Found: One Real Life, Honest To God, 100% Genuine Fan Letter I Wrote To Sara Gilbert, AKA Darlene on Roseanne

Dear Sara,

This is probably strange, getting fan mail from a girl, but I just wanted to say "hi" and tell you that I think you're really great on the show. I can't believe you work with Johnny Galecki! What's he like? Seriously, I am so addicted to your show, 'cos I live in England and the TV isn't that great, and Roseanne is the best programme I've watched ever!

I can't believe you guys (well, Darlene and David) split up. Sorry, I know I'm talking as if you really ARE Darlene in real life, but it really feels like it. It feels like I know you as a friend. You see, I'm having some problems right now with a friend and a guy [ed: what the hell? I was fourteen! I don't think I even KNEW any guys] and it feels like you're sort of a role model, someone I can talk to and relate to. I'm sorry if I'm boring you to death, it's just you're so much like me on the show. I know people aren't like their characters on TV, but you just seem so great and perfect and funny, and I feel like I know you. I'm not a weirdo, really, although this letter does imply that I am. Put it down if you want to.

Okay, so I really like this guy [ed: I honestly don't even remember who this was]. Well, everyone likes him---he's gorgeous, funny, popular, etc. I saw him at a barbecue at the beginning of summer and I thought he kinda liked me, then I saw him very briefly again in September. After that, I found out he'd been hanging out with one of my close friends all night at a party [ed: seriously? I went to parties when I was fourteen? Where was my mother?] and okay, I know he's not mine or anything, but this friend knew I really, really, really liked him.

Some of my friends say he likes me too, and I really want it to be true, and they say I should write to him. [ed: Apparently, when I was fourteen, I thought that all scenarios could be resolved merely by WRITING to people. Like Sara Gilbert.] You see, after this friend found out that I knew about her and him, she was really sorry about it and she told him I liked him, and he said "cool, I'll look out for her." [ed: Wow. He sounds so incredibly...interested in me.] I really want to write to him or something, but I don't know what to write or what to do or anything.

I'm also having problems with one of my best friends, but I don't want to bore you with that, so I won't get into it. [ed: I'll just bore you with my ridiculous non-existent guy "problems" instead.]

Look, Sara, I'm really sorry for writing all this to you, I just needed to talk, and I feel like I know you (or Darlene, I should say) like a friend---no, better than a friend. I'm really sorry if I've wasted your time. I hope you don't think I'm weird.


envelope [Ed: I have no idea where I got Sara Gilbert's address or whether I thought she'd actually write back to me with a solution, but I think we can all agree that I probably made the best decision of my young life by not sending this letter. If I could go back in time and tell my poor little fourteen year old self something, I'd tell her to chill the hell out already. And also not to worry, because this time next year, she'll have moved on to being imaginary best friends with Angela from My So-Called Life instead.]

Nov 22, 2006

STOP. OH MY GOD. This. THIS is what I needed today. I'm cringing, just cringing, reading this. You poor thing. Poor barely adolescent Holly Burns. Oh my God. I'm dying. I died just a little more after every sentence.

Nov 22, 2006

Ironic also, because Sarah is now (and was then? I have no idea) a lesbian. So the boy problems maybe weren't her forte.

Nov 22, 2006

Oh goodness. I have the urge to find a 14-year-old girl and give her a hug!

When I was 14, I traveled to England with a handbell choir (I know, classy) and had the BIGGEST crush on this 17-year-old boy in the group, who kinda smelled like alcohol or a hangover all the time, and it was also the year I discovered Sarah McLachlan, which I sang in the van with my headphones and hoped he would hear my angst and fall madly in love with me.

Thanks for bringing all of that back.

Nothing But Bonfires
Nov 22, 2006

Trust me, I think I'm DEAD from all the dying I've been doing just having to type it out.

Nov 22, 2006

Heeheehee. I think my favorite part is when you say "you're so much like me" followed immediately by "you seem so great and funny and perfect." I'm pretty sure that implication is not what any 14-year-old girl is thinking.

Where is Sara Gilbert now? Maybe she could use some belated fan mail...

Oh, looks like she's on ER. Ok, good for her!

Nov 22, 2006

I feel that I owe you a "thank you" for taking this one for the team. I never wrote fan mail to a celebrity, for fear it would turn out something like this.

What would really be funny though? Is if you went ahead and sent this to Sara Gilbert, with your editor's notes. Heee. I wonder if she'd respond?

Nothing But Bonfires
Nov 22, 2006

Please note that I seem to have forgotten both a city AND A STATE when writing the address.

Nov 22, 2006

OMG. This is one of the freakin' funniest things I've ever read. I think your letter would have had a difficult time reaching Ms. Gilbert though. Seeing as how you didn't include a city or state or anything. But then again, there may only be one Santa Monica Blvd in the States for all I know. Still, this is one damn funny fan letter. I like the part where you say you like her show because it just kind of sucks less than the rest of the shows you watched.

Nov 22, 2006

Y'all, I really did read the comments. Holly and I just decided to comment about the same damn thing at the same damn time. Of course she beat me apparently by mere seconds.

Nov 22, 2006

Even if you forgot the city and state, the postmaster would totally know who you meant the letter for, and he'd deliver it right to Suite 400, which is obviously in HOLLYWOOD.

Nov 22, 2006

If Sara Gilbert were to Google her own name, find this and reply with sage advice ... well, I don't know, I think that would possibly be the best thing in the world. Ever. Amen.

Nov 22, 2006

A few years ago, I found a fan letter I had the good sense not to send Whitney Houston back in 1987. The letter was written on stationery shaped like a piano, which I picked out special for her.

Anyway, I think you should totally send the letter to Sara now -- with the editors notes, of course.

Nov 22, 2006

You've got to tag this "bershon" (see flickr and technorati entries) and read it live on Cringe (see Awesome.

Daily Tragedies
Nov 22, 2006

Oh, Holly! I'm laughing and crying and seriously worrying about the state of my mascara right now! Your 14-year old self can probably relate to the DEVASTATING CATASTROPHE that is imperfect makeup. I mean, what if I run into that cute boy from the party?

Nov 22, 2006

Yes, I did notice the city and state thing. We'll overlook that in light of your fourteen-year-old bleeding heart.

Nov 22, 2006

Oh, this is too good!
Too bad it totally made me flashback, at wich point I had to stop laughing...

Nov 22, 2006

Oh. I hurt. I hurt from the blushing and the DIRE secondary, retroactive embarrassment I am feeling for the 14-year-old you. And also recalling, vaguely, that, oh God, I know that I wrote something along these lines to...Ricky Schroeder when I was in the sixth grade. AND SENT IT. God only knows what I said, but suffice it to say, you are brave, very brave and all the more loveable and adorable for posting this.

My favorite part: "I’m not a weirdo, really, although this letter does imply that I am. Put it down if you want to."


Nov 22, 2006

That is class! Well done! I think we all died a little on the inside for you!

jive turkey
Nov 22, 2006

Oh MAN! I feel for you, I really do. I did similar things in my early teens [see: crush on Steve Guttenberg. STEVE GUTTENBERG!].

You are one brave lady for sharing this with the internet. Thanks!

Nov 22, 2006

So funny! Your post reminded me of when I was that age and wrote a letter to Jonathan Brandis (from the movie Ladybugs, Neverending Story 2, Seaquest, etc.) I was soo in love with him. So I started writing the letter, and by the end I had the sense to realize what a stalker I sounded like and luckily did not send it. It kind of went like this. "Hi, I love you. Yeah..I'm not weird, I promise! I really love you. I think you're great. I promise I'm not weird. I love you." That was such an awkward age emotionally. heehee! :)

Love you and your blog, Holly. I promise I'm not weird ;)

Nov 22, 2006

i love this letter - reminds me of me when i was 14. and i love your blog too!

what's even funnier is that i am sitting in an office building just down the street from that address this very second. reading and commenting on this entry while i should be working...

Nov 22, 2006

I was alternately cringing for you and laughing out loud at my desk! Loved the post and you are the bravest woman ever for admitting that you did this! I once joined the Bionic Woman fan club - yes I am that old! I received a picture signed by Jaime Somers (not even a real person) a membership card, again signed by the aforementioned JS and the option for 10% off any Bionic Woman doll accessories. And yes, I owned the doll.

I am dying a bit that I am admitting this out loud but if you can, so can I. We are all united by our geeky 14 year old selves!

jenny lee
Nov 23, 2006

i use to write to olivia newton-john to tell her to break up with danny. you know...danny from grease? lol. i also wrote to melissa gilbert...and told her that i love love loooovvveeedd her on little house on the prarie (still do). i'm trying to think who else i wrote to. pretty sure olivia is the major one though. man i would have stalked her if i could have lol. not any more though.

Nov 23, 2006

I just wanted to say thank you thank you thank you for typing that out. I needed a laught like that today.

Now go mail it, and tell us what you hear back...

Nov 23, 2006

As far as I can remember, my one "celebrity" letter was to Amy Carter (during Jimmy Carter's presidency). I asked her all kinds of probing questions like how her room was decorated, and how Socks (?I think that was the cat's name) liked the White House. She sent me back a lovely postcard emblazoned with a picture of her and the cat. It took me a few years to finally realize that it was a form postcard and the "handwriting" was actually preprinted. I think I was more disappointed than finding out about Santa.

Nov 23, 2006

But you did go so far as to put the air mail stickers on.

Nov 23, 2006

What's so weird about this? I write letters like this to Angelina Jolie all the time.


P.S. I'm glad you didn't mail this, because you didn't put the state or the zip code on it, so it would have come back to you (assuming you put a return address on the back of it, that is...) and your little 14 year old heart would have been broken into a thousand tiny pieces.

Nov 24, 2006

Bionic Woman Fan Club? How did I miss that one? Me, I still have my membership card for the Hardy Boys Fan Club, which I only joined because of my mad crazy love for Shaun Cassidy, otherwise known as "The Least Sexually Threatening Teen Idol EVER."

There was also a remarkably detailed plan in which a friend and I figured out that we could ship ourselves to Elton John in a refrigerator box, and he'd be so surprised when he opened the box! All the way from Pennsylvania to England! We had it all planned out; we would bring many pillows (to keep us from getting knocked around inside the box during shipping) and bananas (the perfect travel food.) We actually somehow got ahold of a refrigerator box before we realized the folly of our plans, which involved the realization that we would miss a third friend's upcoming roller skating birthday party if we went ahead with our brilliant plan.

Nov 24, 2006

Why it so pleasurable to cringe at the embarassing-ness of our younger selves. And yet it is, so thank you.

Wacky Mommy
Nov 24, 2006

Heh heh heh heh. Thanks for the giggle.

Nov 24, 2006

Hmmm... this is bringing back previously supressed memories of me and one Johnny Whitaker (he of "A Family Affair" fame)... awww, yeah. I'd race home from school to see the reruns on TV every day. Often, I imagined us together. We had a lovely life, as I recall it...

Nov 25, 2006

Okay. 'Fessing up to writing to "Jill, Kelly and Sabrina" from Charlie's Angels when I was about 9. I can't believe I just admitted that. Those gals were my idea of radical feminism because they were purty, they carried guns and somehow managed to outwit the bad guys every time without even messing up their hair. I can't believe I just admitted that either. Bravo for having the courage to admit to exhibit to the internets a little bit of your 14 year old self. 14 is evil in so many ways.

Nov 26, 2006

When I was 14, I wrote a gushing, hand-written love letter to The New Yorker, telling them I LOVED their magazine....and someone in their mailroom ACTUALLY WROTE BACK, in a typed letter with a pretty stamp on the envelope!!!!

I treasured the letter for years.

Later, I would sometimes see the byline of the woman who wrote back to me, never in The New Yorker (sadly), but mostly in women`s magazines. In recent years, Google occaisionally turns her up in the NY Times Book Review.

Yes, I still check for her byline, every once in a while.

I genuinely wish her well -- she made a nerdy kid very happy!

Sarah Marie
Nov 26, 2006

Awesome. I wrote my first and only fan letter to Michael J. Fox, never quite mustering the courage to write to my true love, Kirk Cameron. He was wicked hot. If he didn't write me back OMG I would just like DIE from the embarrassment!

Nov 27, 2006

That was so fucking awesome.

I used to write letters like that, except I would send mine to professional baseball players on the Dodgers.

I love you even more after reading this.

Nov 27, 2006

I thought I had buried and forgotten all those teenage angsty feelings of trying to get boys to like me. THANKS A LOT FOR BRINGING THEM BACK UP.

Nov 27, 2006

I can't believe you didn't like British TV. I mean.....if not for British TV, we wouldn't have The Office. And I wouldn't have been able to write to Michael Scott...oops I mean Steve Carrell. I really think he would make a great boss and I really think of him as a more than a friend. I tried emailing him to ask for career advice, but I have yet to hear back from him. I really hope he writes back. I think he's super groovy.

I tried writing David Brent...oops I mean Ricky Gervais and I got back an email which said "Bugger off you wanker, you're too old to be writing fan email." I cried that day.

Nov 29, 2006

Is it creepy that I feel kinda that way about you? Like I know you and that we're so alike, 'cos we're both such clever writers?

Don't worry, I won't bore you with my boy troubles.

Dec 04, 2006

When I was old enough to know better, I wrote AND SENT a letter to one of my favorite musicians. I don't recall it being gushy but I was definitely defining "dorktastic fandom."


I kid you not. She was very sweet and gracious.

Looking back, she was an emerging artist and probably really appreciated any fans at all. I don't even know what happened to her because she started to get some American airplay and then sort of dropped off the face of the Canadian border.

But hey, sending it isn' the end of the world even though it is sort of mortifying to think of doing so... especially once you reach the age of knowing better.

God, I can't believe I admitted this.

Dec 04, 2006

And by old enough to know better, I mean 18 or 19.