Thursday, January 30, 2014

Fan Mail

Many of you already know I'm a huge fan of Ke$ha. I have blogged about her awesomeness, most recently how I saw her in concert in Milwaukee. You may also know that Ke$ha is in treatment for an eating disorder (disgustingly encouraged by the very people making money off of her). I have blogged before about my penchant for writing letters and sending books to famous people I dig. Here's a link to a previous post about people who have not written me back. And here, right now, is a post about Ke$ha, who did.

I have been writing fan letters since at least junior high, although the first letter I really remember working hard on was to a band called Out of Order. They were the house band on a kids' talk show on Nickelodeon called, "Don't Just Sit There." I was madly in love with the bass player/lead singer, Chris Guice, so I wrote a letter (I have no idea what I said, but I'm sure it was brilliant. Or mortifying.) and my friend Tracy (yes, of Get Well Soon and Have a Nice Day fame) decorated the envelope with mosaic paper cutouts. One day, weeks later, I received my SASE back, and in it an autographed picture and a letter from Mr. Guice. I believe I cried. Here is a picture of me, taken on that very day. (I have no idea how I remember this picture is from that day. All I remember is that my friend Beth was over, and we took a bunch of pictures. Probably to commemorate the occasion.)

I must note that I am now "friends" with Chris Guice on facebook. Why, I do not know. It seemed funny at the time.

Over the years I have sent many fan letters to people. I am starting to reflect on why I, and other people, do this. I'm old enough to know that we won't become friends. Probably. But I feel writing a letter, and getting one back, would be some sort of validation, an "I exist!" acknowledgement from someone I admire. Which sounds really lame as I type this. Who cares if someone famous acknowledges our existence? (Obviously, a lot of people, since that's pretty much the whole point of twitter.) Whatever the reason, I can't help myself from still being a fangirl at age 39 (holy fuck I'm 39). With Ke$ha, it felt like a good time to write her a letter, supporting her when she's feeling a little low. As I'm sure thousands of other people are doing. In it I told her how happy her music makes me and how I think it's great how she is a proponent of being oneself. And I sent her some of my books because I know how long the hours in treatment can be (hell, one of my books is even about being in treatment!). Plus, I do happen to mention her a few times in The F-It List. Then I sent the books off, along with a SASE, and that was that. Until a letter with my handwriting arrived in the mail with a person named, "K. Damnit" in the return corner. To those who send out SASEs: are you always as confused as I am when one arrives back in the mail with your very own handwriting? It took forever for it to register that Ke$ha wrote me a letter. It turned out to be a really sweet one, and I was thrilled to get it. I didn't cry or take pictures of myself afterward, but, I will admit, I did write her another one. Because who the hell doesn't love a penpal? I come from an era of writing to people I didn't know but whose addresses I found in the back of teen music magazines because we both liked The Monkees. I had a penpal friendship that spanned junior high through college with a teenaged boy. I still write letters to my friend in Australia because it's fun to get international mail (and hella expensive). So, yeah, I wrote Ke$ha back. Of course I'm crossing my fingers and toes she'll write me back again. Because it's a damn good feeling to be acknowledged by someone I adore and admire. And I will never lose the excitement of going to my mailbox in hopes that something exciting is waiting inside. [note: by "something exciting" I do not mean the spider that lays eggs in our mailbox every year.]


Stephanie said...

I love this post and it reminds me how much I love you.

Did you ever read "I Think I Love You" by Allison Pearson? It was a fun read and it shows you are not the only fangirl writing letters.

Hugs to you and the adorable spawn.

Teenage Librarian said...

I totally get you on the fan mail. I'm pretty sure I squealed and jumped around when you responded to MY fanletter to YOU! :)

OH! Something that you'll appreciate it. I was at the performer's showcase this past week looking for performer's for SRP this year (Paws to Read... sighhhhh). And guess who was there? Davy Jones' widow!!! I totally took a picture with her. It was weird and awesome at the same time (weird because she's super young, their relationship was rumored to be super volatile) awesome because it got me one step closer to Davy and he's gone. I thought you'd appreciate it.

Ronni Selzer said...


Julie, I still write fan mail, tweets, FB messages, and we're the same age, so you made me feel.... OK about the fact that I do these things and that I get a little thrill if I hear something back.

I'm so excited that she wrote you a letter! I hope she liked your book--but I can't see why she WOULDN'T--the F-It List is effing awesome.

Also, I am still friends with pen pals that I found in the backs of magazines! Now we communicate mostly by facebook or something, but I love that we're still in touch.