The Ann Margret look-a-like (1996)
It was 1996. I was 26. I hadn’t been laid in maybe two years. I was isolating a lot and regressing a little. Okay, maybe a lot. I started collecting autographs again — something I hadn’t done since I was 14 or so.
And I began to focus on autographs of pin-ups from the 50′s and 60′s. I bought a box of pin up trading cards and with this 10 CD collection of the White Pages OF THE ENTIRE U.S., I began to write them for their signatures. I even managed to track down Bettie Page’s brother who passed along my autograph request and then months later, I got a handwritten letter from Bettie (still in hiding, maybe only 4 years out of a California nut house) and later that year, a Xmas card from her where she scribbled “May God Bless You Real Good.”
As I write this, I know it sounds strange — to have a ‘pin-up’ autograph hobby when most of my peers were in real relationships and were even moving in with each other or getting engaged. The Internet was still in its infancy and my social skills were still shitty — I had no idea how to pick up a girl, get a 2nd date, get a girl in bed, even kiss a girl after a date. My only 2nd girlfriend broke up with me about two years earlier.
Right around this time, a buddy of mine from high school rang me and said he was now in NYC and he just got engaged (see?). I didn’t know him that well, but he was the twin brother of one of my best friends in HS. Let me describe them both — shaped like pears, Jew-fro hair that was going by early 20′s, bad teeth, bad skin. Goatees. Sweet guys though. He says he wants to have lunch or drinks and wants me to me his fiancé.
As the day grew closer, I remember thinking, “Wow, I can’t imagine what kind of girl would hook up with this guy — maybe a nerdy, bookish girl. Good they found each other.” Minutes before I remember thinking, “Okay, let’s get this over with.”
When I met them at a bar at a booth in the back, I experienced one of the great shocks of my life (to this day). His fiancé was a DEAD RINGER FOR ANN-MARGRET. I don’t mean, she kinda, sorta looked like her — it was like Ann Margret had stepped out of “Viva Las Vegas” screening and into 1996. Long wavy red hair and everything. (The picture above is the closest picture I found of A.M. that looked like this girl Karen.)
Oh, and her rack was enormous. Crazy big. But she was thin in the waist. Like Christina Hendrix from “Mad Men.” It was kinda nutty. Most women aren’t built like 1970′s Playboy centerfolds.
Ann Margret was my favorite pin up of that time — she was in that little pack of cards I had and she was the one who shot me into puberty at about 13 during a replay of “Viva Las Vegas” on TV.
During that evening, I did my best to contain the small nervous breakdown I was having. Karen looked at me like she knew every thought I ever had. She knew I was a wreck because of her. She recognized that look I had and probably had seen it from men every day since she turned 12.
After that night, I called him and asked him “How the fuck did you get a girl like that?” He acknowledged how crazy it was.
The story: She was in his grad school class. He had a crush on her (of course). She was engaged. Next semester, she’s gone. He calls the # he has for her. Disconnected. He goes to his buddy who works in admissions. Asks for her parents #. The guy won’t give it. He says its a Federal offense. My buddy grabs him and says, ‘I’m going to marry that girl and if you don’t give me her number, it going to mess the whole thing up.” He gets the parents #. Turns out, her and the boyfriend broke up and she moved back home. They become best friends. He moves to NYC and she visits. Then, in the middle of the night, having been crashing on the couch, she strips off her clothes and gets in bed with him. And now they are in engaged.
His story almost sounded like a Penthouse letter it was so unbelievable.
Now long after, they came to a birthday party I had at my apartment. She showed up in A WHITE TRANSLUCENT DRESS. It don’t remember if she was wearing a bra, but even if she was, you could see right through it. Even a few of my friends took me aside and commented on ‘the sex kitten’ in my house.
She really, really did not like me. I don’t know if it was because she could see the lust for her in my eyes or just my personality. Or both.
I went to their wedding in Philly. Took the train down. In the receiving line, when I handed her my gift, she practically scowled at me.
They eventually divorced. My buddy hinted that she really screwed him — something about an auto loan. He got remarried, has kids.
I asked him recently, “Hey remember Karen, your first wife?”
“She really hated me, didn’t she?”
Over the years, he kinda sidestepped any mention of her. I think he got really hurt. I suspect she was just using him as a stepping stone. I mean, he was in a career that didn’t make a lot of money (education), but it seems she only got sexually interested in him when he moved to NYC. Maybe she was using him as a way to get to NYC (she was an actress) and maybe some alimony to live on in the future. She scared me a bit, but man, was she a knockout.