Adrian and I first met in 1984 when we were both 17. He was funny and shy but not as smart as he thought he was. I was on the path to becoming the woman I am today. He inspired me to keep a daily diary and I never stopped even to this very day. As spotty as my blogging has become, I still write in a hard copy diary every single day. Because of him.
We hung out together a lot. I admired his many failed attempts at genius. He always said he was an intellectual but not very clever. He kept me company throughout our teens. When I felt pathetic, sad, angry, lonely, misunderstood or just plain teen-angsty, we got together and he understood because he was there too. We walked together through it all and was there for me every step of the way with a hilariously clueless quip or terrible (terrible) novel that made me laugh long into the night.
There were so many funny episodes. Like the time his dog when crazy on Bonfire Night and ate a bunch of army men when it was locked in the shed. And I'll never forget the time Adrian went to the British Museum with his class. Classic.
We'd touch base from time to time as we grew up. We even got married around the same time, him to Jojo and me to Scott. I cried (sometimes with laughter) at the chapter of his life when got diagnosed with prostate cancer. We've been through so much together. I always wished he was real because I knew we'd be best friends.
Did I forget to mention that Adrian Mole is a fictional character? Oh yeah. He's a figment of Sue Townsend's imagination. She died on Thursday and I cried. We spent such a great deal of my youth together. I read everything she ever wrote, even if it wasn't about my best buddy Adrian. I'm very very sorry she died at the young age of 68 and I selfishly won't be able to read anything new of hers. That said, this tragedy is going to get me to do something I've been meaning to do for ages and read all the Adrian books over again and rediscover her other books as well. In that respect, it's going to be a great year.
If you want to do yourself the ultimate favour and read some of her books, here are some suggest:ions:
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 3/4 (and its sequels)
The Queen and I ("Have you an ix?")
The Woman Who Went to Bed For a Year
Thank you, Sue for making me laugh when I felt unsure of myself and making it okay to be a nerd waaaaay back when being a nerd could earn you "a kicking". When I was a kid, you started me on a path to writing and look! I kept going until this very blog. It's all on you, lady.