Every Friday, at some point in my young life (1976-ish?), we would drag the TV upstairs from the family room (which had “pizza-vomit” carpet and a PLAID couch – that’s a story for another time), put it in the corner of the kitchen, and watch the Donny and Marie Show. This was utter bliss and rapture. I had the HUGEST crush on Donny Osmond. His purple socks, his perfect teeth, his “je ne sais quois” – he made my young heart throb.

One of his myriad nephews, Aaron Osmond, was in my kindergarten class. All the Osmond nieces and nephews got to be on the Donnie and Marie Christmas special; Aaron had been on TELEVISION. He was FAMOUS. I was a painfully shy child, so I can’t imagine that I ever said that much to Aaron. Even so, he called me “Fishface.” Don’t ask me why; my family firmly maintains that I looked like Ramona Quimby as I was growing up.* But I didn’t look the least bit fishlike, so I was ambivalent about “Fishface.” Aaron Osmond (one of THE Osmonds) had chosen a nickname especially for me. Then again, it wasn’t so flattering.

Because of these formative experiences, I am now a largely dithering, conflicted person.

If only I’d won a lock of Donny’s hair.

*They even cut a picture of Ramona Quimby from one of those book club flyers and tormented me with it. I’ve seen more recent versions of the books and she’s much cuter now, believe me (they’ve especially improved her coiffure – I certainly could have used such hair improvement).