Indiana Jones

Happy 71st Birthday, Harrison Ford!

(Sorry for the formality, doll, but I wasn’t sure you’d remember my secret pet name for you, Dr. Jonesy-face Solo.)

On your special day, I thought we might take a proverbial walk down memory lane and celebrate our almost forty-year history together, complicated as it’s been. Though we have drifted so very far from the way we were, I still think of our time together with great fondness. (P.S. Make sure Calista’s not in the room! I know how she gets jealous.)

Though it always ticks you off, I think it’s funny that I can’t really remember the first time we met. Give me a bit of a break: after all, I was only four when my parents took me to see Star Wars (IN THE THEATER). Honestly, I didn’t remember anything after Darth Vader first appeared. I think initially I closed my eyes because he was the Scariest Thing Ever, but then I must have fallen asleep. I’m sorry I missed your grand debut in the Mos Eiseley cantina


but maybe it’s a small consolation that in later years I watched this scene so many times that I could once recite Greedo’s side of the conversation. Alas, I am no longer fluent in Rodian. My bff Lisa is the only woman I know who can compete with this claim in any comparable sort of way: she can sing “Anything Goes” in Cantonese because she’s seen Temple so much. But, then again, that’s Temple, right?

The next year (when smoking was still cool) I became a little distracted by a new man.

John Travolta Grease

Hand jive hardly compares to outrunning Corellian starships, but I get why you’ve always been a little jealous: I saw you dance in Witness and let’s face it, sweetheart, you’re no Danny Zuko. (And weren’t you a little busy with Carrie Fisher around this time, anyway?)

But you had me at Empire (1980). In fact, it’s hard for me to even think about the eighties without getting a little flushed. You were relentless in your courting: Raiders, Blade Runner, Jedi, Temple, Witness, and Last Crusade. What a wild ride. I mean, I know it wasn’t perfect. I’ll be frank, sweetheart: your carbonited expression has always been a bit off-putting:

Han Solo Carbonited

I know you’re supposed to look pained, but it just looks like you’re having a difficult BM. And then there’s that scene in Blade Runner that steps a fine line between sexy and sadistic and, sadly, ends up more the latter than the former, I think.

And I’ve never denied that at times I have been distracted by your co-stars.

River Phoenix as Indiana Jones

Sean Connery as Henry Jones

Boba Fett

But the real problem was that at some point, I started doing the math, and the 31 years between us began to seem a little, well, daunting. In later years, I would perform similar calculations and rule out these men:

Don Johnson Miami Vice

Tony Danza Who's the Boss?

And then things just got ugly. I sent you a 50th birthday card in 1992; you didn’t even acknowledge it. Olivia Newton-John always responded with autographed photos, and I even got a handwritten note from Dean Koontz once, for chrissakes.

But mostly you were just so all over the place. I never knew who you were going to be. Sometimes you seemed entirely competent, a man who would make sure that I (and the rest of the world) was safe, whether as a CIA operative or president of the whole damn nation. Sometimes you just seemed misunderstood, a little downtrodden but still able to leap from speeding locomotives in a single bound. Other times, though, you were a total creepo, driving poor Bonnie Bedelia to murder (didn’t she have enough to deal with, with all of Bruce Willis’s shenanigans?) and Michelle Pfeiffer to a madness that only a gothic heroine knows. But Regarding Henry? Sabrina? Really? What was going on there? I had seen this side of you in Mosquito Coast, but I didn’t know how far you would go. Six Days, Seven Nights. Honey, seriously, what were you thinking?

Everything’s a blur right up until Crystal Skull? You really took the cats to Turkey on that one, Harry–or nuked the fridge, whatever. Look, I think we were all happy in theory to see Marion again. She’s the only read Indy girl to any self-respecting fan. But thousands of men were profoundly disturbed by the fact that after 27 years, she looked older. And thousands of women were disturbed by the fact that Indy got married. I mean, we all dreamed of being the One Who Tamed Indiana, but actually seeing Dr. Jones make a respectable woman out of anyone turned out to be a turn-off.

Or was it just that we knew the real deal was coming with Calista?

If I’m entirely honest, it wasn’t so much that Crystal Skull was bad or that there’s anything wrong with Calista (at least she seemed pretty cool when she was Ally McBeal). The problem is that I had done the math and ruled you out. And then look what you did. When I turned 19, the age Carrie Fisher was when she first played Leia, you were 50. No way Han could come back to make another movie for me to audition for. Now I hear rumors that you’re gonna make an appearance in Episode 7? And isn’t Colonel Graff really just some weird amalgamation of Luke and Han all growed up? How could you do Han again without me there to do it with you? When I was 30–Karen Allen’s age when she first played Marion–you were 61; no way there would be another Indy movie for me to co-star in. And then you go ahead and make Crystal Skull without asking me? And is it true that there is a fifth one on the way? I long ago ruled our love an impossibility: 31 years made us star-crossed, I thought. But then you married some chick my age (okay, Calista’s nine years older than me, but close enough). I just feel so betrayed.

Anyway, I didn’t mean for this to turn into some confessional, but I suppose these feelings have been pent up way too long. Love to ‘Lista and the rest of the Ford fold. And happiest of birthdays to you, Dr. Jonesy-face Solo.

One thought on “Happy 71st Birthday, Harrison Ford!

  1. Oh my, Harrison must see this. I must hear his reaction to undoubtedly his biggest fan. And I’m sure he wouldn’t dare put a restraining order on you.

    “Nuked the fridge” should become the new “jumped the shark”–do I even need to explain why the fridge incident was worse? No, the Fonz jumped a shark on a jet ski and THAT is at least believable, George Lucas.

    Shit, you have Olivia Newton-John autographs? Like, plural? You were a pretty persistent fan.

    And I’m totally assuming Dr. Jonesy-face Solo is on your Guilt Free Three. And in all honesty, I’m a bit worried for Bob because of that. You seem determined.

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