Now that Doris Day is nearly 84 years old, I wish I could turn the clock back and make her popular again. I suppose she still is very popular in her circle of business acquaintances and animal lovers, but I'd love to see her up on the screen in a fantastical musical extravaganza the likes of Calamity Jane or The Pajama Game.
Some time in the 70's, when I was growing up, Doris Day became "unfashionable." Her public persona - the girl next door - suddenly was seen as a relic from another era - one that young people, especially, weren't relating to. Instead, women like Olivia Newton-John and Marie Osmond took her place. As a teen, we all cringed if Que Sera Sera came on the radio. That was old people's music! But today, I'd rather listen to Doris than her "wholesome" successors. Mainly - she sings a lot better than they do.
This appreciation has come on all of a sudden. In the past ten years or so, I've been collecting Miss Day's movies on DVD and video. Her films highlight all of what I liked about my childhood - everything seemed so much more light-hearted and innocent then. And people dressed better! Doris had a great voice and great comic timing. She was absolutely adorable. And sexy. Anyone who has seen Doris in that wiggle dress in Pillow Talk, knows I speak the truth.
I think about the sex symbols of her day, and know that with the right PR, Doris would have been a bombshell. She had the face and the figure. I even like her hairstyles. Why she got stuck with the moniker "the world's oldest virgin" beats me. Doris oozes sex appeal. She's like the sexy librarian. You just know there's something going on behind those glasses and the cardigan.
I remember my grandmother reading her autobiography and pronouncing her deceased husband, Marty Melcher, "a real sheister." My grandmother, who was not Jewish, used a lot of Yiddish words. I really didn't understand the implications until I got older and had to deal with a few sheisters of my own. At least I didn't lose millions.
Wherever you are, Doris - know that there are a lot of us who still think you're swell. I think I'll go play That Touch of Mink. Doris Day and Cary Grant - now there are two good reasons to revisit that movie.
I wish I had a recent photo of Miss Day. I bet she's aged wonderfully. It's a shame that she, like so many other women, don't want the public to see them as old. I suppose there's something to be said for maintaining that fantasy of never being any older than 50 (about the age she was when she did the Doris Day Show on television when I was a kid.) Maybe that's one of the reasons that Doris is so timeless to me.