It had to be summer of 1985 because I wore my Purple Rain tee-shirt around like a bum wears body odor.

Oh yeah, that's how I rolled...

My girlfriend had the standard teen-age drama of having a boyfriend while her best friend had none. My job was to find a date for my girlfriend’s best friend so I could see my girlfriend while her best friend visited. Essentially, it was the plot summary of a John Hughes’ movie gone awry.
(Cut the long parts in editing. Some scenes belong on the cutting room floor, Ricco.)

I was wearing that tee-shirt one day when this tall, lanky quiet kid and I met at the arcade. He said something about my tee-shirt. I asked if he liked Prince. He did.

When my girlfriend said, “Find someone for Renee.” I thought of the tall, lanky quiet kid who liked Prince. My girlfriend and her best friend were Prince nuts.

I saw him again and asked his name.
–Tony.
–Well, Tony you want to come over to my house for a get together on Friday night. My girlfriend’s best friend needs a date.

He laughed.

–I’m serious.
–Really?
–Doesn’t happen much, but yes.

It took a little more convincing and a promise that we would watch Purple Rain. He showed up. I remember Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill and Old Milwaukee 7 ounces. Everything else stays back in 1985…

Honest officer, we thought it was Kool-Aid...


The girls disappeared in the summary plot of yet another John Hughes’ movie. Poor kid lying to the rich girlfriend to keep her from finding out what a loser he really is…

But.

1988–Tony offered to skip his high school graduation because I wasn’t allowed to walk across the stage.
1989–Tony sent me as many care packages as my family.
1991–Tony drove 14 hours to pick me up when my Dad died.
1992–Tony did manage to get lost and miss my wedding.
1993–Tony got off work and drove to Blacksburg to see my first child’s birth.
1994–Tony became our room mate.
(Edit the details Ricco, the audience is getting restless!)
2011–Tony held my son Alex while eating cookies on Christmas Eve.

We both were “blessed” with Fathers we hardly knew.
We both have siblings we met late in life.
We both married women with dark hair and glasses.

The story of my life, so far, would be missing lots of laughter without that tall, lanky quiet kid who liked Prince way back in 1985.

All because of a tee-shirt.

Thanks old friend.

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