Mary Ann or Ginger?
Ginger or Mary Ann?
Hold the coconut phone.
Why are we given only two options when discussing this burning question?
Because it leaves out the most fabulous woman on the island.
Granted, as a happily married woman, she wasn’t romantically available.
But Lovey Howell was undeniably fabulous.
While she wasn’t a movie star or a dewy-eyed girl next door, her star qualities were legion.
To name just a few:
While Gilligan was up to his elbows in trouble, Lovey Howell was up to her elbows in fancy gloves.
Lovey was the sort of woman who could wear a giant hat and not look like a tool.
And who could sip more daintily from a coconut shell than Lovey Howell?
Only a hummingbird.
She’d definitely been to finishing school, and she gave one the impression that the finishing school’s comportment had vastly improved as a result.
There was a rumor going around that she once gave elocution lessons to the Queen.
She wore her glamour with an air of innocence. “Oh, is that you, glamour? I hadn’t noticed.”
She was a woman who danced to her own tune, and, in her incarnation as a Honeybee, to her own choreography as well.
She didn’t do anything by half-measures. It was the whole Howell or nothing.
Though she was not unflappable, when she was prone to flapping, she was as elegant as a fuming swan.
She never once called her husband “Thirsty” even though the temptation must have been enormous.
And there was an air of mystery about her.
Was Lovey her name, or was it her title?
Why did she marry Thurston if it wasn’t for his money?
Perhaps she was a woman who fancied a man with an underbite and a swanky hat.
What everyone knew for sure was that Lovey hadn’t married up–Thurston had.
So please don’t ask me Mary Ann or Ginger.
You know my answer.
I like to think of Lovey Howell up in heaven, serving cucumber sandwiches to the angels and chiding Gabriel to keep his elbows off the table.
She was a woman who always knew where her parasol was.
(R.I.P. Natalie Schafer)