It’s been a long, dark year, so it just stands to reason that “Weird Al” Yankovic is here to help us end it on a bright note. The parody master shared a heart-swelling story about reconnecting with a long-ago love this week that involved Patrice, a girl he had a crush on in ninth grade and a long-forgotten portrait he hoped would make a love connection. As it turns out, Patrice sat in front of the now 61-year-old Al wayyyy back in the day and like so many high school crushes, it went nowhere, but it definitely left an impression.
“I was 12 years old in the 9th grade – younger than my classmates, and (as you may possibly be able to imagine) pretty awkward, shy and nerdy,” Yankovic wrote in an Instagram post. “And I had a crush on Patrice Y., the girl who sat directly in front of me in math class (because the seats were all arranged in alphabetical order for some arbitrary reason). Of course, Patrice would never in a million years have suspected that I had a crush on her, because like I explained… painfully shy.”
As shy as he was, Yankovic said one day he decided to make his “big move,” which for the “White & Nerdy” singer amounted to drawing a picture of Patrice and a plan to give it to her. But, like every classic awkward teen romance story ever told, he pulled off his slick maneuver in the most bumbling manner possible. “Because I didn’t want to give her the impression that I LIKED her or anything, I also drew pictures of EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN THE CLASS and handed those out as well, just to throw her off the scent,” he explained, admitting that he tried to make her picture “a little bit better” than everyone else’s, just to keep things super subtle.
“Anyway, everybody seemed to like their drawings, and, as you may have predicted, my love life remained completely dormant for the next several years,” he joked. Fast forward 50 years and Al said he was checking his Twitter feed and he saw a woman talking about how she used to sit in front of him in ninth grade math class. “Being slightly less shy at my current advanced age, I decided to follow up on this: I DM’ed her and asked if by any chance her name was Patrice. Turns out, it was. It was her – my 9th grade crush,” he said.
“I then followed up and asked, ‘Hey, by any chance do you happen to remember that one time I drew pictures of everybody in class?’ A minute later she sent me this photo. She had saved it all these years. I just felt like telling this story because, well… 2020 was arguably a pretty sucky year overall, but there were some real moments of joy sprinkled in here and there – and for me, this was definitely one of them.”
Check out Al’s note and the drawing below.