Sunday, June 6, 2010
One year we had a Fabio Christmas. He was at the height of his fame and we bought my mother the calendar, the short video of love scenes, a CD of songs specifically chosen by Fabio to inflame desire, and three books citing him as the author. Mom, while pleased on some level, was a little embarrassed. My brother, sister, and I enjoyed a lot of giggling at her expense.
Afterward I, surreptitiously, read my first three romance novels. I was both embarrassed and intrigued – after all, there was sex in them and I was a teenager. I never listened to the CD, but my brother and I, in a silly moment, did call the Fabio hotline listed on the calendar. It was a toll-free number where you could get a personal message from Fabio himself. The message was that in order to be loved, we had to first love ourselves. You can imagine the fun we had with that.
Years passed and Fabio marketed fake butter and had a run-in with a goose. The world forgot about him – he had become no more than a caricature of himself.
Ten-ish years after our Fabio Christmas, I was shopping with some friends in the garment district of down-town Los Angeles. I was frustrated about having to change my design because I couldn’t find the perfect shad of red in a cotton velvet. I was tired and I felt grungy.
And then, there he was. Fabio.
I pointed him out to my friend who, having not had the entire Fabio experience, asked “Isn’t that the butter guy?” Yes, yes it was.
The oddest thing was that he saw me see him. He was carrying a bolt of fabric for a very beautiful young woman and about to enter a storefront but, instead, stood there waiting for me and my friend make our way though the pushy vendors and sidewalk sales cluttering the path between us.
The man was a giant. All of the artfully gaping, billowing linen shirts I had seen over the yeas had not done him justice. He towered over me and I felt so delicate my bosom almost heaved. I fought the urge to rip my shirt and plaster myself against his thigh and simply asked if he was really Fabio.
Stupid question. Of course he was.
He signed my costume design paper and I excused myself from his aura of unbridled masculinity and went about my day, feeling decidedly awkward.
Fabio probably meets fans who are excited to meet a celebrity wherever he goes. He had no way of knowing, when he signed my paperwork, that I had had a Fabio Christmas and called his hotline. I was/am a real fan of sorts. It was very cool to meet him -- seriously, it made my day/week in a way meeting Ike Turner did not.
Okay, so what's my point? Fabio's message about loving yourself before others can love you is one of those universal truths that women, in an era of self-deprecating jokes and size two models, forget. My stories have running theme of self-love -- not that type that makes you blind, but the type that offers healing and and optimistic future view. So, on that note, thank you Fabio.