Dear Barry Manilow: Doesn’t Brianne Sloan Deserve a Break Today?

My​ ​Darling​ ​Barry​ ​Manilow~

I​ ​love​ ​you!​ ​You​ ​may​ ​not​ ​believe​ ​this,​ ​but​ ​I​ ​have​ ​been​ ​a​ ​closet​ ​Fanilow​ ​since​ ​early​ ​​high​ ​school​! Even in​ ​the​ ​face​ ​of​ ​the​ ​late​ ​nineties​ ​and​ ​the​ ​​Can’t​ ​Hardly​ ​Wait​ ​​generation!​ For awhile, there was that age old and quite useless debate over whether MANDY had been written about a woman or about a dog . . . and my money was always on the dog!

Still while the​ ​other​ ​kids were​ ​listening​ ​to​ ​​Sublime​​ ​and​ ​​Everclear​,​ ​watching​ ​​TRL​​ ​and​ ​wearing​ ​red​ ​Yankees​ ​hats,​ ​I​ ​was going​ ​home​ ​every​ ​day​ ​and​ ​listening​ ​to​ ​​COPACABANA​!​ ​Sometimes​ ​I’d​ ​merengue​ ​or​ ​do​ ​the​ ​Macarena, ​sometimes​ ​I’d​ ​wear​ ​pink and yellow​ ​feathers​ ​in​ ​my​ ​hair​ ​.​ ​.​ ​.​ ​but​ ​I​ ​digress!​ ​This​ ​is​ ​not​ ​a​ ​fan​ ​letter!

I​ ​am​ ​really​ ​only​ ​writing​ ​you​ ​because​ ​I​ ​wish​ ​for​ ​you​ ​to​ ​send​ ​me​ ​ONE​ ​MILLION DOLLARS.​ ​Honest.

Now​ ​hold​ ​on!​ ​Hold​ ​on,​ ​Mr.​ ​Manilow!​ ​Before​ ​you​ ​jump​ ​ship,​ ​let​ ​me​ ​explain:​ ​it’s​ ​my​ ​summer blogging​ ​project,​ ​I​ ​have​ ​decided​ ​to​ ​write​ ​millionaires​ ​until​ ​someone​ ​out​ ​there​ ​somewhere​ ​in​ ​the night​ ​sends​ ​me​ ​ONE​ ​MILLION​ ​DOLLARS!​ ​It​ ​has​ ​to​ ​happen,​ ​it’s​ ​bound​ ​to​ ​happen!​ ​I​ ​don’t​ ​see​ ​any reason​ ​why​ ​it​ ​wouldn’t ​happen​ ​and​ ​you​ ​can’t​ ​stop​ ​reading​ ​before​ ​I​ ​get​ ​to​ ​the​ ​part​ ​where​ ​I​ ​find​ ​a bunch​ ​of​ ​new​ ​and​ ​exciting​ ​ways​ ​to​ ​blame​ ​YOU​ ​for​ ​all​ ​my​ ​problems!​ ​That’s​ ​the​ ​best​ ​part!​ ​

This one’s​ ​for​ ​YOU,​ ​Mr.​ ​Manilow!

***

We’re​ ​not​ ​just​ ​two​ ​ships​ ​passing​ ​in​ ​the​ ​night,​ ​you​ ​old​ ​dog,​ ​you.​ ​About​ ​three​ ​years​ ​ago,​ ​my mom​ ​won​ ​tickets​ ​to​ ​a​ ​Barry​ ​Manilow​ ​concert​ ​in​ ​Jacksonville,​ ​Florida​ ​and​ ​of​ ​course,​ ​I’d​ ​have​ ​wrung her​ ​neck​ ​had​ ​she​ ​so​ ​much​ ​as​ ​considered​ ​taking​ ​anyone​ ​else!​ ​I​ ​really​ ​AM​ ​a​ ​big​ ​fan.​ ​We​ ​had​ ​truly, truly​ ​crappy​ ​seats,​ ​yet​ ​it​ ​mattered​ ​not!​ ​I​ ​was​ ​in​ ​the​ ​same​ ​room​ ​with​ ​greatness!​ ​With​ ​the​ ​one​ ​and only​ ​Barry​ ​Manilow! I​ ​shall​ ​remember​ ​it​ ​all ​of​ ​my​ ​life!​ ​

I​ ​can​ ​still​ ​see​ ​you​ ​standing​ on stage, ​bopping​ ​about​ ​in​ a ​metallic​ ​purple disco suit, throwing​ ​glitter​ ​in​ ​my​ ​face​ ​and​ ​shouting​ ​directly​ ​at​ ​me in​ ​sing​ ​song:

​“BRIANNE​ ​SLOAN!​ ​This​ ​is​ ​BARRY​ ​MANILOW!​ ​If​ ​you​ ​are​ ​getting​ ​up​ ​every​ ​day​ ​and​ ​going​ ​to​ ​a​ ​job you​ ​hate,​ ​don’t​ ​DO​ ​that​ ​anymore!​ ​I​ ​never did things​ ​I​ ​did​ ​not​ ​want​ ​to​ ​do​ ​and​ ​look​ ​at​ ​what wonderful,​ ​magical​ ​things​ ​have​ ​happened​ ​to​ ​me!​ ​Now​ ​I’m​ ​BARRY​ ​MANILOW!”

Or​ ​something​ ​like​ ​that.

After​ ​you​ ​said​ all ​this,​ ​you​ ​mumbled​ ​some​ ​faint​ ​apology​ ​about​ ​how​ ​you​ ​didn’t​ ​want​ ​to​ ​be​ ​responsible on​ ​Monday​ ​when​ ​everyone​ ​quit​ ​their​ ​jobs,​ ​but​ ​you​ ​were​ ​too​ ​late!​ ​I​ ​wasn’t​ ​listening​ ​by​ ​then!​ ​Barry Manilow​ ​(THE​ ​Barry​ ​Manilow!)​ ​had​ ​just​ ​stood​ ​on​ ​the​ ​stage,​ ​telling​ ​me​ ​exactly​ ​what​ ​I​ ​wanted​ ​to hear!​ ​At​ ​Jacksonville​ ​Veteran’s​ ​Memorial​ ​Arena!​ ​In​ ​front​ ​of​ ​God​ ​and​ ​everybody:

“BRIANNE​ ​SLOAN!​ ​Get​ ​rid​ ​of​ ​all​ ​your​ ​backup​ ​plans!​ ​Write​ ​books​ ​all​ ​day!​ ​RISK​ ​EVERYTHING!”

I​ ​decided​ ​right​ ​then​ ​and​ ​there​ ​that​ ​was​ ​what​ ​I​ ​was​ ​going​ ​to​ ​do!​ ​We’re​ ​talking​ ​nanoseconds!​ ​I hardly​ ​even​ ​saw​ ​your​ ​go​ ​go​ ​dancers​ ​anymore,​ ​there​ ​was​ ​too​ ​much​ ​glitter​ ​in​ ​my​ ​eyes!​ ​At​ ​that moment,​ ​you​ ​and​ ​I​ ​were​ ​ONE,​ ​Barry​ ​Manilow!​ ​It​ ​was​ ​US!​ ​You​ ​and​ ​me!​ ​TOGETHER!​ ​We​ ​were​ ​just alike,​ ​you​ ​and​ ​I!​ ​YOU​ ​wrote​ ​the songs!​ ​*I*​ ​wrote ​the​ ​stories!​ ​You​ ​like​d to​ ​make​ ​money!​ ​I​ ​like​d to​ ​spend money!​ ​Peas​ ​in​ ​a​ ​pod!​ ​We​ ​were​ practically​ ​the​ ​same​ ​person!

(Well.​ ​Had​ ​you​ ​been​ ​born​ ​a​ ​woman.​ ​With​ ​no​ ​musical​ ​ability​ ​whatsoever.)

Of​ ​course​ ​I​ ​trusted​ ​you.​ ​Who​ ​wouldn’t​ ​trust​ ​you?​ ​You’re​ ​Barry​ ​Manilow,​ ​a​ ​cultural​ ​icon!​ ​You’ve​ ​sold upwards​ ​of​ ​eighty​ ​million​ ​records,​ ​you’ve​ ​played​ ​concerts​ ​around​ ​the​ ​world!​ ​By​ ​the​ ​time​ ​you​ ​were my​ ​age,​ ​you​ ​were​ ​already​ ​stuck​ ​on​ ​Band​ ​Aid​ ​Brand​ ​and​ ​you​ ​were​ ​State​ ​Farm’s​ ​good​ ​neighbor! No,​ ​that’s​ ​an​ ​understatement!​ ​You​ ​were​ ​State​ ​Farm’s​ ​GREAT​ ​neighbor!​ ​You​ ​helped​ ​McDonald’s tell​ ​all​ ​of​ ​America​ ​it​ ​deserved​ ​a​ ​break​ ​and​ ​I​ ​ask​ ​you​ ​this:

Doesn’t​ ​BRIANNE​ ​SLOAN​ ​deserve​ ​a​ ​break​ ​today?

***

Let’s​ ​be​ ​honest.​ ​By​ ​the​ ​time​ ​I​ ​went​ ​to​ ​your​ ​concert,​ ​I​ ​was​ ​already​ ​ten ​grand​ ​in​ ​the​ ​hole,​ ​but after listening to YOUR crackpot advice? WOW! ​Ten grand turned to sixty in no time, the debt came along just like a song! You’ve​ ​never​ ​seen​ ​anyone​ ​shop​ ​like this,​ ​I​ ​started​ ​immediately!​ ​I​ ​did​ ​not​ ​even​ ​wait​ ​for​ ​the​ ​concert​ ​to​ ​be​ ​over​ ​before​ ​I went​ ​downstairs​ ​and​ ​loaded​ ​up​ ​on​ ​drinks!​ ​The​ ​big​ ​kind,​ ​of​ ​course,​ ​in​ ​the​ ​commemorative​ ​glass!

Twelve​ ​bucks​ ​a​ ​pop!​ ​I​ ​must​ ​have​ ​had​ ​eight​ ​of​ ​those.

Then after​ ​that,​ ​there​ ​was​ ​no​ ​stopping​ ​me.​ ​I​ ​went​ ​SHOPPING.​ ​I​ ​SHOPPED​ ​for​ ​years.

The​ ​end​ ​result​ ​was​ ​nothing​ ​I​ ​ever​ ​saw​ ​coming,​ ​but​ ​all​ ​my​ ​credit​ ​cards​ ​were​ ​snatched​ ​away​ ​at once.​ ​So​ ​cruel!​ ​So​ ​quick!​ ​There​ ​was​ ​an​ ​angry​ ​season​ ​of​ ​volatile​ ​phone​ ​calls​ ​and​ ​hate​ ​mail and​ ​process​ ​servers,​ ​but​ ​I​ ​did​ ​not​ ​pay​ ​it​ ​much​ ​mind.​ ​There​ ​were​ ​lawsuits​ ​and​ ​telemarketers and I could ignore all that ​.​ ​.​ ​.​ ​it​ ​was​ ​just​ ​some​ ​of​ ​the​ ​old​ ​songs​ ​and​ ​I​​ ​knew​ ​all​ ​the​ ​steps;​ ​I​ ​changed my​ ​phone​ ​number​ ​and​ ​called​ ​it​ ​a​ ​day.

What​ ​I​ ​couldn’t​ ​ignore​ ​was​ ​the​ ​hurricane,​ ​whirling​ ​like​ ​a​ ​cyclone​ ​in​ ​my​ ​town.

​Ouch.​ ​I​ ​didn’t​ ​see​ ​that​ ​one​ ​coming​ ​either.

***

It​ ​was​ ​October,​ ​2016,​ ​late​ ​for​ ​a​ ​hurricane​ ​to​ ​be​ ​sure.​ ​Still​ ​it​ ​was​ ​major,​ ​a​ ​Category​ ​5.​ ​We​ ​never​ ​get storms​ ​like​ ​this,​ ​what​ ​we​ ​do​ ​is​ ​heed​ ​the​ ​warnings,​ ​then​ ​go​ ​have​ ​bonfires​ ​on​ ​the​ ​beach​ ​and​ ​do​ ​rain dances​ ​on​ ​sewers,​ ​that​ ​sort​ ​of​ ​thing.​ ​I​ ​didn’t​ ​think​ ​it​ ​could​ ​happen​ ​to​ ​me,​ ​the​ ​State​ ​of​ ​Florida​ ​had simply​ ​cried​ ​wolf​ ​too​ ​many​ ​times!

I​ ​was​ ​off​ ​on​ ​a​ ​writing​ ​binge,​ ​I​ ​had​ ​no​ ​time​ ​to​ ​hurricane​ ​proof​ ​and​ ​if​ ​I​ ​had,​ ​I​ ​doubt​ ​it​ ​would​ ​have mattered.​ ​This​ ​storm​ ​was​ ​so​ ​far​ ​beyond​ ​hurricane​ ​proofing,​ ​any​ ​efforts​ ​my​ ​town​ ​would​ ​make proved​ ​to​ ​be​ ​more​ ​or​ ​less​ ​futile.​ ​My​ ​roof​ ​collapsed,​ ​I​ ​had​ ​26​ ​inches​ ​of​ ​water​ ​damage​ ​and​ ​if​ ​you think​ ​the​ ​British​ ​did​ ​a​ ​number​ ​on​ ​St.​ ​Augustine​ ​back​ ​in​ ​the​ ​sixteen​ ​hundreds,​ ​you​ ​should​ ​have seen what​ ​Hurricane​ ​Matthew​ ​did​ ​to​ ​the​ ​Nation’s​ ​Oldest​ ​City​ ​in​ ​2016!

I​ ​made​ ​it​ ​through​ ​the​ ​rain,​ ​Barry​ ​Manilow!​ ​I​ ​managed​ ​to​ ​save​ ​my​ ​little​ ​dachshund too,​ ​but​ ​all​ ​the Prada​ ​and​ ​Chanel?​ ​All​ ​that​ ​designer​ ​junk​ ​I​ ​hadn’t​ ​paid​ ​for​ ​yet?​ ​When​ ​daybreak​ ​finally​ ​rolled around​ ​one​ ​week​ ​later,​ ​no​ ​matter​ ​how​ ​much​ ​I​ ​wanted​ ​to​ ​believe,​ ​it​ ​was​ ​absolutely​ ​time​ ​to​ ​grieve!

All​ ​the​ ​Gucci​ ​and​ ​Michael​ ​Kors​ ​and​ ​every​ ​single​ ​shoe​ ​I​ ​owned?​ ​Gone!​ ​All​ ​gone!

But​ ​WAIT​ ​a​ ​second!​ ​Do​ ​I​ ​still​ ​have​ ​to​ ​​pay​​ ​for​ ​all​ ​that​ ​crap?

Well.​ ​According​ ​to​ ​Capital​ ​One,​ ​I​ ​do.​ ​I​ ​came​ ​home​ ​six​ ​months​ ​later​ ​to​ ​find​ ​out​ ​Capital​ ​One​ ​had sued​ ​me​ ​for​ ​some​ ​measly,​ ​laughable​ ​amount​ ​while​ ​I​ ​was​ ​waiting​ ​for​ ​my​ ​house​ ​to​ ​be​ ​rebuilt!​ ​What a​ ​fine​ ​how​ ​do​ ​‘ya​ ​do​ ​that​ ​was!​ ​Now​ ​I​ ​can’t​ ​laugh​ ​and​ ​I​ ​can’t​ ​sing,​ ​I’m​ ​finding​ ​it​ ​hard​ ​to​ ​do​ ​anything.

***

But​ ​it’s​ ​all​ ​right,​ ​Barry​ ​Manilow!​ ​I​ ​have​ ​a​ ​plan,​ ​a​ ​glorious​ ​plan!​ ​I’M​ ​ready​ ​to​ ​take​ ​a​ ​chance​ ​again, ready​ ​to​ ​put​ ​my​ ​pride​ ​on​ ​the​ ​line!​ ​If​ ​all​ ​this​ ​works​ ​out​ ​the​ ​way​ ​I​ ​think​ ​it’s​ ​going​ ​to,​ ​it​ ​could​ ​be magic!​ ​It​ ​starts​ ​with​ ​YOU​ ​giving​ ​me​ ​ONE​ ​MILLION​ ​DOLLARS​ ​in​ ​exchange​ ​for,​ ​um​ ​.​ ​.​ ​.​ ​​nothing​!

Yet​ ​it​ ​won’t​ ​stay​ ​nothing​ ​for​ ​long!​ ​You​ ​may​ ​not​ ​be​ ​able​ ​to​ ​see​ ​it​ ​now,​ ​but​ ​just​ ​imagine​ ​what​ ​*I*​ ​will turn​ ​around​ ​and​ ​give​ ​the​ ​world!​ ​My​ ​talent​ ​is​ ​for​ ​words​ ​not​ ​music,​ ​but​ ​a​ ​dreamer​ ​is​ ​a​ ​dreamer,​ ​Mr. Manilow!​ ​Behold!

It’ll​ ​be​ ​a​ ​miracle!​ ​A​ ​true​ ​rainbow colored spectacle!​ ​A​ ​miracle​ ​come​ ​true!

Someone​ ​once​ ​told​ ​me​ ​that​ ​we​ ​dreamers​ ​have​ ​our​ ​ways​ ​of​ ​facing​ ​rainy​ ​days​ ​and​ ​somehow​ ​we survive.​ ​We​ ​keep​ ​the​ ​feelings​ ​warm,​ ​protect​ ​them​ ​from​ ​the​ ​storm​ ​until​ ​our​ ​time​ ​arrives​ ​.​ ​.​ ​.​ ​and hopefully​ ​*this*​ ​dreamer’s​ ​time​ ​is​ ​NOW.

Sometimes​ ​I​ ​may​ ​feel​ ​afraid!​ ​Yet​ ​I​ ​am​ ​aiming​ ​beyond​ ​the​ ​clouds​ ​and​ ​rising​ ​above​ ​the​ ​crowds!​ ​I’m starting​ ​my​ ​OWN​ ​parade.

Barry​ ​Manilow!​ ​My​ ​parade​ ​just​ ​needs​ ​some​ ​start​ ​up​ ​capital​ ​please!

***

Sweet​ ​Manilow,​ ​I’ve​ ​come​ ​to​ ​you!​ ​The​ ​answer​ ​to​ ​all​ ​questions​ ​I​ ​can​ ​find!​ ​Hopefully​ ​my​ ​spirit​ ​will move​ ​you​ ​high​ ​up​ ​where​ ​the​ ​stallion​ ​meets​ ​the​ ​sun!​ ​​ ​I​ ​am​ ​only​ ​looking​ ​for​ ​ONE​ ​MILLION DOLLARS;​ ​isn’t​ ​that​ ​a​ ​relatively​ ​small​ ​feat?​ ​After​ ​all​ ​the​ ​magic​ ​and​ ​miracles​ ​you’ve​ ​bestowed upon​ ​the​ ​world​ ​in​ ​your​ ​time?​ ​

After​ ​the​ ​joy​ ​you’ve​ ​brought​ ​to​ ​billions?​ ​The​ ​joy​ ​you’ve​ ​brought​ ​to ME?​ ​ONE MILLION DOLLARS​ ​should​ ​be​ ​nothing​ ​to​ ​you,​ ​but​ ​to​ ​ME?!​ ​*ME*?​ ​You​ ​can’t​ ​even​ ​begin​ ​to​ ​comprehend​ ​what it would​ ​mean​ ​to​ ​me!​ ​I​ ​could​ ​pay​ ​everyone​ ​everything​ ​I​ ​owe​ ​them​ ​and then​ ​some!​ ​Debt​ ​shall never​ ​chain​ ​me​ ​again!

Then​ ​I​ ​bet​ ​I​ ​could​ ​even​ ​take​ ​some​ ​time​ ​off​ ​to​ ​write!​ ​Fly​ ​off​ ​for​ ​a​ ​weekend​ ​in​ ​New​ ​Guinea​ ​and dedicate​ ​all​ ​my​ ​books​ ​to​ ​you:​​ ​To​ ​Barry​ ​Manilow,​ ​who​ ​helped​ ​me​ ​make​ ​it​ ​through​ ​the​ ​rain!

Now​ ​have​ ​a​ ​great​ ​daybreak,​ ​Barry​ ​Manilow!​ ​Think​ ​about​ this ​as​ ​long​ ​as​ ​you​ ​need​ ​to,​ ​I​ ​will​ ​be​ ​waiting right​ ​here​ ​for​ ​when​ ​you​ ​call​ ​just​ ​to​ ​say​ ​you​ ​love​ ​me~​ ​or​ ​at​ ​least​ ​when you just call to say you​ ​loved​ ​my​ ​letter.​ ​I’ve deserved a break for so long, so why not NOW? Why not TODAY?

This letter is​ ​MY​ ​American​ ​Handstand!​ ​Hey!​ ​Mr.​ ​Dick​ ​Clark​ ​agrees​ ​he’ll give it ​at​ ​least​ ​a​ ​seventy​ ​five​ ​.​ ​.​ ​. which​ ​is​ ​about​ ​a​ ​million​ ​after​ ​taxes.

And​ ​baby,​ ​there’ll​ ​be​ ​dancing​ ​in​ ​the​ ​streets!​ ​Mr.​ ​Manilow,​ ​I​ ​can’t​ ​smile​ ​without​ ​YOU!!!

Yours​ ​in​ ​a​ ​Worldwide​ ​Symphony!

Brianne​ ​Sloan

XoXoXo!

P.S.​ ​I​ ​am​ ​deathly​ ​allergic​ ​to​ ​Band​ ​Aid​ ​Brand​ ​Band​ ​Aids.​ ​Just​ ​sayin’.

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3 Responses to Dear Barry Manilow: Doesn’t Brianne Sloan Deserve a Break Today?

  1. Mandy Lubin says:

    You’re funny

    • Bri says:

      I might be, but don’t you just shiver to think of the possibilities!? Seems like only yesterday we were 14 and playing MANDY on vinyl in your living room! Now Barry Manilow is shining down on us from Platinum Gold heaven!

      I swear, if my letter to Fabio doesn’t work, I’m betting my million on the Manilow! <3

  2. Susan McCoy says:

    A little long but perfect as always. SO makes sense. Good writing job.

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