When I was 21, I had my first real encounter with true celebrity. Sure, I’d sat them at restaurants, served them drinks and gawked at them through my totally see-through sunglasses while walking down the streets of Manhattan, all while trying to pretend I was too cool to notice or care how super famous they were. But this was totally different.
While home from college for spring break or Thanksgiving or Kwanzmakas or something, the Awesome Opossum, Silly Squirrel and I found out that our local grocery store was having a promotion of epic proportions. All you needed was your V.I.C. (Very Important Customer) card and you would have clearance to enter one of the most exclusive and exciting events touring the Southeast.
He asked us all very seriously if we worked out and if fitness was a part of our lives. He told us that being healthy was the most important thing. He touched all of our knees in the most earnest and genuine way someone can touch a knee. And then we all headed inside.
We sweated to the oldies like our lives depended on it. At one point, Richard brought me up onstage and started dancing with me. And though I was ready to dance with him until the end of time, other people needed to bask in his glory, so he also kicked me offstage.
We got a pretty decent workout and did a pretty decent amount of giggling. But the real take-away for me from our adventure in giant group aerobics was how much Richard Simmons really cares about people. He went around and seriously spoke to every single person who came out to see him. He answered questions, he gave hugs. It was truly touching to see someone who is genuinely passionate about what he does. He helps so many people and gives of himself in a way that really makes a difference.
If I could pull those outfits off the way that he does, we could travel the world on a unicorn, saving people from obesity and sweating to every genre of music that comes with a disco ball. But for now, my unicorn and I will have to save the world in our own way, one hilarious blog post at a time.