I was reminiscing on old times today, and I was reminded of my epic Sweet Sixteen present from my sister. Not only did she give me her old car (best sister ever award), but she also surprised me with a gift I never would have anticipated or thought of on my own. When I opened the trunk of the car, there were several framed photos of some of my favorite actors (most of them Twilight stars, as I was in my “vampire-romance-fanatic” phase), and they were all signed by the celebrities.
Apparently she had sent out several letters and photos to the actors a few months before my birthday, asking that they sign them and send them back to her. It was such a special, unique, thoughtful gift, and the best part was that it kept on giving long after my birthday was over. We got a few sporadic late replies, some of them months later, and it was always a fun surprise that brightened both of our days. The one surprise that stuck out more than any other, however, was the reply we got from Timothy Omundson a few months after my birthday.
My entire family has been a huge fan of Psych since the day it began, and my sister and I have always had a certain fondness for Lassie. She mailed him the following relatively old picture of himself, along with a letter explaining that we were huge fans of him and that the autographed photo would be a gift for my 16th birthday. When he replied to her request, we got a lot more than we bargained for.
He signed the first photo, as requested, but given it was so old, he felt the need to mention that he had much more gray in his hair at this point. You can see that he also took the liberty of using his silver marker to make the picture a more accurate depiction of who he is, today.
Along with the first picture, he also sent one of his newer, larger photos (which, by the way, means that he had to stamp his own envelope rather than using the self-stamped one that my sister sent along with the letter). Given that his reply was long past my birthday, he joked with us, signing, “This is a very very very very very very late birthday gift. You must be 26 by now.”
And as an added bonus, as if all of this wasn’t enough, he sent along another signed photo for my sister, as well. So all in all, Timothy Omunson greatly impressed me that day, and now, six years later, I still smile when I see that picture and think of the thought that he put into that response. It may not seem like a big deal to everyone, and in this day and age, some people tend to hold the skewed opinion that celebrities “owe us” fans this kind of respect, time, and thoughtfulness. But I’ve always been very bothered by that notion, and I don’t take little things like this for granted, as if simply by watching and enjoying a TV show, this strange man who’s never met me and has millions of other things going on in his life and vying for his time now owes me some kind of grand gesture for my birthday. It seems to me that as social media grows and celebrities become more and more accessible to their fans, this mindset of fan-entitlement has grown with it. (Not to say that everyone is like this…. Obviously there are other loyal, respectful fans out there, and I’m not under any arrogant delusion that I’m set apart from the rest of the world, but you’d be surprised how many people feel this way and release their frustrations on their favorite celebrities for not taking the time to reply to their tweet.)
So, as I reflected on this today, I thought I would take a moment to thank the kind, thoughtful, funny, talented Timothy Omundson for providing me with a lovely, special memory that I will always look on with a grateful smile. You didn’t have to put this much effort into my birthday present, but I’m glad you did.