1
min

Good-bye, Donny Osmond

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32

I showed my mother the Tiger Beat picture of Donny Osmond standing at his well-stocked, orderly fridge, his wholesome smile as bright as the fridge light. I begged my mother to fill our fridge with cheerful fruits and deli meats, just like Donny’s mother did. One day Donny would walk up our driveway and right into our house. He didn’t need to wait to be invited in. He was Donny Osmond. He’d be hungry and I’d show him our fridge, where the shriveled saskatoon berries and Velveeta had been replaced with perky grapes and sharp cheddar.

“My favourites!” he’d say, and give me a hug!

I begged my mother to clean the house. Our house was nothing like Donny’s. Our house was a tumble of lumpy cushions and dusty curtains, nests of cigarette butts, clusters of newspapers and dirty dishes and my younger brothers’ toys, and a slump of Good Housekeeping magazines my mother collected.

Without taking her eyes off her favourite soap opera, my mother said, “I’m not a maid. Clean it yourself.” So I did. I tidied and swept and scrubbed and polished.

I waited and waited for Donny. By midsummer my dream faded. Plus, I was tired of cleaning and tired of wishing for a fridge full of virtue.

In one of the Good Housekeeping magazines I discovered three things: pomegranates and brie and Mikhail Baryshnikov.

Mikhail. When I whispered his name, it was like a breeze fluttering the leaves. He was mysterious and exotic, a true artiste. From him, I learned a new word: defector. I dumped Donny for Mikhail. I imagined him lifting me high over his head into the tree where I would pluck plump saskatoons, the berries bursting with possibility. Together we’d grand jete across the backyard, over the septic tank, and into a new cultural era.

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Image of Not-Only But-Also Riley
Not-Only But-Also Riley · ago
What really makes this piece great for me is how well it grasps something so human and recognizable. There isn't a person alive who hasn't felt a similar way at one time or another. One detail that really stood out was how part of the clutter is Good Housekeeping magazines. That's some next level irony right there, and I love some good irony. Overall, you did a great job capturing a universal experience in so few words. You've managed to make me relate to a character as if it were nothing. Take a vote for that alone!
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Image of Ann Sutherland
Ann Sutherland · ago
Thanks! Glad you caught the irony of the GH mags! Good luck to you with everything.
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Image of Cathy Rebhun
Cathy Rebhun · ago
Very evocative of a time and place. Nice!
If you have a chance, please read mine--Glad to be of Service. :)

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Image of Jon Robson
Jon Robson · ago
Great capture of a childhood crush in so few words!
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Image of mpm
mpm · ago
Terrific Piece, Ann. Thanks!
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Image of Ann Sutherland
Ann Sutherland · ago
Thank you!
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Image of GITA
GITA · ago
Good fun. I never cared for Donny O. He was too squeaky clean for me. But Baryshnikov? Oh yes! Good luck. If you have the time, please read mine, "The Curve."
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Image of Ann Sutherland
Ann Sutherland · ago
Thanks Gita!
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Image of Sonja Golinsky
Sonja Golinsky · ago
Pretty vivid, I am drawn into the story quickly.
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Image of Ann Sutherland
Ann Sutherland · ago
Thanks Sonja!
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Image of Marla Narten
Marla Narten · ago
I love it Ann! I had a crush on Donny too!
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Image of Ann Sutherland
Ann Sutherland · ago
Didn't we all?! We could probably sing better than Marie, too.
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