Happy Birthday, Norma Jean Baker, wherever you are!

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If the jackass, bed-hopping, Mafia-crossing, crooked-as-a-country-mile, love-’em-and-leave-’em, no good, four flushing Kennedys hadn’t had her killed, Norma Jean Baker would be celebrating her 85th birthday today. For those who have lived under a rock or in a hermitage or perhaps been in cryostasis with the likes of Walt and Ted, Norma Jean Baker is the birth certificate name of Ms. Marilyn Monroe, aka The Blonde Bombshell, aka “the OP” as in Original Playmate, aka the third most beautiful woman to ever walk this planet after my mama and Budge.

It’s safe to say that I am madly, passionately and forever in love with Marilyn Monroe and have been since puberty. To me, she was THE ideal body type and ideal woman. Oh yes, and for all you young (and some older) ladies out there eating rabbit food, running yourself silly on a treadmill, and sucking down bottled water like there’s no tomorrow — that ideal body was a SIZE 10.  A size TEN. ONE ZERO. Now I know some of you out there who might be Marilyn fans, even if nowhere nearly as big a fan as me, may have heard all your lives that MM was a 16 and in terms of the numbers in her dresses, that is true. However, just as my papas used to love to regale me with stories of movie dates costing a quarter with a nickle left over, things today ain’t what they used to be. What was a size 16 in Marilyn’s gorgeously voluptuous glory days would tape out today as a loose fitting size 10.

You don’t have to take my word for it though. Feel free to check it out for yourselves. Sorry to burst anyone’s bubbles, but STILL, she is a far cry from the twigs walking Sunset and Vine these days. Angie Jolie — and I love me some Angie Jo — could wear one of Marilyn’s dresses and have room for Calista Flockhart, Lindsay “Crack-baby” Lohan, and an Olsen twin to share. No, MM was curvy and all her curves were FLESH, not silicone and saline.

Just to illustrate the depths of my crush on Norma Jean, at the moment, I am typing this up on my computer whose network name is MARILYN and listening to my iPod whose name is Mini-Marilyn. Every woman I’ve ever dated has had a touch of Marilyn in her. For some it was looks and for others it was attitude. Then I met Budge and she combined all the best MM traits with a few twists of her own! Somewhere down at Mama’s, I’ve got pictures of my all time favorite car I’ve ever owned — a 1969 Chevy Chevelle Super Sport 396 — named Marilyn. In my younger and less rotund days, I had a blue jean jacket with said Super Sport airbrushed on the back beneath an airbrushed portrait of her namesake. I always intended to have “the dress scene” from Seven Year Itch airbrushed on the hood, but that was when I was young and foolish and had no idea what airbrushing cost. That jacket, which a crazy ex-girlfriend took and soaked overnight in Clorox, was as close as I ever got to that dream.

Hollywood doesn’t turn out stars like Marilyn anymore. I know some people say she couldn’t act her way out of a paper bag and while I admit she wasn’t much of an Oscar threat, on her worst day she was a better actress than Lohan, Hilton, Lopez, and the rest of today’s “famous for being famous” paparazzi-fodder are on their absolute knocked-out best days.

Keep trying, Lindsay . . . on second thought, just don't.

In any event, she wasn’t famous as an actress, she was famous as the ORIGINAL sex symbol. If she’s not the prototype, then why do so many actresses pay homage to her memory at some point in their careers? I’m looking at you, Lindsay.

If I had to pick the closest modern day equivalent to Marilyn, I’d go with — and you’ll think I’m crazy — is Brittney Spears. Brit’s current shape is a good match to MM’s and Marilyn and Spears share similar backgrounds. Both are from backwaters. Both got seriously good breaks and both have had their share of drama. The main difference is the press wasn’t quite so tawdry and vicious in Marilyn’s Hollywood as they have become in Brittney’s internet connect lifetime.

Of course people will disagree with me and point out that, among other things, Brittney is a better singer than Marilyn. To them, I simply say, “Happy Birthday, Mister President . . . Happy Birthday to you!” Sometimes it ain’t what you sing, it’s who you sing it to. Unfortunately, that song ended up getting Norma Jean killed . . . ***sigh***

Well, know that I love y’all. Keep cool if you can and keep those feet clean!

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