...is, shockingly, not me. And it turns out I'm not even the hottest Garvin in Florida. Both titles belong to Jessica Garvin, the Coral Springs actress who is, to my knowledge, the only Garvin ever to have appeared in a Playboy video. (They keep begging me, but I won't do nudity unless it's for real Art.)
Jessica plays a big part in Wednesday's 10 p.m. season debut of TV Land's reality melodrama High School Reunion. The show gathers a bunch of people from a particular high school (in this case Chandler High, in Chandler, Arizona) for a 20th class reunion and then turns them loose in hopes of trauma and psychodrama. And Jessica contributed to plenty of both.
"I wound up in the middle of a lot of drama," she says. "I swear, some of those people never left high school."
Turns out that, back in the day, Jessica didn't exactly look like that picture you see up above. "I wasn't flat-chested, exactly, but I was kind of a nerd, kind of under the radar," she recalls. "I had scoliosis [curvature of the spine] and I wore a back brace. My family was financially challenged, so I wore the same clothes all the time, too big, stuff from the second-hand stores."
So her classmates weren't expecting a video Playmate. And for a lot of them, especially the women, it was an unwelcome surprise.
"There was a lot of jealousy on that show, and I wasn't expecting it," Jessica says. ‘‘I've been living in South Florida 11 years, and I'm not used to that. Here, beautiful women are a dime a dozen. It's not a big deal. Obviously these people aren't exposed to anything like that, and there was terrible jealousy of anybody the least bit looking."
Not that Jessicawould have minded a little jealousy. She was hoping to see the only guy who ever asked her on a date back in high school. "I'll never forget that date," she says. "We went to the Sweetish Dance, a big deal at our high school. He was a really cute guy, but I lived on what we used to call the
other side of the tracks, and when he picked me up, he was kind of turned off right away. Then, when we arrived at the dance, he completely ignored me . . .
"And my dress, which I had sewed in home-ec class, started completely coming apart. I guess that was the start of my Playboy career. Anyway, I was really wishing he had showed up for the reunion. That would have been sweet revenge, especially since I've heard he married a girl who, umm, didn't take care of herself."
Amazingly, despite the clear family resemblance, Jessica and I aren't related. (Technically speaking, she's not even a Garvin -- that's the name of her ex-husband -- but we're going to claim her anyway.) Also, in case you're wondering, we're pretty sure neither one of us is a cousin to TV One's soul-food chef G. Garvin.