*Title written by my dad.
Back to funny things. My parents were here over the weekend to see my show, and to hang out with me and my friends in general. It’s pretty great when they come, because they like spending time with the cool kids (read: us) and have robust senses of humor. In particular, my dad and Alex have strange mutual men-crushes and like to riff off each other.
Usually they come closing weekend and buy everyone pizza during strike, but in order to be here for my birthday they had to come opening instead. They got in Saturday afternoon and we didn’t get a chance to eat before the show, so we ducked out after the performance to get a bite.
On the way to the restaurant, my dad realized that he hadn’t taken a moment to congratulate Harrison on his performance, and he was a little bit disappointed about it. So I wasn’t surprised when, at our table, he asked for Harrison’s phone number to send him a quick text. I handed over the number and thought no more of it, until my dad handed me his phone and said, “This is what I wrote.”
To: Harrison (4/14, sent 11:56 p.m.)
Saw yr show tonight—U R AWESOME and U ROCK as a bad dude!!!! OMG!!!!!
I burst out laughing, and my mom smiled and shook her head in the way that she does, oh, about every five minutes when my dad does something silly. We ordered food and waited to hear back.
About twenty minutes later with no response, my dad sent another text:
To: Harrison (4/15, sent 12:13 a.m.)
Hello? R U there?…
Suddenly MY phone buzzed.
From: Harrison (4/15 12:13 a.m.)
Is your dad [number redacted]?
To which I immediately replied, “He doesn’t have a cell phone…”
From: Harrison (4/15 12:14 a.m.)
THEN WHO TEXTED ME FROM THAT NUMBER???
Meanwhile my dad receives the politest message ever:
Fr: Harrison (4/14, sent 12:14 a.m.)
Hey! I’m so sorry but I have a new phone and lost numbers. Who’s heaping such lovely praise on me?
At this point we’re hooked. I tell Harrison it might be a secret admirer and that he should ask for clues. And my dad and I come up with our next text:
To: Harrison (4/15, sent 12:19 a.m.)
U’ll find out when I come back 2 see u tomorrow, “Brandon”…
Note: The character that Harrison played in the show was named “Kevin.”
At this point Harrison and I, on our separate thread, have been speculating as to who this could be. I asked if it might be Alex’s girlfriend Francesca, also from Boston, but he says she’s there with them. There’s a lag. Harrison says:
Fr: Harrison (4/15, sent 12:21 a.m.)
IF YOU’RE CREEPING ON ME PLEASE STOP
Of course I put on my best concerned friend voice and ask, “Sweetie, is everything ok?” Harrison texts my dad:
Fr: Harrison (4/15, sent 12:21 a.m.)
…you mean “Kevin?”
So we pause on being placating friends and hit with the main attack:
To: Harrison (4/15, sent 12:23 a.m.)
… this IS sam b-h rite
Sam being the guy who played Brandon. Harrison now finds this to be hilarious (as my phone attests) and says:
Fr: Harrison (4/15, sent 12:25 a.m.)
No sry his # is [redacted]
To: Harrison (4/15, sent 12:27 a.m.)
Here are the rest of the texts that my dad received and sent that night:
Fr: Sam (4/15, sent 12:29 a.m.)
Hey, it’s Sam BH! Who is this? I don’t have your number.
To: Sam (4/15, sent 12:30 a.m.)
Ur biggest fan c u 2Mara
Fr: Sam (4/15), sent 12:32 a.m.)
Aww… Not even a hint?
Fr: (a “wing man”/”wing person”, sent 12:41 a.m.)
Hiiiiiiiiii!!!!! are you coming tonight??? ❤
Fr: (another “wing person”, sent 12:42 a.m.)
Hey, you after Brandon?
Fr: David (sent, 12:43 a.m.)
Hello, this is the music director. I hear you like bad boys.
Fr. (second “wing person”, sent 12: 43 a.m.)
We’d turned the phone off around 12:30 and so received most of these the next morning. My dad laughed out loud at David’s, but we let them stew. And then it was 6:30pm and time for me to go to the theater…
I came in and started talking to people as usual. Harrison came in, we joked around about this and that, and he’s the one who brought up the texts. “OH! I gotta show you what happened last night.”
He handed me his phone with the full transcript. I laughed and asked if Sam or anyone had figured it out, and he and Sam both said no but that the person was supposed to come back. We speculated about whether it was a guy or a girl and decided on girl, and joked that Sam was getting lucky that night. Alex, who had not been out at the bar with the cast the night before, asked if he could see the transcript. Harrison handed over his phone and then went downstairs to change.
We settled in, me reading a newspaper, Alex reading the conversation, Sam just hanging out, when all of a sudden Alex let out with: “Laura, this number is ONE DIGIT off of yours. There is NO WAY this is not someone in your family.”
Honestly, I was amazed that no one had checked that earlier. I gave a half-hearted, “Oh, weird, I guess logically all numbers have sequential followers out there somewhere–” but Alex was having none of it. So I admit that yes, it was my dad, and I start telling the story of how hilarious this whole thing was from our perspective.
Then from backstage I hear Rochelle shout, “It WAS your dad?!”
And faintly, from the green room in the basement, Harrison’s most indignant voice yells, “III KNEW IT!”
But he didn’t know it. The only thing he knew is what he learned: That you should never underestimate the Stratfords.
And what did I learn? Well, I learned that next time we should use my mom’s cell phone. Her number’s not in sequence with mine. If we’d thought of that, they could be wondering about the cast’s secret admirer yet…