Dec 21, 2013

Spring 1976: Marrying Donny Osmond

In grade school, there were lots of tv programs that my friends and I would turn over heaven and earth to watch -- Batman, Lost in Space, Mission: Impossible --, but in high school, not so much. I liked Barney Miller, but if a cute boy invited me out for pizza, I wouldn't think twice about missing it.

But Rita, a sophomore who got saved during the fall revival, never missed the variety show Donny & Marie on Friday night, no matter what was happening at school or what kind of spectacular night out she was offered.  She would go out after 8:00, when the show was over.  If you arrived early, you had to sit down, shut up, and wait.

She had to watch to support teen idol Donny Osmond (starring with his sister Marie, one of several brother-sister acts of the era).

Donny was her future husband.

This was no mere teen idol crush; it was a simple statement of fact.  One night Rita was alone in her room, listening to Donny sing “Go away, little girl. . .I’m dating someone else, I must be true,” and it dawned on her that she could be that “someone else”! So she knelt by her bedside and asked God in Jesus’ name to give her Donny as a husband.

 John 14:13 says, "Whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do.” The Bible is God’s Word, isn’t it?  God doesn’t lie, does He? So, as certain as the sunrise, she would someday be Mrs. Donny Osmond.

She left the details of their meeting to God, but most likely Donny would come to Rock Island for a concert, and she would be sitting in the front row, and their eyes would meet. Afterwards, he would invite her to his dressing room and try to brainwash her into the Mormon cult, but she would turn the tables and win him for Christ. He would vow to use his talent henceforth for God, not Satan, and ask her to marry him.

She had to stay faithful to her future husband, so she couldn't possibly date other boys.  But we could be "just friends."

During my sophomore year, Rita and I went out frequently as "just friends," often to Jim's Rib Haven, which was just around the corner from her house.

 Most Saturdays Darry and I took the bus downtown to study at the library, and then visit her.  We sat on the floor in her bedroom, gazing at the many posters of Donny on her walls and listening to his records.  We discussed the relative dreaminess of current teen idols -- omitting Donny, of course, since anyone who questioned his superlative dreaminess was likely to get ejected from the premises.

We talked about Becky’s future as Mrs. Osmond, and, playing along, I talked about my future with Todd, the boy I had a crush on.  I even used God's Infallible Promise to make sure that I would someday "get" him.

And it worked!  In June 1976, I spent the night with Todd at music camp.

During my junior year, Rita and I drifted apart.  We chatted when we ran into each other in the hallway, and sometimes sat together in church, but not much else.

As far as I know, she never lost her conviction that she would one day marry Donny Osmond.

After all, she used God's Infallible Promise.

Todd's story continues here.