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June 25, 2009

What's a Farrah Fawcett?

A month or so ago, I watched the documentary about Farrah Fawcett's battle with cancer.

Toward the end of the show, Tyler walked in at one point, saw that I was watching something medical (he hates medical shows) and asked what I was watching.

I said, "It's a documentary about Farrah Fawcett and her battle with cancer."

He looked at me like I had just spoken French.

"What's a Farrah Fawcett?"

It has never occurred to me that her name might sound a little strange to someone who didn't grow up with Charlie's Angels.

I looked at him, trying to think of how to answer that?

Long pause from me as I tried to absorb what he had just asked and how to respond?

"Mom, what's a Farrah Fawcett? Is that a person? Was she famous"

How do you explain Farrah Fawcett?

The only thing I could think of that would come close enough to give him any perspective, and really it was a stretch, was to say, "imagine many years from now (MANY YEARS!) one of your kids asking, 'what's a Beyonce?'"

How do you explain who Farrah was to a 16 year old boy today who, if he had been alive in 1979, would have probably known more about Farrah than I would have ever want to know.

Thank goodness there was no Internet in 1979.

I tried to explain who Farrah was: an actress, one of the original Charlie's Angels, a UT Student who became famous because she was beautiful.

And the poster.

That poster.

I wasn't sure really how to explain that poster.

Kids today don't even really have posters like we did, so just trying to say to him, "well, her poster was in more bedrooms than there probably were bed sheets," didn't really get me very far.

I tried to explain her to him the best I knew how, but in the end, Farrah was someone from my generation that he would never really understand.

Trying to explain to a 16 year old that a 62 year old was once worshipped by every male over the age of about 8 is pretty much impossible.

"Isn't Nana about 62?"

I gave up.

"Just Google her."

I hope and pray we remember Farrah for more than the poster.

She was a mom, a wife, a friend, a sister, a daughter and a human being with her own issues and troubles that she tried to deal with in whatever way she knew how.

Okay, so the David Letterman thing a few years back was weird.

Sadly, not eight million posters, not fame, not even being the original Charlies Angel can stop cancer.

If I could rewind back to that TV show last month, I think I might change my answer to Tyler:

"Mom, what's a Farrah Fawcett?"

"A mom who was once famous and beautiful around the world and had more money than any of us could imagine, and would probably give all of that back in a heartbeat to have one more moment with her family."


Wende said...

I enjoyed reading this. Thanks so much for sharing!

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