My British Hero

When I was 18, my best friend and I went to England to marry members of Duran Duran. join a band and become famous. travel the world.

’83 or ’84? Ah, angry, disenfranchised suburban teen. Where did that thrift store army jacket go?

I have red hair and am very tall which garnered me a fair amount of attention. I’m sure being 18 had nothing to do with it. Men across the world are gentlemen. They’d never be gross about a young woman, right?

Of COURSE that’s a clove cigarette. What kind of 80s teenager do you think I was? Also, people are quick to call that a mullet but it was NEW WAVE! Also, can you see my black streak in my bangs? That’s right baby. I’m a new wave rebel.

While in France and waiting for a ferry to England, we met a funny, awkward, but very charming Englishman. He was only about a year or two older than us but he was traveling alone so we chatted while we waited for the ferry.

My high school best friend on the tube during that trip. She always had the cool, European thing down better than I did. I just looked too cherubic to properly pull it off.

We went our separate ways when we boarded the ferry and my friend and I scored seats which was a lucky break as we were traveling overnight so we wanted a place to snooze. Unfortunately, some strange little gentleman was fascinated by my hair. He was sitting in a seat across the aisle from me and every time I would finally nod off, he would reach over and stroke my hair. I’d wave him away angrily and he would gesture for me to lay down in the aisle.

Yes, this was a big education for me on skeevy men.

Finally, after about the fourth time when I angrily yelled, “Stop touching me!” my friend and I gave up and left. We quickly saw our new English buddy sleeping in another part of the boat under his coat. We took refuge with him and I think he was pleased to play the part of rescuer.

Later, as we were getting off the boat I pointed out Skeevy McSkeeversons to my UK hero who decided he should step up and do something. When he came back, he seemed quite pleased with himself.

“I gave him a really stern look” he said, “but I don’t think it really worked as the man was cross-eyed and I don’t think I had eye contact.” I simply nodded and he continued, “so then I decided I would spit at his feet but I missed and hit his pant leg.”

That forged a friendship with our Englishman that endured for years. The funny young man that tried so hard to be chivalrous (and let’s face it, it still counts even if he couldn’t get eye contact or spit accurately) is now a very respectable councilman in London. He is even more awesome today than he was at 19 or 20. If that is even possible.

And thinking about him trying to give a really stern look to someone who behaved inappropriately still makes me smile.

Here he is frolicking in the park. Note his suit jacket sleeves are rolled up, he’s wearing black gloves, and his jeans are tucked into his boots. Frankie just says relax people.

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