Monday, March 8, 2010

Fallen: Under the Sparkly Spell of Johnny Weir (Part 2)

Disclaimer: Please know that I have experience with and the deepest respect for all 12-step programs and for the millions of people who have benefited from them. Please enjoy the following only in the spirit of fun and humor in which it is intended.

When we last saw our heroine, she had just entered a 12-step meeting for Johnny Weir addicts.

The room was brilliantly lit, with disco balls hanging from the ceiling, and it was packed with what seemed to be thousands of people of all ages, shapes, colors, and sizes. The throng was awash in pink and white and glittery silver, with plenty of shiny black and deep rose-red for contrast. Tassels abounded, as did shiny, pointy shoes, and fur. Lots of fur.

And it smelled heavenly, with pink scented candles glowing on every available surface.

The room was abuzz, but quietly, and there were still seats available. I quickly slid into the back row next to an older woman who was wearing an exact replica of Johnny's free-skate costume from his Love Is War program. Seated next to her and filling the rest of the row was a group of burly Marines. With crowns of roses on their heads.

"Oh, you're new!" she smiled. "You'll love it here. It's so fierce!"

Seeing my confusion, she leaned closer and whispered, "Don't worry. My family sent me here, too. They don't realize--well--you'll see. Trust me."

I felt even more disconcerted. Yet also oddly comforted.

"Oh, it's starting!" my companion chirped. "Here we go!"

The opening techno-riff of Lady Gaga's "Poker Face" echoed through the room, and immediately everyone rose and began voguing out.

I understood. This was the opening prayer. And it would be so rude not to join in.

Binky, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.

When the song ended, we all took our seats again, and a handsome young man wearing an Adam Lambert T-shirt and a giant fur hat headed to the podium at the front of the room. It was literally a podium--not a lectern, behind which a professor might speak, but a replica of a medals podium.

He stepped up to stand at the gold-medal place. Of course.

"Hi, I'm Sean, and I'm a Johnny Weir addict," he announced.

"Hi, Sean," the crowd greeted him.

"Just like so many of you, I'm working that first step," Sean said earnestly. "Say it with me."

" 'We admitted we were powerless over our addiction,' " the crowd recited with him.

" '--and that our lives had become unmanageable,' " I finished, my voice trailing off as I realized I was suddenly the only one speaking. My daughter had looked up the 12 steps on the Internet earlier that day for me.

"Ah, we have a newcomer tonight!" Sean smiled. "You, in the back row: Welcome! We're so glad you're here."

"Oh, you're blushing!" the Love-Is-War woman whispered teasingly as all eyes turned toward me. "Just like Johnny does after a perfect skate."

"Please, won't you come up and introduce yourself?" Sean invited. "We all want to help you feel at home."

Numbly, I stood and made my awkward way to the front of the room, where Sean greeted me with an air kiss on each cheek. He turned me to face the crowd, then stepped down to the silver-medal step and looked up at me encouragingly.

"Hi. I'm Binky, and I'm a hopeless Johnny Weir addict," I began.

"Hi, Binky!"

"I--I'm not sure how I'm supposed to do all the steps, or how long it takes--" I continued haltingly.

"--oh, sweetie, the only steps you need to know are these!" Sean interrupted with a spin worthy of Stephane Lambiel. The crowd clapped and whistled as Sean twirled around again, then held out his hand to me with a dazzling smile.

Then everyone fell silent as he raised his eyebrows and willed me to understand.

Anticipation filled the air.

And comprehension slowly dawned.

"Yes, you get it!" Sean exulted at the look on my face. "We admit we're powerless over our addiction--and that's it! We embrace the first step, we celebrate our powerlessness, our addiction, our love for Johnny, we have a little snack, we trade blog URLs, and we go home! And then we meet on his Facebook page later."

"But--but--" I stuttered.

"Oh, sweet merciful Lord, yes," sighed a young woman in the front row, inexplicably clutching a jar of Smucker's strawberry jam. "He has a butt that just won't quit."

The whole crowd sighed with her.

And as I looked out at all of them--a sea of young and old, black and white and every color in between, from nearly every country and every walk of life--I saw: Just people.

No labels.

Just people.

People who, like me, maybe felt that they had lost a little glitter along the way, until one fine day the fierce and fabulous Johnny Weir skated into their lives and turned their world upside down, like a beautiful snow globe, and suddenly everything was sprinkled anew with light and hope and possibilities.

People who had fallen under his sparkly spell, and were simply, completely, and quite happily addicted to Johnny Weir.

We snacked that evening on beautiful cod sandwiches, worked on our Russian accents, then went home to tell our families that the meeting had been everything we needed and we would most certainly be going to the next one.

Special thanks to Amy Sortor for the phrase "sparkly spell of Johnny Weir,"
and to Claire Hubbard for remembering that's who coined it :).
Thanks also to for all the fabulous photos.
copyright 2010 Binky and the Misfit Mimes / Lynn V. Ingogly / all rights reserved


Kyla said...

LOL @ the cod sandwich. I'm sure Galina would be happy.

auntyamyj said...

Wonderful my dear, simply wonderful. Now, we just have to figure out a place where we can hold these meetings! I'm thinking some lovely glittery place like a four season ballroom! I've forgotten how much fun it is to love glitter and sparkles. That was all I was about when I was a kid. Johnny brings out the happy sparkly child in all of us! Awesome blog, keep it up!

Paulette2112 said...

I so glad to hear I'm not the only one who suffers from this affliction (Johnny Weir obsession). I am really enjoying your blogging on Johnny. It's so rare I get carried away about someone, but I definitely am under his charm spell too.

Boudicca said...

While I was laughing out loud at how well you've captured how much Johnny's fans love him, my 18 year old daughter walked up behind me to see what I was up to. I tried to hide the page before she could see but she busted me. "You're reading about Johnny Weir again, mom! You are SO busted!"

Misfit Mimes said...

Thank you all for the blog love! Boudicca, your comment made me laugh out loud in return :).

Paulette, I'm with you--this is rare for me too. All people fascinate me--famous or not--and I have long read everything about everyone, but it's unusual for one person to so capture my attention. For me, this is one of those moments when God has gotten my attention to show me something powerful that I need to learn all about. I'm so grateful every time that happens (though often it's not nearly as pleasant as this! :)