Sally Field, her pert, pretty face alight with anticipation, swirled in front of the mirror in her apartment. Took one last look at herself, smiled contentedly, and decided she would do. She would do very well, indeed, thank you.
Having thus analyzed herself and given her own approval, Sally settled down to wait for her date, Peter Deuel. She didn't have-to wait long, for Peter was his usually prompt self.
Looking even more attractive than he did every week on "Love on a Rooftop", Peter, dressed to the nines, whistled softly in appreciation as Sally stood before him. Then, bowing low, he ushered her out the door to the waiting limousine.
Well, not exactly limousine. More like a Jeep. To be exact, a Toyota, the Japanese version of the veteran desert buggy that has been such a favorite since World War II. A favorite for dashing over deserts, roadless mountains and rough terrain, that is. Hardly a favorite of the Hollywood glamor set for their more formal occasions.
"That was exactly the idea," Sally told us recently, laughter pouring from her lips like merry music. "Just exactly the idea. We just decided we'd really show 'em down at the Grove, when they all showed up in their chauffeur-driven Cadillacs and Rolls.
"Can't you just see us, though?" Sally burbled, almost jumping up and down in Elfin delight. "All those great, big cars, looking so grand and important, and right in the middle, Peter and I in the Toyota? Oh, grand, simply grand."
At this point, Sally dissolved into such merriment that she found it impossible to talk for a moment. Then, catching her breath, she gasped, "If it had worked out that way.
"Well, it happened that it was raining," Sally said. "So we were driving along the street merrily, and all of the sudden Pete's car just stopped running. Wouldn't go another foot.
"So there we were, in our formals and tuxedos, having to push this dumb car down the street. Marching around the mud puddles. And, of course, no one would stop and help us.
"Well," Sally giggled, "we were just about to die laughing. Between bouts of telling that car off in no uncertain terms. But it was so hysterical, who could really get upset?"
"We did make an entrance into the Grove," the chuckling young woman added, "but it was even more unusual than the one we'd planned. Like would you believe dripping all over?"
We would believe it. And the sight of two of Hollywood's most popular young stars, who recently have been linked romantically in all the gossip columns, coming into the jewel-bedecked audience of the Cocoanut looking bit more than damp must have swiveled more than one neck that night. Which didn't faze Sally Field a bit.
"I adore Pete." Sally said unequivocally "Just adore him, I mean dearly. And one of the reasons is that he'll do crazy things that nobody else will do."
Like having a girl help him push a Toyota down the street on a rainy evening. That, it must be admitted is rather unusual.
"Sure, I've dated Pete a lot lately," Sally admitted candidly. "And there's nobody like him in the whole world. He's just fabulous."
Then, with a small smile, Sally added, "Of course, I haven't seen much of him the past couple of weeks. He's been out on tour."
Sally and Peter make the sort of couple that reporters think of as being absolutely ideal. Both bright happily young and successful. Both extremely popular, with their co-workers and the public. Both single; neither having been married. No wonder speculation has been rife as to when--not whether--they will have a serious announcement to make as to their future plans.
All of which speculation sends Sally into renewed gales of girlish laughter.
"Oh, sure, I know," .she says wisely. "If you go out with a guy in this town more than five times, everybody has you married to him the next week. But Pete and I just rise above it. Because we do enjoy each other.
"Pete is a good guy," Sally said solemnly. "A really good guy. He is just himself. We really have a fun relationship."
But what about all those romantic stones? Are they accurate?
"Hardly," was Sally's succinct summation of the accuracy of Hollywood gossip. "We're having fun, man. Just fun. And that's so rare in itself, why can't they just let it alone?
"Look," the pint-sized Sally insisted leaning forward earnestly, "I don't know that many people I can have real fun with. Most guys are, you know, kind of drippy after a little bit. But Pete is an exception. A real exception."
For just a moment, the happiness faded completely from Sally's face, leaving her looking, if not really sad, at least unusually solemn. She seemed to be looking off into space a long, long way, deep in her own thought.
Then just as we were beginning to think she'd gone away completely, she suddenly sat up straighter, gave a wry chuckle, and said, "It's not that easy in this town for a young single girl, you know. If you're any kind of a success at all you find out you're getting exploited by a lot of people. And I do mean fellows. They just want to be seen with you for the publicity value. Now, what girl likes that?
"Actors, especially, are oftentimes prone to that sort of thing," Sally said. "Most of them have such great big egos that any girl they date is just an extension of their own self-love. Which is a real drag, believe you me."
Sally made a small expression of distaste, then instantly became her own bright self again as she said sunnily, "That's why I like Pete so much. He's none of those things. He is just the most natural, the most outgoing, the most fun person I know. And, in this business, we all can use a bit of pure fun.
"But serious? Frankly," Sally stated simply, "I don't think that thought has entered either of our heads. I don't even know if we could get serious about each other. Oh, maybe. Maybe.
"Right now, though," Sally said.
"neither of us even wants to consider it. I know I don't.
And I'm sure Pete feels exactly the same way. If you're as young
as we are, and you're having such a great time, why does everyone
want you to get into something serious?
"That, it seems to me, is the way a lot of good friendships get all loused up. And that's not for Pete and me." Sally grinned as she added, "Besides I seem to have a penchant for becoming everybody's sister. They think of me as a pal--and perhaps that's a good thing--it keeps me out of trouble. When I myself am ready for love, that's when I'll stop being everybody's sister and somebody's real girl friend.
"In the meantime, Peter and I will date and have fun just being pals."
So that's that. And so much for the gossips.
Or, according to Sally Field, that's that
as of this writing. Her attitudes, of course, being female, are
always open to change. THE END
(Sally Field stars on ABC's "The Flying Nun Thursdays at 8:00 p.m., NY time)
Back to Articles List