As you obviously are aware, I poked a little fun at you in a recent column for failing to return a fan letter I had sent to you, oh, twenty-five-plus years ago. Not only did I declare I would “ALWAYS” harbor a grudge against you (all-caps to emphasize my steadfast bitterness and love for the “Shift” button), but I also may have, um, mocked your attempt to re-brand yourself as “Rick.” Please know my diatribe was borne out of the pain of unrequited love, out of the kind of hurt only a 10-year-old girl with your Tiger Beat centerfolds taped all over her wall could feel so deeply. Can you imagine how it felt to wake up every day and see your grinning face, with only Duran Duran’s John Taylor’s poster to confide in about your wordless rejection? Until three days ago, I was convinced my epitaph would read:
Here lies the sad sack who never heard back from Ricky Schroder, even though she doodled “Candy & Ricky True Love Forever” all over her fourth-grade Trapper Keeper. She remains forever bitter.
Peace and happiness to all.
Then you saved me from a life of bitterness, and a truly embarrassing epitaph, by reaching out to me last week: “Hi Candy,” the e-mail read. “This is Ricky Schroder’s assistant. He asked me to get a mailing address for you, so he can send you something related to an article on your site from last week. Any help in getting an address would be great, thank you.”
Oh. My. Gawd.
Yes, such was my initial thought. Because that’s how my eloquent mind works, reminiscent of a Valley Girl circa 1990. All punctuated, of course, with the giddiness of a young girl from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania who raced to her mailbox every day to see if you had finally responded, only to have her heart drop when the only piece of mail she received was an acceptance letter from the Art Instruction School admissions director, who was impressed with the turtle I had traced directly from their ad in Highlights magazine. And to help me become an even better tracer…er, artist… all I had to do was pay them $3500 and they would teach me to become the next da Vinci!
Actually, I lied. I was thrilled to get that acceptance letter. (My parents…? Not so much.)
Then my excitement gave way to mortification, as I remembered I had made fun of you. AND YOU CLEARLY HAD READ IT. Well, either you and/or your wife and/or your assistant. But still…! Mortified.
Ah, the bittersweet power of the Internet.
Then my mortification dissolved into giddiness again when I received this in the mail:
Along with an apology for your headshot being lost in the mail since 1983 — amazing how your headshot from then looks like you do today! — and a sweet note about how you and your wife enjoy the site. This mea culpa may be your modern-day equivalent of how Ricky Stratton would escape getting in trouble (for shenanigans like helping his buddy Derek place sports bets and watching X-rated films in his bedroom) by batting his eyelashes, but regardless: it’s just as charming and effective.
I’d like to thank you, Ricky, and your wife for having such a fantastic sense of humor. In all fairness, I’m in no position to judge you asking people to call you “Rick” (a phase that has long passed, according to your assistant) when I once tried to re-brand myself as a more serious and respectable “Candace” in grad school and, even worse, as “Candi” with an “i” in middle school.
That’s right. As if Candy with a “y” weren’t bad enough.
From having your Tiger Beat centerfolds on my bedroom wall to your current-day headshot on my office wall (which will forever make me smile, much to my jealous husband’s chagrin),