I'd like to say a word on Mariah's behalf: Mariah makes me laugh. She makes herself laugh, too – breathy chuckles that ripple through our conversation, as if she is leery of taking herself too seriously. She says she will sometimes wake up like that in the middle of the night – laughing. That, of course, is part of the image that Mariah Carey cultivates. It's part of the charm, too. "Darling, I'm eternally 12 years old," she purrs when the subject of her age is broached – a familiar line, and all part of the act. "I'm going to give her to you," she says, clicking her fingers with a flourish. "Ready?" And she slides into a 12-year-old girly voice – "Hi" – all fluttering eyelids and adolescent bashfulness.
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