To say I’m a fan of Doris Day would be a huge understatement. After all, I watch, sing, or read something of hers at least every other day. If you’re thinking of calling the cops on a potential stocker hold it right there! Let me explain my love for her, and then you can decide if I’m coo coo for Doris puffs or not. I was first introduced to Doris Mary Anne Kappelhoff from my great aunt Jan and great aunt Rosemary sometime during my fabulous middle school years. Dressed in crisscross jeans, Hawaiian shirts, and light purple lipstick it was obvious my style choices were experimental at best- frightening at worst. One look at Doris up on that screen dressed to the nine’s in an all-white bare back gown, sapphire drop earrings, with platinum locks aglow, and I never dared look twice at a tropical button down shirt again. Lest you think that I liked Doris Day for her glamour alone let me assure you that was just a drop in the bucket. This woman could act! She could do it all…comedy, drama, singing, dancing…there wasn’t a medium in which she didn’t excel. And she was genuinely a nice person too! Her love for animals and the work she did/does to protect them I dare say is saintly. As I got older I found myself wanting to learn more about the woman behind the movies. Enter my true passion for this wonderful lady. I read a number of biographies on her, but the best was her autobiography. Did you know that Doris’s father cheated and left her mother for her mother’s best friend? That she was first married to an abusive man who tried to abort their child against her wishes? How about the fact that her third marriage to her manager, Marty Melcher, had left her completely broke after his passing because he had swindled and squandered away all of her money? While she recovered from these debts by doing a 5 year run of the Doris Day show (which her deceased husband had agreed she do without consulting her), she still suffered more tribulation . Her son, Terry Melcher, had become entangled with Charles Manson, and it was believed that the Tate murders were intended to be the murders of Terry and his current girlfriend (the murders took place at the house they had just moved out of). Doris and Terry lived for many years after that with round the clock body guards, and fears for their own lives. Things cooled down over the years, but in 2004 Terry died of a long battle with melanoma leaving Doris alone again. You may expect that all of these events turned Doris into a depressed, angry, and scared woman. Quite the opposite!!! Despite all of these circumstances she always vowed to look at the best in a situation, and believed that difficult things happened in order to give her the strength to cope with future events. She says in her book, “The success I care about is in knowing how to deal with situations, in not allowing anything in my life to get out of hand. I know that I can handle almost anything they throw at me, and that is real success.” It is this mentality that brings out my fervent love for her. Her unwillingness to let life get her down, her resolve to look at life’s difficulties with optimism and overcome challenges with a smile on her face. And okay…I love her as an actress and singer too. When facing my own challenges, it is her music and movies that help keep the smile on my face, and the pep in my step when life presents less that desirable events. If laughter is the best medicine, then Doris Day is my drug of choice.
Me and my Doris collection.