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Selena, 'Selena,' and "Selenas"

Selena Quintanilla Perez was murdered on this day in 1995.  READ MORE

Romy White and Michele Weinberger Are 45

This is part of a week-long series celebrating the 45th birthdays of characters from Romy and Michele's High School Reunion. READ MORE

Romy and Michele are 45. So is Christy Masters.

This is part of a week-long series celebrating the 45th birthdays of characters from Romy and Michele's High School Reunion.

Christy filed for divorce from Billy two weeks after the reunion. She had been considering it for some time, but his actions that night were so public, so damaging to their reputation that she felt the time had come to end it for good. She got the house and the kids. He walked away with one of the cars and drove it off to god knows where. No one’s seen him since he sped onto I-10. Most people think he’s long dead, but most of them wouldn’t say that outside their own homes.

Christy had to find work, but her life’s tragic turn led plenty of people in town to make her sympathy offers. She settled on a job in the courthouse that came with good pay, low stress, and the bucket o’ benefits typical of a government job. Even day care was affordable, so the kids had a place to be while she was making calls and ironing out schedules and listening to people complain to her about things she had no way of fixing. Christy Masters Christianson was suddenly Christy Masters again. But that old name now belonged to someone entirely different.

A lot of people in Tucson begin stories about The New Christy Masters with, “They say people don’t really change, but.”

“...but Christy Masters proved them wrong.”

“...but Christy Masters changed for her children.”

“...but Christy Masters became a saint after that sack of shit left town.”

And all of them are right.

She started volunteering. She made new friends. She hosted parties and invited people from all over town. She attended every parent-teacher conference. She spoke her mind at city council meetings. She donated blood every month – sometimes plasma, too! She even adopted old dogs from the shelter instead of buying a puppy. The woman was a saint.

Plenty of men were attracted to The New Christy Masters, but she turned down all their advances. “I want time to myself,” she’d tell them. “I want it to be me and the kids for a while.” How could they persist after a reason like that?

Yes, The New Christy Masters did seem perfect, but despite her front-facing brightness she still felt regret over some of her actions from long ago. The way she treated a very particular pair of girls. Two of her peers. Two girls named Romy and Michele. “What can I do?” she’d often think at night. “How can I apologize to them in a way that feels sincere? In a way that will make up for my terrible treatment?”

So one day she began writing a letter. Each night she spent half an hour on it. Deleting and adding things here and there. Explaining her childhood. Her relationship with her parents. Her relationship with her siblings. Her relationship with Billy. It was a form of therapy for her – a way of not just unloading, but discovering. Figuring out why she did what she did. Not to make excuses for it all, but to make sense of it all. It was long and it was heartfelt, and by the end it was 75 pages in 12-point font. Single spaced. She read it over one more time, hit 'PRINT,' and threw it in a big envelope. As she applied the postage, a deep unhappiness inside her was suddenly lifted. She felt better. She felt reborn.

When Romy received the package and noticed the return address, she immediately called Michele. The two met up at a cafe in Venice Beach to open it together.

“What do you think it is?” Romy asked as they shared a plate of fries.

“A bomb?” said Michele.

They laughed and ate a few more fries.

“Well, should we open it?”

“You know, I kind of don’t want to. Is that bad?”

Romy released a loud sigh. “Oh my god, Michele. I was hoping you’d say that. Like to be quite honest, I just want to throw this in the ocean and never think about it again.”

“Ooooh, fun! Let’s go throw it in the ocean! Like, a message in a bottle, but without a bottle, or even a message!”

"Exactly like that."

So Romy and Michele finished their fries, paid the bill, and threw The New Christy Masters’ letter into the Pacific Ocean. Later that day they saw Gravity. They loved Gravity so much.

 

Bobby Finger will just have two burgers, fries, and Diet Cokes because he's in a hurry.

Romy And Michele Are 45. So Is Toby Walters.

This is part of a week-long series celebrating the 45th birthdays of characters from Romy and Michele's High School Reunion. READ MORE

Romy And Michele Are 45. So Is Heather Mooney.

 

This is part of a week-long series celebrating the 45th birthdays of characters from Romy and Michele's High School Reunion.

Heather never told the Cowboy about the abortion. As he slept, she sat up and listened to the hotel’s air conditioner turn off and on until morning. She knew immediately, but didn’t make an appointment for two months. There’s a dull pain of something like regret but mostly like sadness that resurfaces at night, just before bed, but it’s never enough to keep her awake. It’s just there. A decision. A memory. She should have told him. All she would have done differently is make a phone call, but she never contacted him again after that night. He was weird, though so was she. He didn’t speak much, though neither did she. These little hypocrisies that ended most of her relationships before they began were the same ones that eventually led to her biggest ideas.

Wanting to quit smoking without actually quitting smoking led her to invest in a Chinese company that perfected smokeless nicotine delivery devices called “electronic cigarettes.” In 2006 she decided to cease production of regular Lady Fair cigarettes and go all-electronic. “All the flavor and none of the fuss for the gal who says no.” It was a risky move, especially then, but when it came to business, Heather’s instincts were unmatched. Her customers quickly embraced the change and Lady Fair still remains the #1 e-cig brand in the world. (That includes, of course, their more masculine line: The Cowboy.)

In 2008 she was healthy, successful, single and happy – but not everyone always believed the last part. “You should try Match.com,” the wife of a coworker told her. “Plenty of my friends met their husbands on it.”

“I’m fine.”

“But the stigma’s mostly gone!”

Conversations like that happened regularly, and Heather usually brushed them off. Or complained to Sandy about them on the phone. (She and Sandy Frink connected on LinkedIn in 2004 and became long distance friends. Completely platonic, of course.)

“Can you believe the nerve of people?”

“I can.”

“There’s nothing I hate more than someone telling me I don’t know myself. Assuming they know me better than I do. Or worse! Presuming I am denying myself something I want! It’s bullshit!”

“It is bullshit!”

“I know! That’s what I’m saying! It’s bullshit!”

Then they laugh and become silent while flipping through their emails, breathing heavily into the mic so the other knows they’re still on the line. They talk about the good stuff – it’s mostly good stuff, you know – and giggle at news from old friends. Something about Toby. Something about Christy. Something about how hot it is in Tucson. And then she hangs up and moves on to the next day.

Last week she saw a man sitting alone at the coffee shop. About her age. Handsome. Heather watched him as he sipped his latte and sent what looked like dozens of emails. At one point he reached in his breast pocket and pulled out a Cowboy e-cig. Her eyes brightened as he inhaled – seemed like he enjoyed it. She picked up her coffee and began walking to her car. As she approached the door, her phone buzzed. A text from Michelle. “Happy 45 you old hag! See you tonight!” She unlocked the door and looked up at the predictable perfection of a Los Angeles sky.

"God," she thought. "I still love it here."

 

Bobby Finger will just have two burgers, fries, and Diet Cokes because he's in a hurry.

A Bedtime Story

How’s that? You warm enough? Good. Sleep well, my angel. A story? Which story? One you haven’t heard? Yes, I think I can tell you a story you haven’t heard. But only if you promise to keep it a secret! Just between you and grandma. Can you do that? Can you keep a secret? OK. I knew you could. READ MORE

52 Weeks of Us Weekly

Today Us Weekly posted a gallery containing all 52 of their 2013 covers. It was a glorious gallery, and worth all 52 clicks. Scattered across those wonderful glossy pages were things I will never forget (like Kris Jenner hooking up with Ben F.), things I'd forgotten (like Reese Witherspoon's drunken arrest), and things I hope to forget (like the cast of Duck Dynasty.) Below is a rundown of Us Weekly's 2013 cover stories. READ MORE

A Few of Their Favorite Things

Tonight, NBC will air The Sound of Music Live!, a three-hour rendition starring Carrie Underwood as Maria. In preparation, some favorite things. READ MORE

10 Years, Actually: Harry & Karen, David & Natalie, John & Judy

This is part of a week-long series celebrating the tenth anniversary of Love Actually. READ MORE

10 Years, Actually: Billy & Joe, Juliet & Mark

This is part of a week-long series celebrating the tenth anniversary of Love Actually. READ MORE