It's no secret that I love Richard Simmons. He has impacted my life in so many profound ways that they're too numerous to count. By the same token, I recognize that he elicits strong reactions out of many people; most of them positive, but some of them negative too. Mostly the negative ones are by people who just don't get him and what he does.
I know some of 'those' people. I know what they are saying. In all honesty, they don't matter except that they occasionally use names other than his given or chosen one, and descriptors which I am compelled to argue with. And in the end, they can't argue with what he has done for me and my weightloss success story. I owe a lot to Richard.
I've spent the last week-and-a-half helping Eric move Anne, his Mother, into her new apartment. She lived at her house for the past 40 years, so even as all of us are traumatized by moving, she is more so. She is 87 years old and set in her ways. She knows what she likes, she knows what she wants. And today, we were searching for something she wanted.
A Photograph. Not just any photograph, but one of Gabby (Eric's daughter and her grandaughter) with Richard. It was taken last summer during Gabby's first trip to Slimmons, and it's adorable if I have to say so myself. Having a copy means a lot to Anne.
I knew that we had moved it; I remembered putting it someplace safe so that it would be accessable when we got to Anne's new home. That, and a bazillion other photographs new and old, of family and friends. But she really had this particular picture on her mind.
"I want that picture!" she exclaimed.
"Which picture?" I asked.
"The one with Gabby."
I knew that there was more than one picture of all of Eric's kids in the boxes, and so I wasn't clear which one she was looking for.
"You know which one... the one with Gabby and that man!" she stated in a threatening tone.
"Huh?" I still wasn't clear which one she was talking about.
"That PICTURE!" she cried, with exasperation in her voice. She clearly could not recollect the name of 'the man' in the photo but knew what she wanted. "THE PICTURE OF GABBY WITH THAT WORLD FAMOUS DANCER!"
"Ok." I replied. "Got it!"
Richard has been called and classified as many things within my earshot and in my world, but this was a new one on me.