I was eleven years old when the television show Moonlighting, aired on ABC. Murder She Wrote was the hot detective show at the time, and Jessica Fletcher was TV’s leading lady detective. Nothing against the incomparable Angela Lansbury and the endless parade of relatives and/or murder victims that plagued her everywhere she went, but the young me wasn’t having it. The many deaths in Cabot Cove, Maine were not my cup of Kool-Aid. Sure there was Spencer for Hire or Mike Hammer, but those were pretty much the same show, and there are only so many rugged detectives that the world can handle at one time.
Enter David Addison and Maddie Hayes. Two good looking people that had onscreen chemistry like no other. The premise was this: A bankrupt model partners with a sarcastic PI to save a failing Detective Agency. It starred Cybill Shepherd as the former model (no stretch there) and an unknown actor named Bruce Willis as the foil to her straight man. The show was funny and exciting and full of something I had had never felt before – sexual tension. From episode one I was on board, full steam. And it had everything to do with Bruce Willis. Everything. He was everything.
It started slowly, quietly. Every Tuesday I religiously recorded Moonlighting on my superior to VHS in every way except for selection at the video store, Betamax, and watched them repeatedly. I watched them until I had all of David Addison’s quips memorized. I watched them so often I could tell you at which point in a chase scene you could see Cybill Shepherd was wearing sneakers. I actually practiced smirking in the mirror. I had never really seen sarcasm before and Bruce Willis was a master of it. And I learned at the feet of The Master.
Soon I was redecorating my bedroom, taking down pictures of Bono and Kirk Cameron, and replacing them with pictures of Bruce Willis. I even moved my Magnum PI poster to the inside of my closet door (sorry Tom). I cut out any picture – no matter how large or small – and put it on my bedroom wall. I spent countless hours looking for articles about Moonlighting in hopes of finding new pictures of Bruce Willis. It was a gradual decline, but looking back it was definitely obsession.
Moonlighting was on for five seasons. Within that time I amassed a collection of pictures. I lost count at 350. This is what obsession looks like.
When I traveled, I took a picture of Bruce Willis with me. In a frame. (see below)
I wore black for a month when he married Demi Moore, but after Rumor was born I eased up a bit.
I started a fan club which consisted of me and my friend Audra. We were President and Vice President. We said an oath, promising to forever love him (I still do, Audra!) We wrote songs about him. Well, not “wrote” exactly. We took existing songs and changed the lyrics. My favorite was the Genesis classic Invisible Touch changed to “Invisible Look” on account of his smirk. The main goal was contact with Bruce. We wrote letters and made phone calls. We were pretty tenacious in a time before internet and cell phones. The most we ever got back was a signed picture from his agent.
I own The Return of Bruno on LP.
I drank Segram’s Golden Wine Coolers because of Bruce Willis. It’s wet and it’s dry… my my my my!
I was at a Bon Jovi concert in Los Angeles and they brought Bruce Willis on stage to join. I grabbed binoculars and I swear, he looked at me. HE LOOKED AT ME.
I went to see every one of his movies on opening day up to, and including Color of Night. After that I was a little more lax about it.
I saw Blind Date three times in the theater and bought the soundtrack.
I still cry when I think about meeting him.
These days the word “Obsessed” gets tossed around more than a deflated football at a Pats game. We are obsessed with ourselves (‘MERICA!) with cupcakes, with BEING obsessed with something… anything! with Twitter, and for some reason with Taylor Swift. The word “Obsess” means “(to) preoccupy or fill the mind of (someone) continually, intrusively, and to a troubling extent.” The key part there being, “to a troubling extent.” Do you really think about cupcakes all day? Do you tweet about them every twenty minutes? Do you eat only cupcakes? Then you probably are not obsessed with cupcakes and you should stop saying that you are. Do you wear Taylor Swift T-shirts every day? Do you have posters of her in your room… and you are not a fifteen year old? Do you write fan fiction about her and think secretly to yourself that it might come true? Do you get angry when people criticize her for any reason? If you answered yes to these questions, then you are, by definition obsessed with Taylor Swift. The rest of you? Just because you like something more than anyone else seems to doesn’t mean you are obsessed with it. And why would you want to be? Obsession is ugly and weird and for people who don’t have better things to do.
Take it from me. I should know.
(i love you bruce)