Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Humor Essay

I'm Living a Teenage Dream During a Midlife Crisis

I guess we all handle middle age differently. When my husband turned 50 two years ago, he went out and bought a new Jeep Wrangler. As I was approaching the Big Five O this past year, I sent a candy gift basket to an actor on the TV show Glee.

It all started innocently enough. My two teenage daughters and I have watched Glee since the pilot episode aired on May 19, 2009. We immediately fell in love with the group of show choir members set at a fictional high school in Lima, Ohio. In addition to the story lines regarding teen issues, each episode features fabulous musical production numbers including renditions of popular songs such as “Firework” and past hits like “Silly Love Songs’. 

On November 9, 2010, after an ordinary day of working, driving teenagers around town and attending a school conference, I returned home to watch Glee. I remember having my back to the TV when all of a sudden I hear a silky smooth voice singing “My heart stops when you look at me.”  I turn around and see a young man I had never seen before on Glee.  Wearing a navy blazer with a striped tie, he’s singing the Katy Perry song “Teenage Dream”.  Jet black hair, beautiful hazel eyes, brilliant white smile. He looked like a movie star and sang like a rock star! All of a sudden I felt like I was a teenage girl again. But I’m 49, not 14! 

Using Google on my laptop PC I find out that the actor’s name is Darren Criss and that his birthday is February 5. My daughters and I began watching him sing on Glee each week and loved all his performances, so we decided we wanted to do something nice for Darren on his upcoming birthday.

Before I know it, I’m walking into a Candy Bouquet Store in January and ordering an arrangement with 40 full size chocolate bars in the shape of a three tiered birthday cake and having it shipped to Darren at Paramount Studios. For the next six months I wondered if he received the gift.

Thanks to a lot of good luck, Sara and I met Darren Criss on July 21, 2011 before his concert at the Six Flags amusement park in St. Louis. At first I couldn’t speak, but I finally got the courage to ask him if he received candy delivered to the Glee set in February for his birthday. With a big smile, he tells Sara and I that he got the candy arrangement, took it home and put it on his dining room table as a centerpiece. He then thanked me and gave me a big hug! 

The next week I sent Darren another candy gift basket along with a “Congratulations on Your Success” card and a picture of Darren with Sara and I taken at Six Flags.

OK, I have to confess that after I found out that Darren received the candy basket for his birthday last year, I sent another one to a cast member of Glee, but his time to actress Naya Rivera who plays cheerleader Santana. Her birthday is January 12 and I ordered it from a nice lady named Mary who owns a Candy Bouquet Store in Long Beach, California.  The candy arrangement was delivered to the Glee Studios on Naya's birthday. Right after that I received this tweet on twitter from Naya along with a picture of the candy arrangement:   "Just found the sweetest belated bday gift in my trailer from@leslieinlr. Thank you!!"
The tweet was sent to me and also to over 600,000 of her twitter followers!

Leslie Smith Doan, a ten year cancer survivor, spends her days writing technical documentation and her nights surfing the Internet, tweeting and face booking her many friends from around the world. She and her husband Stewart have two daughters, Lauren, a freshman in college, and Sara, a freshman in high school. Leslie and her family live in Little Rock, Arkansas along with two rescue pets, Oreo, an Australian Shepherd and Lilly, a calico kitty. She has a B.S. Degree in Radio/Television Communications from Arkansas State University and a M.A. Degree in Technical and Expository Writing from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Read all about her love for the TV show Glee and movies on


  1. Hi Leslie,
    You are so sweet and thoughtful. Thanks for stopping by my blog and offering your congratulations.
    I am now a follower of your blog.
    Donna Volkenannt

  2. Donna,

    Oh My Gosh! My first comment on my blog! I've been writing my blog for over 5 months now and you're the first person to actually leave a comment.

    As you can probably tell, I'm still new to this whole blog thing. I received your comment as an email, and I replied to it earlier today.

    I've told several of my friends about your winning essay and your blog.

    Thanks again for following me!