Happy birthday, Madonna, and thanks for helping me get published this year. Add that to your list of lifetime achievements as you turn 60 today. Because I wanted to be you once upon a time ago, I wrote about it and “Madonna Wannabe” made the pages of a humor anthology this year.

Our story, as I like to think of it, is about why I’m relieved today that social media did not exist when I went to see you perform in The Virgin Tour in 1985, otherwise more photos like the blurry left side of the one I’ve included here would be forever floating in cyberspace. As it is now, only this photo will have that honor, and only tightly cropped to protect the innocent.

I’m wearing lace gloves on my 22-year-old hands, which was your signature style back then, as I proudly point to the “Like a Virgin” cassette tape. Had it been possible 30-plus years ago, I might’ve posted the unedited version of the photo, then I’d be embarrassed today that I’d chosen to wear a dress imprinted with Tweedy Bird’s head in the clutch of Sylvester’s paws. As it is now, I can save face because you can’t see my face and Tweedy wasn’t tweeted.

Laugh out loud if you must, in fact, you should because that is the title of the book that contains our story: Laugh Out Loud: 40 Women Humorists Celebrate Then and Now…Before We Forget. If you contact me, or have your agent contact my agent (who is me), I will personally buy you the book on Amazon, sign it and mail it to you as a belated birthday gift. For Christmas, you can sign it and mail it back to me. I’d like that very much. Or we can skip the signing swap altogether and you can just download the eBook yourself and find our story at the very end of the “Then” section.

In the meantime, Madonna, I sincerely hope you have a happy 60th and thanks again for the story material. (This must be what you meant in your 1984 hit song about being a material girl living in a material world, right?)