|From Up The Sandbox, 1972|
You don’t even want to know how much I love Barbra Streisand.
It’s sort of a weird thing.
Not as weird as my Mandy Patinkin thing, but it’s pretty weird.
One time I saw Mandy Patinkin and Patti Lupone in concert and I pretended the whole time that it was Barbra singing instead of Patti.
And Barbara surpasses all.
Because today is her 70th birthday, and because it occurred to me that I never shared my love for her with you before, I thought today would be a great day for this post.
Top Ten Reasons Why Barbra Streisand Is Better Than All Of Us
1. She is beautiful without being pretty. In fact, I’ll take it further: Barbra Streisand taught me to hate the word pretty. It is the sort of word you slap on something or someone who conforms to something expected. Something convenient. Something pretty. Newsflash: Who gives a crap? Let’s have something beautiful. Something messy. Something flawed. Let’s have something we have never seen before. If you are one of those people who think a person needs to possess a certain sort of face shape, or hair color, or body type to be considered gorgeous, you need to spend more time with Barbra. (I suggest you start with Color Me Barbra.)
2. She hates waste. She even got rid of the extra A in her name, turning Barbara to Barbra. The Lady runs a tight ship!
3. Talented much? Babs was the first person ever to receive a Grammy, an Emmy, an Oscar and a Tony. Her Tony was a non-competitive award for Star of the Decade, which is why many people attribute this first to others (such as Rita Moreno). So lets set the record straight: Barbra came first.
4. She is stepmother to Josh Brolin, who is arguably The Cutest Professional Bad Guy Ever. He also hosted Saturday Night Live last weekend. You should watch it.
5. She went to high school with Neil Diamond. I can’t even talk about this. You know how I feel about Neil Diamond.
6. She had a fling with Elvis. Actually, that's only a rumor. Although, it is widely reported that she wanted Elvis to star with her in A Star Is Born, which, if you have seen the movie, is hard to imagine.
7. She makes long fingernails look good. The story is that Dolly Parton composed Nine to Five by running her acrylic nails together like a comb on a washboard, and I’m pretty sure Barbra composes her music the same way: talon tapping. No proof on my part, I just know these things.
9. She gets stage fright. She has performed in front of millions of people and still gets scared. This makes me feel better about my inability to ask strangers for directions. Yes, it’s not really the same thing, but it makes me feel better.
10. She is a badass philanthropist. I’m pretty sure most celebrities can site their charitable endeavors, but most of them pale in comparison the time, money and devotion Barbra has invested in a variety of charitable causes. Alone, the Streisand Foundation has given millions of dollars through thousands of grants to nonprofit organizations and she has raised many millions more through her performances.
Side note: I have a friend who used to work for a non-profit organization in LA, where, reportedly, Barbra would occasionally call to ask for lists of names and phone #s of people who recently donated. She would just call them. Thank them and stuff. No biggie, just, Hey is Barbra! Thanks for making a difference. Have a great day!One lucky lady got a song on her answering machine. My friend said it was Evergreen but he might have been making that up because he knows I’ll start singing it upon mention. I don’t care. Still, every time I write a check or drop a dime in a bucket for a good cause, I do it because 1. It is the right thing to do, and because 2. What goes around comes around and if I have a fantasy voice mail from Barbra coming, it’s going to sound just like this: