You guys have heard me talk about my friend Stephen Petty before, right? Steve is one of the most amazing men I know-- he's handsome and kind, smart and ambitious. We met our freshman year at BYU
, and I thought he was the cutest guy ever. We actually didn't talk until one night after a group of mutual friends all went to see a Comedy Sportz
show at the old Wrapsody
or whatever it was called at the time (all Eddie McClelland
fans have fond memories of this place, which was later Muse Music). I noticed he touched his belt all the time. I remember one of the first things I ever heard him say was that when he got married, he only wanted his wife to pack a bikini and nothing else for the honeymoon.
Well, our schooling went on. We had a Book of Mormon class together and studied for Brother Johnson's super-easy tests. We exchanged a couple letters while he was on his mission-- Venezuela, Caracas, if I remember correctly. When he got back, he'd drop in for a few parties at my house, and occasionally we'd hit a play. I actually remember that we went to see a terribly boring opera together, and he complained the whole time.
One of the sweetest things Petty ever did for me was take me to BYU
Homecoming my senior year. I'd never been asked, and my fairy godmother (aka our friend Hilary) told him. I'd gone to bed early and my roommate Vanessa knocked on my door. I think I yelled, "I'm asleep," but she told me to open the door and then threw a paper airplane at me that read "Will you go to homecoming with me?" in addition to having some tears and scribbles related to some homework he'd been doing. He took me out to the nicest dinner, we danced at the beautiful Union Station, and he told me about how he hated the thought of socialized medicine (did I mention that today he is an oral surgeon?). It was a most entertaining evening, and a picture of the two of us still graces the bar between my kitchen and living room. Petty is a super friend.
Even years later, we still cared about what was going on in one another's
lives. Back before we grew up and got really busy, we'd call every few weeks. My favorite was that he'd often just call and say "I love you, and just wanted you to know." Those calls always came at the best times.
But if you think this post is going to be all sentimental, you are wrong, because at this precise moment, I'm really having a (good-natured) laugh at his expense.
So back when I worked for Excel, I managed to get the world's worst film ("Down and Derby") a spot on the Today Show. That's right, I'm the PR queen. Knowing my love for Matt Lauer
and needing someone there for quality control, my boss sent me to babysit the exec who was to appear on the 30-second spot. It was right before Christmas, and I was to be in NYC for less than 24 hours, but I'd arranged to meet up with Steve for dinner in the city.
We had a great time, ate at this really hip place, and just enjoyed ourselves immensely as we caught up. And he said the weirdest thing:
Steve: So it's too bad you didn't fly in last night. I would have taken you to the movies with me.
Rachel: And why would I go all the way to New York to see a movie I could see in Salt Lake?
Steve: Because it was "Batman Begins," and I went with Rachael McAdams
Rachel: Oh, Petty, what kind of fool do you take me for? I know she's dating Ryan Gosling.
Steve: Well, that's how I know her. Through Ryan. He went too.
So apparently, Ryan and Steve met through their sisters, and then got to be friends rebuilding a Buddhist temple in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina (believe me, Steve does this kind of stuff all the time-- like when he trekked through India to perform minor surgeries in villages over a summer off). Still, I couldn't help but laugh a bit about the friendship. It seemed like such a weird thing to talk about. But I'm happy to report that while Steve and I don't hang out like we used to, he and Ryan are still buddies.
I don't hear from Steve very much anymore (again, he REALLY is a busy, busy man), but occasionally we talk. He called sometime between our birthdays back in May. I jokingly asked him how Ryan was.
Steve: Oh, he's fine. But I'm a little mad, because the paparazzi
took a picture of us together the other day. We'd just been to the gym. Ryan took a shower, but we were just going to Home Depot afterwards, so I didn't bother. And I LOOKED LIKE CRAP!
Anyway, don't ask me why I thought this was the funniest story ever, or even what possessed
me to do a quick Google Image Search today, but I'm glad I did.
Steve Petty, wherever you're jet-setting off to today, I want you to know that I love you and think you look adorable in your Columbia shorts. I know I'm in big trouble, but call me!