Much like struggles I have faced in my life, I couldn’t have made it through this t-shirt blog without the help and support of my family and friends. This shirt was donated (along with many others) from my awesome friend Patrick, who I met my freshman year in college…
It was September of 1992, and I had just moved into my dorm at Boston College. I had been getting chemotherapy treatments all summer long for my cancerous brain tumor, so I wasn’t feeling or looking my best. My roommates had not arrived in our tiny forced triple home away from home, so I still didn’t know anyone in my dorm. I left my door open as I settled in, and Patrick was the first person to walk in and introduce himself.
We quickly bonded over two things. One, both of our fathers had gone to schools that were rivals of BC. His dad went to Notre Dame, and mine had gone to Holy Cross. Although I don’t think that qualifies either of us as being rebels, we got a kick out of it. Two, our taste in music was very similar. Although The Mighty Mighty Bosstones (http://www.bosstonesmusic.com/index1.html, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mighty_Mighty_Bosstones) weren’t in our conversations yet, we both liked Extreme and were looking forward to the upcoming release of their third album. We would find out later that we shared many other interests (hockey being a big one), but these two were definitely enough to form the foundation of what would be a life-long friendship.
As freshman year continued and my health improved, Patrick and I found out we were among the very few in our dorm who weren’t interested in going out drinking every weekend. It provided more bonding time, and we went to BC hockey games and played a “few” video games together. We often shook our heads while watching all the drunken students stumbling back into our dorm.
This quickly changed second semester when I decided I wanted to see what all the fuss over drinking was about. I told Patrick’s roommate Tim that I was ready to give it a shot, and we planned a whole night of it. Like we did this summer (http://davestshirts.blogspot.com/2010/08/t-shirt-213-wimpy-slacker.html), we made a stop at “Godzilla Burger” (a.k.a. The Eagle’s Deli) before going to the party (The idea was to provide a nice base of hamburger for the alcohol that would be coming later that night). After eating we made our way to 1711 Comm Ave (yes, I still remember the address), and my relationship with alcohol began.
I ended up puking all over myself in the middle of the party, and Patrick made sure I got home okay. He even handed me a Tic-Tac while he helped me make my way to the bus that took us back to campus. Unfortunately, it wasn’t nearly enough for me to learn my lesson.
That summer, Patrick and I kept in touch by (yes, I know!) writing letters and making the occasional long distance phone call (he was in California). We talked about all the BC babes we lusted after, and how cool it was going to be living together our sophomore year – even though we wouldn’t be living on lower campus like most second year students.
Not long after we moved into 107 Roncalli Hall (for everyone keeping score at home) my drinking escalated, but Patrick still took care of me. It was really fitting that this year one of the albums Patrick started listening to was The Mighty Mighty Bosstones Don’t Know How to Party (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don%27t_Know_How_to_Party), because I did not know how to party. There was the night BC beat #1 Notre Dame on the last play of the game and I puked all over my friend’s floor. There was the night I was taken to the ER in an ambulance. There were nights I was violent, nights I blacked out, and nights I did both. I was selfish, stubborn, and out of control. But, Patrick never moved out. He worried about me and he put up with me.
I was crushed when Patrick told me he was going to be living with a group of other guys for junior year, but really how could you blame him? Anyone else would have moved out during that sophomore year, but Patrick didn’t. And even with all the crap I caused, he still hung out with me during junior year. We did enjoy sober activities like watching and playing hockey, going to concerts, and checking out all of the female coeds. But, he still watched me get drunk and act like an idiot. He still was a great friend even though my drinking was taking my life away. And he helped me after what would end up being the last time I drank (May of my junior year).
Senior year would be the only year at BC that I didn’t drink. Although Patrick and I didn’t live in the same place on campus, he quickly became known as the “7th Man” in Mod 40A. The absence of my drinking immediately made our friendship stronger and I was actually able to remember all the fun times we were having. And even though we watched Tommy Boy 384 times, played 7382 hockey video games, and had a few run-ins with the BC police, we managed to graduate on time!
After graduation, I took a road trip to California (http://davestshirts.blogspot.com/2010/01/t-shirt-24-alcatraz-506938.html) with Patrick and a couple of our buddies. Patrick was returning home, and he wouldn’t be back in Massachusetts for another three years…
I am happy to say Patrick has stayed in the Bay State since then and we are still hanging out on a regular basis. He has been one of my biggest supporters ever since we met, and gave me a bunch of t-shirts for this blog without even thinking about it. I think one of the best things about our friendship is that his son calls me Uncle Dave – it really is an honor. Many people have more money than me. Many people have a better car than me. But if any of these people don’t have a friend like Patrick, I feel sorry for them. Thanks for everything Patrick…your friendship and support are truly priceless.
PS- here is the link to Patrick’s favorite MMB song, Everybody’s Better: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&biw=1250&bih=587&q=mighty+mighty+bosstones+everybody%27s+better&aq=1&aqi=g2&aql=&oq=mighty+mighty+bosstones+everybo&gs_rfai=Cn2JwyAzzTIWPK6W2iwOPp4FUAAAAqgQFT9C0mrc