i lived with john travolta

and why i hate samantha mathis

I’ve lived with many famous people. It’s not something well known, and not something I brag about. Okay, I rarely tell a soul. Because if I tell you why or how I lived with these people, you may leave.

Or at least laugh.

But I want to be honest with you, my dear readers, so here goes….

I moved around a lot as a kid. Due to my dad’s job I’ve lived in over 23 cities, and went to 13 schools before I got my diploma. So I was always the new kid on the block, the bus, the roll sheet… and I was smart.

Being smart at a new school is the kiss of death.

I learned how to read at a very early age…before I was two and a half. So I was always going to advanced classes and such and being pulled out of class to be tested for this and that…being studied to see how much I knew. And I missed out on making friends.

Also I missed out on friends around my neighborhood, because I was very obsessive at an early age about homework. I would not do anything until I had finished my homework, and when I didn’t have any, I’d make up stuff for me to study. I know that this isn’t healthy, but it’s what made me happy as a kid.

So, anyway, back to me living with famous people…I think it started with my fascination with Grease. I loved this film. I guess I was four or five and I knew every word and every note of this film. I would act out scenes from it in my room, putting on mini-musicals every afternoon. And at night– well, that’s when the drive-in scene would be reenacted, or the “You’re the One That I Want” scene.

Now, keep in mind, I’m really young, and have no idea what sex is (well, I had a small idea, but I wasn’t planning on having sex with Danny Zuko), so I basically think that being in love means you kiss someone a lot. Now, I didn’t have a friend to play with me late at night, so I would just pretend that I was really there, at the filming of Grease. But that got boring, because we kept having to break if the scene wasn’t going correctly, or if I forgot my line… so I changed the rules. Danny Zuko lived with me, and every night, he’d pledge love eternal and we would “always be together.” This all went fine until my mother walked in to see what all the commotion was when I was supposed to be sleeping. I guess I broke down and told her that I was playing with my boyfriend, and when she asked who that was I calmly informed her that it was Danny Zuko. When she began to laugh, I made her promise that she wouldn’t tell my dad.

The dilemma I was going through is I knew that John Travolta didn’t live with me, but I liked the fact that this fantasy was mine and it seemed real to me, but I knew that if anyone teased me about it, I might talk myself out of having my imaginary friends. Mom promised to keep her secret and left me to my room, just as Danny was beginning to sing “Why-oh-why-oh-why!”

One week later my dad comes up to me and says, “You’re boyfriend is on T.V. tonight,” and slaps down that week’s TV Guide with my beloved on the cover. I got red in the face and mad at my mother, but later came to understand… how could you not tell your husband your three-year old is dating a T-Bird.

It was through television that I learned that Danny Zuko wasn’t just Danny Zuko. I could watch him on other things as well… And, lo and behold, there he was… on “Welcome Back Kotter.” Pitter-patter-pitter-patter. Vinnie was so cute. And then I learned that I was, in fact, dating and living with John Travolta. I supported him through his many endeavors, including Staying Alive, which was not his best career move (but after we broke up), and Perfect was well after we were over, but it was Two of a Kind with Olivia again, that really made me know it was over. I thought he was spending too much time with her. I was mad that he wasn’t going to be involved in the sequel to Grease, and after I saw it, I didn’t blame him. John Travolta resurfaced later in my life, and when I found out he married Kelly Preston, I realized that he was mostly after my body anyway, and I had made a good choice.

I had other live-in boyfriends growing up, and some that were just friends. See, as I started moving, I’d get lonely, so I’d “move” my old best friend from the last city with me, and he/she’d be living with me, too. And anyone that I slightly admired. In my dreams, I was sister to Little Orphan Annie (from the film, not the stage or cartoon), and together we lived with Daddy Warbucks and that was how I could live with all of these people.

But at night, I had everyone in their sleeping bags on the floor around my bed, and my favorites got to sleep in the bed with me. It’s been a wild ride… and I’m about to take you on it.

First the True Loves (“boyfriends” who lived with me for a year or more): Shaun Cassidy (1978-1979)–
Romans The singer of “Da Doo Run Run” could do no wrong in my book, and his poster was a permanent fixture to the back of my door for quite some time. He’d be right next to Grover, and they’d have arguments over who was more cute and lovable. Those two… as my love for John Travolta grew, poor Shaun faded into the background. But I did love “The Hardy Boys.” Yum.

Bowser (1979)– my parents had to talk me out of this one. I couldn’t find his picture anywhere, so I guess everyone was talked out of him. Goodnight, sweetheart.

Michael Jackson(1983-1984)–I’m not the only one here, people. We all found him very cute during the Thriller years. Michael Jackson also got me caught, because one night we were having a “kissing contest” between me and Michael, Angela and Tony from “Who’s the Boss?”, and Maddie and Addison from “Moonlighting.” I told you my room got crowded. I was living with Bruce Willis, for Christ’s sake. I fell asleep during the contest, and when my mom came to tuck me in she found me in bed with my arms folded around myself and my mouth in a pucker. She started asking me about my dreams… I changed the subject. Just so you know, I was the girl he was singing about in “P.Y.T” and I was also the girl him and Paul were arguing about in “The Girl is Mine.” I was not, however, “Billie Jean.” That bitch tried to steal my boyfriend with a fake palimony suit. Michael Jackson moved out when he started creeping me out. I was upset because when he moved out, so did Corey Haim, Corey Feldman, and Gary Coleman. Strange.

Any boy from The Outsiders. (1984-1985, randomly chosen, frequently dumped)– These guys were really considered my friends and not so much my boyfriends. I loved the book with all my heart and soul and read it so often as a kid that at one point I re-wrote the story with me in it. I was Dallas’ (Matt Dillon’s) little sister, and I hung out with Pony Boy and Johnny. We didn’t mean to kill that Soc. I was really angry years later when the t.v. show came out and they added a girl character named Scout who hung out with Pony Boy. How did they find out? How?

Michael J. Fox (1985-1986) — who preferred me to call him “Alex Keaton.” I would often ask him why, and here’s the true story: There was a kid in my class named Michael who the kids teased a lot. He didn’t bathe and ate strange things, you know the kid. So I’m sitting on the monkey bars and someone says to the kid, “why are you so weird?” and he says, “Michael J. Fox’s name is Michael, so that makes me cool.” And Alex turns to me on the monkey bars and says, “See why I want you to call me ‘Alex?’” I cracked myself up even back then.

Kevin Bacon (whenever that Footloose thing was going down, 1985-1986 (off and on between Alex))–okay, okay. I admit it. I had the hots for Ren MacKormick. I thought Ariel (Lori Singer) was such a bitch, I didn’t know why he loved her. Her poetry stank. So he moved in with me and everything was fine. Kevin was when I started realizing that I was getting too old for imaginary friends and that my room was way too crowded with friends and celebrities, and I started to say goodbye to them, in a teary-late night party with chips and popcorn. I bid adieu to John, Shaun, Kevin, Michael, Michael, Bruce, Kirk Cameron, Corey, Corey, Ralph, Tom, Matt, Alissa Milano, Cybil, Rizzo, Marty, Frenchy, Patty Simcox, Drew Barrymore, the Beastie Boys, the B-52’s, Michael Stipe and many more.

And I didn’t have any imaginary boyfriends for a long time, and they only resurfaced one last time, when I had moved to a new town, new school as I started my freshman year of high school, and a new boy swept me off my feet. All hail Johnny Depp. (1989-1991)– I taped all the “21 Jump Streets” and I watched the show religiously. I had a six foot poster over my bed. I wallpapered my room with his face (even the tiny black-and-whites from Tiger Beat— the only time I ever read that piece of crap). I was crazy-nuts over him. Silly. I know, but I was lonely and I was jealous of the friends that I had who loved New Kids on the Block. My teen idol could beat the shit out of their teen idols. My satisfaction in my final imaginary boyfriend is that he is now a very respected actor who continues to do incredible work that people like and reward. He doesn’t do shit for money, and has never forgotten his best friend, Sal Jenco. Johnny Depp is really another subject that I’ll tackle later, because I may stray far from the topic.

My boyfriends were always there for me when I was lonely, when I needed a hug, when I was confused about moving, and when I just wanted to sing and dance. They always cared about me and were with me every night. They were comfort, and we never had a messy breakup. Not one.

WHY I HATE SAMANTHA MATHIS: I was watching a Samantha Mathis interview on Jay Leno about Broken Arrow. In it, Samantha discusses the BA cast party where everyone was together drinking and having a good time. Someone put “You’re the One that I Want” on the stereo and John Travolta asked her to dance. And the re-enacted the entire scene for everyone.

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