I am not the type of person who becomes a ‘fan’. Apart from a brief (and somewhat embarrassing) stint of liking the Monkees in my early teens and a life long love for the Beatles, I don’t have anyone in the celebrity realm who I would go all wobbly at the knees and tied in the tongue for.
Or at least I thought I didn’t.
The other week, I received a message from my Mum to tell me Doris Day had passed away. And, much to my surprise, I found myself weeping quietly in the kitchen as I put away the dishes.
Doris was 97. I hate the term ‘they had a good innings’ as it’s never nice to make someone sound like a racehorse or a grey hound at a derby…. but fundamentally she had a long and full life. I never met her in person, never had a conversation with her. She didn’t know me and, despite my weeping self appearing to think otherwise, I didn’t know her.
But, there I was. Bleary eyes and silent sobs as I put away my cereal bowls.
I started to reason with myself as to why I was so upset? A very old lady had died and I didn’t see or speak to said very old lady ever in my life so for heaven sakes pull up your big Primark pants (complete with shot elastic) and stop being a prune.
And then I thought of all the times I would curl up on my Nan’s sofa and we would watch Doris light up the most dreary of grey and rainy afternoons. The way her crooning voice would have me transfixed and smiling without even realising it.
I remembered the day my Alzheimer’s ridden Nan was staring into space – lost in another world, until Que Sera Sera came on the radio and I found the two of us singing along and smiling at one another.
I thought of the evening a few months ago, when George and Teddy were both sick, the house was a mess and I too had started to get a temperature. Sleep wasn’t going to be a strong possibility so I made a hot chocolate, wrapped myself up in a blanket and lost myself in the hilarity of Doris Day and Cary Grant’s ‘A touch of mink’.
I have hummed along to By the Light of the Silvery Moon in the shower for as long as I can remember. I haven’t a DVD player but I still can’t bring myself to part with my Doris Day boxsets.
Suddenly, weeping in the kitchen didn’t seem like such a crazy thing to be doing. It wasn’t so much as I knew Doris as a person. It was simply that I have… or should that be had? … No, no, I still have… so much love and nostalgia wrapped up in her. Her voice and movies lift the spirits and regress my tired adult self when I need time out.
Anyway, time to stop writing and sign off so I can go do the food shop. Be assured though, I’m going to be humming ‘The Deadwood Stage’ as I peruse the aisles.
Whip Crack Away!