’t hurt anyone, so it’s okay.
Well, another one of my ~*retro*~ loves is Richard Simmons. Richard has been in the news of late. Even the Indy Star reported on him 6 hours ago – this is a big deal, folks! We can thank the new viral podcast, Missing Richard Simmons, for this sudden interest. To see Richard’s face in the news again is a sheer delight. But the fact that Richard has not made a public appearance in over 2 years is not a new discovery for Richard Simmons enthusiasts, such as myself.
If you suspect that I am trying to cash in on Richard’s sudden popularity because I’ve never made reference to him in my blog before… well, I’ll have you know that I did have a category titled “The Female Richard Simmons.” It didn’t last for long because sadly I could never be.
But I have pretended to be the Female Richard Simmons for some time now, even if it was a running joke between me and myself. Like my love for cows, I can’t really pinpoint an exact time when this love blossomed, but also like my love for cows, it became more pronounced after my weight loss. Actually, my cow and Richard Simmons obsession might go hand-in-hand.
I’ve always admired Richard’s exuberance in public appearances. I never watched Whose Line is it Anyway, but you best believe I’ve watched this clip multiple times.
In my generation, there was only one man… no, human being like Richard. Cher? Madonna? Oprah? No. For me, it remains Richard. He’s all of them and more – and boy can he work those dolphin shorts! He was always his unabashed crazy-self in a world where being prim and proper was the way we were taught to be. He inspired me to be my crazy self. In fact, whenever I do outlandish things, I think of Richard.
In a way, it’s good that a new generation will get to know and love this beautiful human being. Love trumps hate, y’all.
But more than Richard’s fabulousness, it was our similar stories that solidified my love.
Richard and I both were severely overweight when we were younger – and we both lost that weight as adults. Going through such dramatic weight transformations like that instantly bonds you to another human being, whether you’ve met that person or not. My LOVE for cake and the GUILT I feel for eating it, only “former fatties” (you, my friend, are not allowed to use this term – unless of course, you too are a former fatty. Then in that case, email me! Let’s be friends, okay?) can truly understand the masochism of it all. But unlike Oprah or Ricki Lake, Richard was just a ball of fun. It was infectious. You could tell he genuinely cared about helping people, too. He has given hope and inspiration to countless individuals like myself who had convinced themselves that “fat” was all they were ever going to be.
Since I believe in doing good with one’s blessings, I decided that as a gesture of gratitude for being able to successfully lose weight, I would be the Female Version of Richard in my own very limited way. I even thought about getting a Master’s degree in Nutrition. I am not kidding! But then again, I also considered getting a Master’s degree in Teaching and Writing at one point, so I guess that doesn’t mean anything.
But back to the facts. Do I think his housekeeper is holding him hostage? No, but it sure does make the ordeal all the more interesting. I’m thinking that Richard may have gained a few pounds. I am not trying to be mean-spirited here, but hear me out. For someone who’s been as big as he was, I know it’s a struggle to maintain. You don’t all of a sudden get a new metabolism or disinterest in food with a new, smaller body. You carry all the vestiges of your past, even if the world thinks you’re past it all. You can’t erase your history! Those who claim otherwise are either a) lying or b) robots. The scrutiny we get from the world for not being Kate Moss is bad enough, but to have been overweight and then be seen as a weight-loss success story? It puts on a kind of pressure that no one can ever truly understand, unless they’re walking in those same running shoes. It’s what I think of every time I look in the mirror, anyway. Each pound I’ve put on since my lowest weight has a voice of its own that likes to taunt me.
And although I do think Richard is ~timeless,~ let’s face it: he’s not as young as he once was… although, always young-at-heart :)
If my theory is correct, Richard honey, let me say this to you: take all the time you need, baby. I will always love you, no matter what!