They say you never forget your first love. My only problem is that I knew my first love totally existed, but there is no way in hell he knew I existed. Like really, no way. He was seventeen years my senior and when I fell in love with him, I was ten and he was twenty-seven. But, I was determined to make it work. I had many long term family goals with him, and it would all come to fruition, even if only in my own mind.
I was dreamy-eyed, not even a teeny-bopper, yet, but I will never, ever forget how I felt every time I saw him, and made up stories in my head about how he would fall in love with me, even at such a young age. We would break all May-December age barriers and he could care less if I didn’t even have my twelve year molars or a drivers’ license. He would just fall madly in love with me and wait until we could get married when I turned eighteen. Then we would just stay starry-eyed and have lots of babies, and I would be the envy of every teen girl turned soccer mom. That’s how it would work. My only problem lie in the logistics of making this all happen: how could I meet David Cassidy and make him fall in love with me? In my pre-pubescent mind, we had a house, a family, I was a big deal on the Hollywood wives circuit, and he adored me and nobody else. Nice try…
Well, here I am forty years later, and guess what, it never happened. And even worse, he’s gone. Just gone. hocking to find out that David Cassidy was just that, a mere mortal. He had organs that succumbed to years of torture and abuse? He was not built like Steve Austin? He was whatttttt? A human, created from other humans with chromosomes and pitfalls? This was impossible! A teenage nightmare! Yet, at 67 years of age, the fantasmagoric, pretend, fantasy boyfriend of every girl in my age group, and possibly even twenty years older, left none of us with a chance at fulfilling the same celebrity-commoner relationship enjoyed by Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise, and today, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. David left this world on November 21, 2017, only to return in a Partridge Family rerun or a downloaded album on I-Tunes. It actually left me with a void and a heartbreak I wasn’t prepared for, or maybe a scar that my childhood died along with him, or the cockamamie fantasy of ever being Mrs. Cassidy was really a goner.
I guess the fact that I am married with eight children really wouldn’t have been an obstacle. I would have somehow worked around it, even if David and I just became friends. (Wink wink). We would love him and bring him into our family, since I think that’s what he may have needed most, and the lack of it drove him to a life of sloppy and fearless debauchery long after Keith Partridge cut his hair and hung up his hip huggers.
My husband obviously had no fear that David and I would become star crossed lovers. He’s the one who bought me tickets to David’s concert here in NJ a few years ago at the NJPAC. I was the youngest female in the room, and I swore the women in the audience were going to start taking off their bras and panties when David began to croon “I Think I Love You.” Of course he would spot me in the audience and it would be all over for the rest of them…but that didn’t happen. My husband felt the need to assuage my desire for David by taking me to hear him sing after he found a love letter I had written him that he needed oxygen to recover from after reading because he could not control his laughter. I didn’t find it very funny. I thought the letter, professing my undying love and desire for him written in crayon on that triple spaced penmanship paper they give you in Catholic school was rather tempting and seductive.
I decided a long time ago that both of David’s wives were not pretty enough and undeserving. First Kay Lenz and then Sue Shifrin whom he was married to for 25 years just until 2016. I guess maybe they weren’t really ugly, it’s just that he was so beautiful I couldn’t figure out the attraction. It was all out of jealousy, really. He never met me. Lol
I didn’t realize until the last few years, what an unfortunate train wreck David had become. I’m not sure his life of addiction was born from something in his unfulfilled home life, or genetic. I remember seeing his mugshot from a DUI he was nailed for in Saratoga, NY, and I was horrified, yet mesmerized at the same time. What happened to Keith? Where was his hair, that perfect smile, that perfect skin? Keith was long, long gone, and it seemed David could not adjust, many years later to the not-so-teenage idol any more, and just crumbled into the private sector. I was sad. Very sad. I still loved him, but the image was daunting.
As stories poured in after his death at an untimely 67, even the posthumous accounts of his shattered life could not dissuade me from the fantasy I carried for forty years. As a matter of fact, it made him even more human and I felt he really yearned for “normal,” for “real,” for a home-cooked meal or a meatball on Sunday. Something he probably never had.
I read a piece about him where he was pulled over for a DUI and the cop who stopped him was named “Tom Jones.” Well, guess what an open door that was. Apparently David looked up at him and said “What’s new pussy cat?” Shows some bravado and a sense of humor. The timeliness of the one liner may not have been the most judicious, but I am still laughing about what a great line it was.
So, as I look back on the unrequited love I shared with David, I know that one of the reasons I loved music so much and broke into singing was because I couldn’t get enough of him. He wasn’t a great singer, a great actor or a great dancer, but there was enough of something that launched him into superstardom and into the fantasy of every teenage, drooling, swooning girl in the 70s. Even though so many years passed and David pretty much wrote his own destiny, there is a piece of my heart he will always have that will never belong to anybody else. I joked with my friend who was my rival for David’s fantasy wife, that had he met me now, I could have fixed him. And, now, 50 to a 67-year-old guy would be “hot.” LOL
Farewell to my first true love. May you now find what you were lacking in your life, and thank you for giving a little kid a dream that would never materialize, but one so beautiful, it would last a lifetime.
Please read my coming soon interview with Ann Moses, who I am so excited to connect with. For those of you who remember Tiger Beat (I do!), Ann was an editor there and had exclusive coverage of David and the Partridges. We will be giving away a copy of her book, “MEOW, MY GROOVY LIFE WITH TIGER BEAT’s TEEN IDOLS.” Don’t touch that dial.