Dear Erik Estrada,

Erik, you might not remember, but I grew up with pretty limited television. So you can imagine how it might have confused the tween I was to see your face every time I looked up at the tube. From the TBS reruns of your cheesy 1970s movies (with all the smut edited out) to the renowned series CHiPs, you were like a rascally cousin no one really wanted around but had to watch in the depressing daytime television purgatory. When I watched tv with my sister and brother after school, there you were– guest starring your ass off all over Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel. When I woke up in the middle of the night with puberty nightmares, it was you who tried to sell me infomercial real estate. By the time my public school teachers showed us Dos mujeres, un camino, in a foolish attempt to improve our Spanish with telenovelas, I started to wonder if you were the only actor in the wide whole world. In fact, when I saw you on VH1’s “Where Are They Now?” I thought they were being facetious!

We’ve been through so much together. If I were a little more dedicated to my cause I would put together a opening-credits-style photo-montage of our relationship set to Air Supply’s “Making Love out of Nothing at All” or Journey’s “Any Way You Want it.” In the meantime, this will have to do. If you get a chance, drop me a line with your home mailing address so that I can send you whole bunch of pictures of myself as a child and young adult. Then we can be on even footing.