By Mandi Bierly
March 16, 2007 at 06:46 PM EDT

In 1984, after the Washington Redskins lost the Super Bowl 38-9 to the Los Angeles Raiders, I wrote Redskins quarterback Joe Theisman a letter to tell him it was okay… I still liked him. The only address I had on the envelope was “Joe Theisman, Washington Redskins.” A year (or, at least what seemed like a year to a nine-year-old) later, I received an autographed photo in the mail. I remember being pissed that it wasn’t personalized.

In the early ’90s, I sent a letter to the New Kids on the Block asking them if they would perform at my high school’s dance marathon because it benefited one of their favorite charities: United Cerebral Palsy. I couldn’t imagine them saying no (or that I would never get a response).

I know I’m not the only one who was that naive. My friend Karen once wrote a letter inviting Patrick Duffy (circa Man From Atlantis) to her house because she’d read that he liked antiques, which her parents had lots of. My friend Eva sent Rob Lowe (pictured, in 1984) an invitation for him and his then-girlfriend, Melissa Gilbert, to visit her at her house in Sweden. The plan: after reading that she had “graciously extended the invite to MG,” Rob would see that Eva’s love was pure and leave Melissa for her. (Eva also mailed Ralph Macchio a hand-drawn map to her family’s home in Connecticut. God, I wish I knew her then.)

So now, PopWatchers, it’s your turn to share. We want to hear those sweet, delusional stories that only your closest friends know — and remind you of at least once a year. Also, feel free to join the debate I started earlier this week with a couple of coworkers —’s Helin Jung (who once received glossy photos back from John Cusack‘s people) and EW’s Abby West (who wants it noted that it was “1983 or something” when she got her “autographed” picture in the mail from Michael Jackson). We’re wondering whether today’s tweens and teens — blessed with the Internet’s all-access pass to their favorite celebrities — even feel the need to write these kinds of letters anymore. Are they still naive enough to think that a home visit is a possibility? Or does the Internet’s false sense of accessibility actually have them demanding more when they take glitter pen to paper?

addCredit(“Rob Lowe: Barry Talesnick/Retna”)