America's Most Critical Journal (since 1999)
The Lost Letters of Yoko Ono and Heather Mills
24 January 2015
Yoko Ono. Heather Mills. Yoko Ono Lennon. Heather Mills-McCartney. Two women. Two Beatles. Who knew? Just remember – everyone – even the allegedly sycophantic, royally aspirational, need someone to look up to…
Dear Ms. Ono:
I am writing to you because sadly, I am no longer married to Sir Paul McCartney and you have no idea how this pains me. My heart is shattered, my world is crushed, my settlement completely unfair, unreasonable and, in a word, paltry. I know it’s hard to believe (as am I, 'tis been rumored), but after six whole long complete long devoted long dedicated long committed long years, my divorce settlement was a mere $48.2 million – I was robbed – particularly when my ATM – oops – former husband, is worth almost $2 billion.
Oh, and our child, our perfect, beautiful, innocent, gifted and talented, computer-literate daughter, Beatrice, gets an additional $70,000 a few times a year. Isn’t that horrid? He might as well give her gum wrappers a few times a year. That might sound selfish on my part and it is my goal to never SOUND selfish, but to only act that way when I am certain no one else is looking.
Never mind that $70,000 would buy meals for those sad little Somalian orphans, (every one of them, I’m told), for 14 years, or 16.2 Judith Leiber Strawberry Crystal Clutch bags, or 4.6 transfemoral prosthetic legs. So poor little Beatrice, it seems, is obviously meant to travel B class while her father travels A class. Just because he wrote “Yesterday” and she didn’t. Lord, how fair is that?
You, Ms. Oko, are soooo lucky. You didn’t have to fight for what was rightfully yours. It’s so much easier when your spouse just dies.
I’ll cry instead,
Dear Heather Mills:
I am sorry – what is the name of the band?
Come on – this is me – Heather Mills. I am an intelligent and attractive woman, (did I mention that I was once a two-legged model?). Unlike you, I did not have to wrest Paul away from his first wife (thankfully dead), or his children (thankfully grown). I know all about Cynthia. And May Pang.
My Dear Heather Mills:
I am so sorry. My sunglasses must be too tight again. They squeeze my temples and seem to have momentarily affected my memory. That “The Beatles.” Ohhhhh. Okay. I am most humbly honored that you have turned to me for help. An old Japanese proverb says that good things are worth waiting for. I am sure that Paul McCartney thought that the moment he met you. And then he didn’t. Ah, Paul. He was the “cute” Beatle back in 1964 and was actually my first choice, although I had no idea that either he or my beloved deceased husband, John Lennon, (the more talented of the two – oh sure, Paul writes catchy melodies but it was John who was the real genius), were members of any band. So I know how you feel.
I’d hoped you and Paul would live happily ever after. Who knew? Good luck to you – I’ve got to go.
All my best,
Thanks so much for getting back to me. Like you before me, it was a brilliant move to bag a Beatle. Ooops. I didn’t mean that. I was just testing to see if you were really reading this entire letter or just skimming, like I do with the Amnesty International newsletter.
No, no – I am selfless. Really. I’ve worked with land-mine victims. I’ve helped the homeless and war-torn refugees in Bosnia, Slovenia and Croatia and other “ia” countries, I am certain.
I used to believe that Paul was brought into my life as the result of karma. Now I believe he was brought into my life to torture me, embarrass me in front the world media and make it impossible for me to get “Band on the Run” out of my head no matter what I do – don’t you hate when that happens? What does that mean, anyway – “Band on the Run”? Why would a dumb band be “on the run”? Who’s chasing them? Probably the Lyrics Police…
Do I sound bitter, Yoko? Your name rhymes, by the way, “yo” and “ko”. My name – “Heather,” --is a simple name. Simple lass, simple name. But clearly we have a lot in common, Yoko. Like the fact that we could both really use a good haircut. And we both pretended that we’d never even heard of The Beatles. I think that’s what clinched the deal for both of us. You are my sista, Yoko. You were my inspiration, the Yoda to my Luke Skywalker. And now, sadly, each of us is without our Beatle.
P.S. There are still two single Jonas Brothers. We could double!
Dear Heather Mills:
I am not sure our experiences are at all similar. You see, unlike you, when I met John I really did not know he was in a band. I was not at all familiar with “The Beatles” at that time. For you to say you did not know who Paul McCartney was when you met him is laughable.
I am enclosing, for your perusal, the latest edition of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. As you can see, I dog-eared the page containing the word “sincerely.” We all know how you met John. Paul told me everything. You claimed to have had no idea who John Lennon was when he walked into the London gallery where you were doing your “performance art” thing. Pardon my ignorance, and this could have something to do with the fact that I am always so involved in things that actually matter and could possibly change this cruel world we live in, but I am not familiar with precisely what “performance art” is. Wait! Before I pack up this dictionary, I’ll look it up! Found it! “Performance art”* – the art of doing pretty much any stupid thing in public to draw attention to yourself in order to get those people who actually read the “Listings” pages of The New Yorker to believe that they are looking at art when they are, in fact, in fact, watching someone in mime make-up and Indian head-dress roll around in a vat of uncooked ziti noodles..
*see David Blaine
I think it’s so important to be honest with oneself. For example, I know I was put on this earth to do good things. If, in the process, I happened to have married one of the richest men in the world, who also happened to be a British lord, well that was perhaps a lucky coincidence. And the fact that the man I speak of was not Andrew Lloyd Webber, well, that was just the icing on the crumpet Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think it was my ex– who was considered the “cute” Beatle.
I’m Looking Through You,
Yes, it is true. Paul was considered the “cute” Beatle back in the sixties. Bathing every week was also considered good hygiene back in the sixties. So, best to follow old Japanese proverb, “Let what is past flow away downstream.”
Besides, there is no question that John was aging better than Paul. I believe that Mother Nature plays a cruel joke on men who are cute when young. Though a lower level of testosterone makes for an adorable teen idol, once the young man reaches his 30s, it is over. One look at Davey Jones of the Monkees, Leif Garrett, David Cassidy or Bruce Jenner, and you will understand the disadvantage of being “the cute guy” in one’s youth. In middle age, one begins to bear an uncanny resemblance to former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
And please, Ms. Heather Mills, it is also untrue that I did not know who John Lennon was when we first met. I was but an extremely talented avant garde performance artiste, trying to share my work with the world. When John walked into the gallery where I stood by a board of nails and invited on-lookers to hammer the nails into the board, it was my art that drew him to me. Of course, you are thinking, “well – it wasn’t her hair,” but make no mistake John was brought into my life by fate. Fate and a fabulous Rolls Royce Silver Cloud III. And his tiny frame made it easy for us to share jeans.
Many John-and-Yoko detractors believe that I deliberately set my sights on John because of his wealth, and I know you suffered the same fate. But in my case it was not true. I came from a family of extremely wealthy investment bankers. This is not my fault. The fact that I married one of the most talented, rich and anorexic men is also not my fault. It is likewise not my fault that the Japanese people think Green Tea and/or Red Bean ice creams are a reasonable excuse for dessert. It is not a coincidence that we Japanese are a thin people.
And, as long as I am peppering this letter with denials and disclaimers, the fact that the Beatles broke up is ALSO NOT MY FAULT! GODDAMN IT!!!!
And yet this misconception sticks to me like the pasty white glutinous substance my people like to call “rice.” I am not responsible for global warming or escalating oil prices or the fact that CBS has more versions of “CSI” than I have real estate.
I am a slight, humble woman who wants nothing more than to continue to create my art, honor John’s memory, and add to my black cashmere sweater collection.
Just because I come from a family who would not feel out of place at a family dinner with The Artful Dodger, does not mean I did not, too, win the heart of one of the Fab Four. Who’d have guessed that Ringo would’ve wound up being the one with the stable marriage. To a Jew. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, though they can certainly squeeze a penny better than a Scotsman and an Asian put together. Nothing personal.
I should have predicted that my marriage to Paul might not work out because I was so busy arranging for unwanted prostheses to be sent to war-torn countries and working with government agencies to establish refugee crisis centers, hospitals and housing for the homeless. It was foolish of me to have succumbed to such a shallow existence as I shared with Sir Paul, a life of opulence and luxury, six-star hotels and six-figure shopping sprees, unlimited wealth and unparalleled fortune. Looking back, if only I’d established a refugee center or two in Cabo or St.Barts…
Can’t Buy Me Love (Apparently),
Are you familiar with that Power Ball Mega-Millions Lottery they have here in the States and, I believe, in the U.K. as well? For a time, you were like the winner of the fattest jackpot in history. And then, like so many of those sad lottery winners who squander their winnings on low-rider cars, trips to Vegas, tacky McMansions and bling-bling, you blew it. For such a purportedly smart woman, that was major-stupid.
Congratulations and condolences,
Yes, I profess, it was my fault to have fought my initial apprehension about marrying Paul McCartney. Our marriage failed for many reasons. First, there was Paul’s daughter, Stella, who never liked me. No, it’s true. His other adult children knew well enough to not mess about with me. But that Stella, the one who fancies herself a fashion designer, seemed to resent me and to this day, I cannot fathom why.
I wasn’t trying to be her mum. Good lord, imagine being her mum…
ME: What would you like for breakfast?
STELLA: Remember, fake-mum, I’m a vegan!
STELLA: Is it made with flour or spelt?
ME: Toast? Spam? Corn flakes, toast, Spam?
STELLA: Vegan! Vegan! Vegan!
I swear – it was like that old “Monty Python” routine. I’m young enough to have been her mum’s daughter. Tis true, I turned down her offer to design my wedding dress, but it was my wedding and – have you seen her clothes? Just because she is a vegan, why should I have been forced to wear some unbleached cruelty-free cotton wedding frock? Plus, she’s friends with that ever-annoying Gwyneth Paltrow who actually thinks she’s British because she married that loser from Cold Play. Well, now they're "consciously uncoupling." I am, too, I guess.
Tell me Yoko, how did you deal with children from John’s first marriage?
Don’t Let Me Down,
P.S. Paul has a daughter named “Heather McCartney,” but when I married Paul, I told her that she had to get another name. She refused. So very, very rude.
What children from John’s first marriage?
I see… That didn’t actually work, did it?
From Me to You,
You probably aren’t aware of this, dear Yoko, but after Paul and I were wed, I tried desperately to talk Paul into re-kindling the once-warm friendship you shared with him back in the day. Way back in the day.
Don’t Ask Me Why,
You’d have a better chance becoming a Rockette.
Even though our marriage is as much a part of history as my modeling career, I was sad that you missed our wedding. I wore a fabulous gown designed by – by – someone other than Stella McCartney. Yay me! And, for a time, marriage to Paul absolutely agreed with me. I was “Lady Heather Mills McCartney,” quite a lot of names to have had monogrammed on my Frechette linens. But they managed.
Sad to say you were quite right concerning any possibility of you and Paul reconciling. He’d said, and I quote, “I would rather gargle glass shards.” Pity. We could have all had such mad fun in the recording studio: Paul singing, you howling, me finding some way to exploit you both. No. That’s not quite right. I didn’t mean “exploit.” I meant finding a way to help the peoples of the world. Because that’s what I’m all about. And, had things worked out, I know Paul would’ve let me become part of the band. Because that’s what he does. Between you and me, and I don’t mean to speak bad about the dead, but Linda McCartney had as much business being in a band as I did dancing on “Dancing With the Stars.”
Dear Heather Mills-McCartney not-so-much-anymore,
Sometimes I give in to my baser instincts and watch the same television programs as your tired, your poor, your huddled, your uncultured and uninformed. I saw you on “Dancing With the Stars.” Perhaps it is because I am not from this country that I seem a bit confused but – who are the “stars” on this show? Yes, you have only one leg, but that would be considered more of a novelty act, like the man who used to spin plates on the old “Ed Sullivan Show.”
Before I forget or go off on an unintelligible tangent which I then disguise by calling it “performance art,” I must remember to humbly thank you for your desire to bring Paul and me together once again. I have been trying for decades to restore my image as a woman of love, of peace, of art, of political activism. And yet all that was needed was your marriage to Paul McCartney to make me the “nice” Beatles wife.
All Best Wishes for a Happy Life,
I tried. I really tried. I wanted to be the best one-legged wife a man could ever have. I guess my invented past caught up with me. No one believes, least of all Paul and all of the British press, that I:
1) Ran away and joined a funfair (circus), at 10 years old.
2) Worked at a croissant shop.
3) Got sacked from croissant shop.
4) Got a job at a jeweler’s shop.
5) Got sacked for stealing jewels.
6) Worked in a casino, a sunbed salon and Bananas cocktail lounge in London.
7) Was a model for a modeling agency bought by my second husband.
8) Agency went out of business.
9) Modeled for German sex manuals.
10) Was and (am still) a compulsive liar.
11) Set up a refugee crisis center during Croatian war and helped 20 people escape to London
12) Drove by myself to Croatia, taking modeling jobs along the way to support myself.
13) Built the Brooklyn Bridge and the Pyramids at Giza.
14) Created world’s first artificial heart.
15) Composed “La Traviata”.
16) Played “Anita” in West End’s “West Side Story”.
17) Had secret affair with Napoleon Bonaparte.
18) Created first “Napoleon” pastry.
19) Adopted Bob Fosse.
20) Constructed an English bulldog out of grape tomatoes.
And all of this before the age of 25.
I know it’s hard to believe that a woman of such profound accomplishment should find herself without a mate, particularly a mate who is an English Lord and an original MopTop. And, I’m sure, dear Yoko, that you’ve seen Paul’s new wife. She works for the MTA. How pathetic. I wonder – does she drive a bus or clean the subway tracks? Am sure Stella loves having a third mum. Stella will see to that.
Have you seen this Nancy Shevell-McCartney, Yoko? She lives in New York City. She’s tall, slim, and has two legs. A bit of a horse-face if you ask me. I’ve seen her on the telly whenever they have a meeting about raising the subway fare in New York. Often she comes late, steps out of her Maybach sedan, sits at a seat behind a nameplate that says, “Nancy Shevell,” as though either she doesn’t know her name, or that anyone watching wants to. She’ll probably start taking on that fake British accent those Yanks do – like Madonna and Gwyneth. And now they'll change that name-plate to "Nancy Shevell-McCartney." Oh Yoko, what do I do if they have a baby? What will become of me? What will become of my daughter-from-a-broken-home?
I’m So Tired,
Dear Heather Mills-McCartney,
With all due respect, I believe your Beatrice could live several lives, eating at a different five-star restaurant every night of the year, accompanied by ten of her best friends and that insane 19 Kids and Growing family with the Little House on the Prairie dresses and the bangs, buying a pair of Christian Louboutin pumps every hour on the hour, treating herself to diamonds the size of marshmallows and lofts the size of Yankee Stadium just from the royalties from “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.” After all, I should know,
Mollie Fermaglich is a satirical essayist who has written for Glamour, New York Times, London Times, Mademoiselle, Village Voice, King Features Syndicate and several other magazines and newspapers. She is the author of Mollie's Rules for the Socially Inept, and two blogs, www.molliesrulesforyou.com and her political satire column for The Times of Israel.