Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Day 14 - A hero that has let you down

From Thirty Days of Truth

I don't remember ever having any true heroes. When you grow up betrayed and abused by the very people who are supposed to nurture and protect you, your tendency is to mistrust nearly everyone. I did for a long time.

When I was a little girl, probably no more than 10-years old, I watched the Mickey Mouse Club and became enamored with Mousketeer Annette Funicello. She was pretty close to my age when she started - maybe around 13 - and she was soft-spoken, perfectly coiffed, smiled a lot but seemed somewhat introverted like me. Every day after school but before dinner, I'd sit on the floor in front of the television and watch her sing, dance and interact with her other Mousketeer 'friends'. It was my best time of the day.

Why not idolize one of the boys - Bobby, Cubby, Tommy? I suppose it's because I wasn't into boys when I was that young. But why Annette and not Doreen, Karen or Darlene? I really don't know. Maybe because the rest of them looked too much like me. I think it was combination of things. Annette was completely different than the other girls. She had curly black hair (mine was straight and mousy brown), her voice was soft as silk (mine was shrill), she was always smiling (I hardly smiled at all), she oozed confidence (I had zero) and, man, that girl could dance. I loved her. She was my hero.

During the show's hiatus one year, a friend told me that she had read in a magazine that Annette had died. I was devastated. I can remember crying myself to sleep several nights. When the show started again in the fall and Annette appeared on the screen in the opening roll call, plain as day, I felt like all was right with the world once more.

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