Dear Prince

Dear Prince,

Thanks so much for last night. I’ve written before about you. I wrote about the time that we first were breathing the same air, when I was just sixteen, and you were twenty-six. You’re ten years older than me, and we almost have the same birthday, did you know that? (We’re also both short, and I know that doesn’t seem like much to base love on but think it over.) I wrote about what I learned after the second time I saw you. That was eleven years ago, and we were both older, and wiser, and I don’t know about you, but even if we had really discovered each other then, I know now it would have been my kids I stayed for. My husband isn’t really a barrier to us going to Bermuda or anything. We have a Prince/Parker Posey clause in our marriage. I won’t stand between him and Parker if she’s into it, and he understands that if you want to swing by to pick me up, I’ll be in the back of your limo faster than the amount of time it takes him to think of another reason why he hasn’t installed the soaker hoses in the backyard, and trust me, he’s really good at that. We’ve agreed that should this be what you and Parker want, we won’t stand in each others way, in fact last night as he dropped me off for your concert, he said “If you’re going to be gone longer than a week, let me know.” (For the record though, since we intend on returning to this marriage after Bermuda, if you would bring Parker with you when you come for me, I think that would be easier for him to take. Equity and all that. You get it.)  Anyway, it didn’t happen that night, and that was probably best. I had a ton of laundry to do anyway.

Five years ago we got another chance. I was in row 17 with my sister, and though that was the closest we’d ever been to each other, It wasn’t close enough for us to connect. It’s not your fault. There were 14 000 other people there. Those are crappy odds – I do appreciate the fact that you smiled right at me. Well, me and the several other hundred people standing near me. I know what it was about though. It was a “Hey, nice to see you again, it’s been awhile” kinda smile. I smiled back. I think you saw me.

Last night though, last night was something, and I think we both know it. Erin and I somehow managed to get tickets to see you, and let me tell you, i knew right away that it was going to be different. First of all the venue only held 3000 people, and I know that considering that you can fill a way bigger space, you chose that because you were looking to improve our odds. Erin and I showed up, clutching our tickets, and lined up with the rest of those people who came and honest to gosh, we didn’t realize we had front row tickets until we sat down. There was just those people in “The Pit” between us, and I think you’ll understand what I’m saying when I point out that there’s no point in a person who’s as short as we are standing in the pit. Am I right?

purplerain 2015-05-20

Then you came out on stage, and you were right there, and you did a great job. I mean that. You look great. I really liked that shirt you were wearing. (I was wearing this great shirt that I got at the Port Townsend Goodwill for $2.)  You sang and danced and Erin and I talked after about how amazing it is that your band is mostly women, because they’re so under-represented in the industry, but you’ve always been cool that way. Anyway, what I really want to talk about is that moment. There was a few times actually, where you looked right at me – Erin thinks maybe you looked at her, but I think it’s just that we were standing together, and we are sisters, and do look a little alike. It was right then, when you looked me in the eyes as you sang “I don’t care where we go, I don’t care what we do” that I knew.  We made eye contact, and you smiled, and I smiled, and then you looked at some other people so that they didn’t feel left out, which was so sensitive of you.  You looked right at me, and I knew everything.

I knew that I’m 46, and you’re 56, and that now that we’ve seen each other, and looked into each others souls, and then we went home separately, that it’s because that’s what we really want. We couldn’t live together. We both know it, now that we’re both old enough to look past all the glitter.  I couldn’t be in your band, and you don’t know how to knit, and even though it would be really neat to be with someone where I don’t have to stand on a chair to gaze into their eyes, I get the feeling you’re yarn ambivalent, and you can’t build a life like that, and we both know it.  It was a beautiful moment, knowing we’d finally found each other really, and that now we’re not together because in our maturity, we choose it.  Thanks man. Thanks for everything.


(PS. None of this rules out the part about Bahamas, if you ever want to go.)


113 thoughts on “Dear Prince

      • Vouch! This was brilliant, start to finish. Love. It. So. Much!

        Also, lol, the knitter formerly known as Prince! I would pay cashy money to see that.

  1. How do you feel about purple yarn? I feel like that would be a place to bridge your love…
    PS – Awesome youtube video of Prince at George Harrison’s posthumous Rock and Roll Hall of Fame entry, playing While My Guitar Gently Weeps. Unbelievably beautiful.

  2. I felt the same way about Sebastian Bach, lead singer of Skid Row, and who once was the most beautiful man alive. Now. . . Not so much. And the poetic genius that I thought he was has been disproven, but I feel your pain.

    • Sebastian Bach isn’t as beautiful as he used to be, but he killed it on Gilmore Girls. He was so great on that show.

      • Yeeeees!!! My sister was hooked on that show, but that’s the only episode I ever saw. When I was in 6th grade, my best friend’s stepdad was an Episcopal priest, and he gave us some blank marriage certificates to play with. After filling it out very judiciously., I truly believed that I was effectively Mrs. Sebastian Bach, despite the fact that I was like 12.

  3. “Tis better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved.

  4. I just have the Hotel clause in my marriage contract that states: If I ever feel camping situations are too bad that I can opt for a hotel. I have never had to in 30 years-came close in one storm, but boy can my husband pitch a tent!

  5. I’m going to be guffawing intermittently the rest of the day–love this!

    You got to see Prince and all I got was the “click or touch the T-Shirt”.

  6. Your posts are always great, but this one is brilliant! I love how accessible the absurd is to all of us – and how you can give voice to the view from it’s back porch. Spot-on writing, Steph!

  7. Me and George Clooney have the same kind of relationship. It’s just a matter of time before he swings by my house to pick me up.

  8. Best post since you were stranded alone in the snow. Well maybe it ranks with Joe getting the car stuck in the alley. Love this one

          • “Yarn harlot Joe truck stuck” is how Google filled out my search that started, “Yarn harlot Joe”.

            And I need to stop spamming these comments, sigh. I guess I have a lot to say, today!

          • I couldn’t possibly pick my #1, but joe in then allley is definitely in the top 5. Lmao still.

    • Agreed! Now I’ve got to reread that one! This was right up there challenging for the #1 spot, though. Can’t wait to read this to my hubby!

  9. Bwah ha ha ha ha !! I think you should knit him some purple socks. Probably with some sparkle. I love the Prince/Parker Posey clause. Not that I really know you or Joe at all. But I imagine that I do. And I can totally see Joe going for Parker Posey. But you and Prince? Never would have guessed it. (Also you wore a $2 shirt? To meet Prince?)

      • I once re-wrote that song to Raspberry Bidet for a friend who bought a house that needed the bathroom, with all raspberry fixtures including a bidet, gutted. It was brilliantly done, if I do say so myself.

  10. That’s so sweet! I hadn’t realized you did so much chair-standing to gaze into Joe’s eyes — I thought it was only when you needed to turn the mugs right way round.

  11. I’ve had a love affair going with James Taylor since I was 11 (I’m 59 now) and still haven’t given up. How do you know Prince doesn’t knit? I’ll bet he’s been to StevenBe and learned on the sly!!!

  12. Oh squee! At first I thought you were talking about Prince William, (but I knew the age didn’t jive.) Then, the light bulb went on and I screamed for you. My kids kept saying, “WHAT?” as I shushed them. So, happy you had fun and got to share it with us.
    So, way COOL!!!!!
    p.s. I have a short list. George Michael, Barry Gibb, (in his white pants,) and Barry Manilow and Level 42! And for the actors on my list Benedict Cumberbatch, Peter Capaldi, David Tenant.

    • OK, you get the musicians, but I’d fight you for any of those actors. And you ?forgot? Christopher Ecclestone, since you are obviously a fan of The Doctor!

  13. If anyone could convince Prince to become a knitter, it would be you. Thanks for the best laugh I have had in days. 🙂

  14. Come to Minneapolis more often. He’s here. Way more often than not. His used to be the only beigey-nudey colored limo (that anyone knew about anyway) and when it went by we’d all agree, “see, he can be anywhere he wants but he chooses to be here, home, and then lose our cool and OH MY GOD THAT WAS PRINCE”. That has actually happened a few times and, no, I’m not a club person. Just on a city street. Next time he goes by I’ll holler Steph says hi.

  15. So exciting. I have a similar relationship with Mikel Jollett of The Airborne Toxic Event. Was at a very small concert for charity this year with my 24 year old daughter. She insisted we stand in the front row. Now, I know it was her the band was interested in (maybe), as she was one of the youngest people there, but we certainly got a lot of attention – even danced with Mikel when he got off the stage!

  16. Very mature of you Steph! Yes hard to imagine talking ” Widdle Shoesies” with Prince, and driving across the border to get a spare ball of yarn together. I think you have found your real Prince already-just a little taller:-)

    • Absolutely. ‘Prince Joe’ should be a new title in your household now that you no longer have the pleasure of Sir Washie’s company. Everyone needs a little localised royalty!

  17. When the school I’m a teacher at took a road trip to Yellowstone (from Michigan), another teacher and I chose our route home to go through Minneapolis so we could find Prince’s house. Turns out he lives on the outskirts of town now, and Paisley Park has gates, which I’m sure help to keep out stalkers, but I feel were not really designed for us. I thought of our quest as a way to just show him a path forward for us together, but alas, the kids finally lost their patience and we wound up at the Mall of America. I live, though, in hope.

  18. He’s the man! I too grew up in Minneapolis, he is one of our treasures. If anyone is interested try to find his song ” Baltimore”…his genius shines thru.

  19. So … um … why have you never knit anything for him and tossed onstage?? You’ve had all those chances!!!

    • Yes, Steph could knit a purple bra and undies. She could fling the undies at Prince and keep the bra for herself. All the while knowing that they had a matching set.
      Also, she would then have 2 bras.

  20. Mandy Patikin… Because… MANDY PATIKIN! He’s smart, he’s handsome and he’s got that twinkle in his eyes that is just *yummy*.

  21. I too am from Minneapolis and I envy you! I am a grandmother but Prince makes me feel that I’m in college grooving to one of the cities treasures.

  22. I just read through the comments, just in case Prince commented… Then I saw I was prompted to “click or touch the Pants” to leave a comment, and I couldn’t resist! In my excitement, I tried to fill out the website field with my comment… Wondering the whole time why the field was soooo small.. Yikes, I need sleep 😉

  23. Well, my husband met him up close and personal right after Prince hit it big. Seems he (Prince) was speeding down the highway in Edina (MN) late at night and hubby pulled him over. Hubby not being a Prince fan had no idea who he was, and the bodyguard in the passenger seat was a little disconcerting. When hubby called in the name, about 4 other cops keyed their mikes to ask him if he knew who he had pulled over. No, Prince did not get a ticket (wasn’t going fast enough for hubby’s ticket threshold, only verbal warning). True story.

  24. I feel the same way about Valdy. He’s a folk singer from Salt Spring Island, here in BC. I actually got to meet him a few times and he even -hugged- me once! I swore I would never wash again!

  25. If I could have written to The Great Man myself, I would have used your words plus a few of my own …. Icon… Legend …. God. But is there a word that can totally describe the man that is Prince (I shiver uncontrollably as I write his name)! I grew up with him (he’s just 5 years older than me – do you think that gives me more chance than you???) and I want Dirty Mind played at my funeral – is that weird???? Respect. xxx

  26. You are so lucky! Perhaps you could knit him a little red corvette?

    I saw Prince in 1983 with The Time (do you remember them?). It was the 1999 tour, and I recall there was a bed on the stage. I loved dancing to his music in the 80’s. Still crushing on him to this day.

  27. Great! So much better than ‘Last night I went to a Prince concert.’

    Would the purple knitting thing work?

    • Steph,

      Not only does he have a residence in the twin cities, but every once in a while he opens Paisley Park for a small concert. Starts about 2am, and he will be there waiting for you. Come in the winter when he is more likely to make a break to The Bahamas with you. Just keep your paws off Liam Neeson…

  28. We have a Patrick Stewart/Sean Connery clause. Pete’s choice is Giada DiLaurentis. I’m not even packing a bag, though I may take a toothbrush and a couple of knitting projects to work on while either of the Sirs naps.
    Maybe I’ll take a nap too….

    • I’m so with you on Patrick Stewart/Sean Connery! In fact, Patrick Stewart is on my “list of 5” that the hubby and I have. We’re mature enough to think 5 famous people may want us! HA!

  29. Ohhhmyyyy, that was the best “start my day at work” read in a looooooong time. LOVED IT!! Thank you!! 🙂

  30. Yes…. exactly all of that. I remember my Prince concert. And we both grew up in Minneapolis as the same time. Certain dreams will never die!

  31. Not my cup of tea, but it’s the differences that make us a world together. Rock on, Steph, rock on.

    (And if Paul McCartney is reading this, you know where to find me.)

  32. So so funny and well-written. I think we all should knit raspberry berets for Prince and let him know what he’s maturely choosing to miss out on. Oh man, I would face-palm my boyfriend aside to hang out with Eddie Vedder – me knitting totally casually and him playing me his latest song, seeing what I think, and then he’s like “babe, i made you stitch markers from my guitar picks” and then i die.

    • My verification was “Click or touch the Man.” lol.

      Also, this? Is spectacular. Love how you get stitch markers made of guitar picks, and then you die.

      Benedict Cumberbatch and/or David Tennant for me. Woo!

  33. You are totally nutsoid! … and I love it! Where our imaginations take us is just terrific! You write about them to share and I keep them secret but just the same my imagined conversations are nutsoid too Love you and the blog!

  34. Been a fan since Purple Rain at 15 at the skating rink…and I was such a nerd…it opened a new door, helped me skate backward, and was just…N-nasty!!…something my grandmother just couldn’t appreciate.

  35. You crack me up. Bono and I have a similar relationship (without the height compatibility – I think I’m taller than he is, but who needs heels anyway!). I hope you get to the Bahamas! (I’ll write if U2 kidnaps me when on tour here in Boston this summer!!)
    Rock on!

  36. My husband would swear that he would never, ever have an “approved” list like this…I will not bring up how many times we’ve watched “Jane Eyre” with Keira Knightley, his choice.

    Alan Rickman is my choice…apparently I won’t have to fight off any other knitters for him…your loss.

  37. I must have blessed it for you by giving you a Prince (or whatever he was then) shirt in MPLS! Front row seats no less…. nicely done.

  38. Oh, Stephanie! I had a similar crush on Prince (though I’m a bit closer in age to him than I am to you), and foolishly let my boyfriend hang onto our 2nd row tickets (he worked at a record store in the 80s and could pull tickets off the computer before the store opened up to regular customers), and then had a huge breakup just the day before the concert. He went without me. Sigh. I thought I’d be the next Apollonia. Indeed, I was sure of the same thing you were: if only I could catch his eye…
    Thanks for the fab post. Seriously brought back memories!

  39. There was a tv comedy with Burt Reynolds and Marilu Henner where they talked about this. Burt picked a gymast whose name I don’t recall, and Marilu picked – Prince. Burt said “that little purple fellow?”

  40. You mean you didn’t receive the note to come to his dressing room after the show. That’s why Prince waited there for 2 hours before I took him to the hotel.
    So sorry,
    Prince’s Chauffer

  41. My husband gave me the Kevin Costner clause but I wasn’t interested in giving him the Angelina Jolie clause. I have met Kevin 3 times and have even asked him a question which he answered. I live in Minneapolis but have not bumped into him. I also suggest you send him a pair of hand knit purple socks and let him know when you next come to Minneapolis. Maybe he will come and listen to your lecture. Maybe he is a knitter and is also a fan of yours!

  42. I recently had to answer the question ‘what did you want to be when you grew up’ – the truthful answer was George Michael’s girlfriend, but even I cannot continue to hope on that front. Life can be very cruel!!

  43. LOL I’m sure he was thinking, Hey girl, how could I forget you from that time with 14,000 other people crowding our space.
    “..then you looked at some other people so that they didn’t feel left out.”
    I think you and Prince made an important decision the other night. Ironically, it will only bring you closer together.
    Venues are getting smaller though! Next time, a personal gig in your backyard? He does that sort of thing, ya know.

  44. Prince, sigh, I completely feel the same away about the purple man. We should form a knitting group, ‘purple people knitting for Prince’, perhaps he would let us yarn bomb Pasley Park. Just a thought, in the mean time, let’s all just send him purple knitted gifts.

  45. That one time when my then-boyfriend graciously bought fourth-row tickets to see Robert Plant, indulged my desire to buy a rose and make a note for him just in case I was able to get near the stage, and then with a resigned sigh, left his seat to come back to the 10th row to retrieve me because I was so dazed after having made eye contact with Mr. Plant while handing him said rose and getting a devastating smile in return that I couldn’t see straight and completely forgot where I was.

    So, yeah. I get it.

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