Okay. I admit it. I've got a "girl crush" on Dolly Parton.
I was at the Southern Women in Public Service conference in Nashville this week where Dolly was presented with the Lindy Boggs award for public service. She entered the ballroom to accept the award singing "9 to 5" ... gave a great speech ... got off some great one liners in an interview with 6th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Cissy Daughtry (think frumpy 60 something interviews not so frumpy ageless woman) ... and sang "her favorite song" "Coat of Many Colors" strumming her guitar expertly with improbably long fingernails.
Among the things she said I remember....
Asked to comment on her song for the movie Transamerica ... she began by saying that everyone should be free (as she says she is) to be exactly who they are. Then she reminded folks that she'd been nominated for "9 to 5" and lost in a year when Cissy Spacek did the Loretta Lynn movie and that this year she'd been nominated this year and lost when Reese Witherspoon was doing June Carter Cash in Walk the Line. She quipped that next time she hoped that she wouldn't be nominated in a year with a country music movie.
Asked what advice she had for a man thinking about becoming a woman she said, "I'd tell him the installation will be expensive, but it's the maintenance that will kill you."
Asked about the difference between Republicans and Democrats, she said that Republicans care about "the bottom line" and Democrats are more "top heavy." (Okay, think about it... Dolly Parton).
Asked what she thinks about dumb blonde jokes she said she didn't really mind them because she knows that she's not dumb and, more importantly, that she's not blond.
She poked fun at herself and had not a single remotely unkind word to say about anyone else.
She was "real" in every way you can imagine that matters, while acknowledging that almost none of what you see is "natural."
Dolly received her award in significant part because of her work in founding The Imagination Library.
Because of her efforts, children all over the country have books at home to inspire them to read and to help them prepare for school.
Let's see ... rich, smart, good looking, nice as can be, great sense of humor, focused on children as our future, great voice, wonderful songwriter ... etc, etc.
Now you can see why I'm smitten.