I visited one of my dearest friends in Buffalo, New York about two months ago. I had an amazing time. We caught up, relaxed, and showed each other things on television. And we discovered that we both had a long-standing love affair with Andy Rooney.
A non-crush kind of love affair, you weirdos.
It shouldn't have surprised me- my friend is really smart, well-informed, and awesome- so she's just like me. But who my age loves Andy Rooney?
Yesterday, after news of his death broke, I was so very sad. But I was happy to find that lots of people my age (late 20's, early 30's) were mourning his loss just as much as people my parents' age and older.
Andy Rooney is, symbolically, the beginning of my nerdiness. Sundays when I was little went a little something like this:
-big Italian lunch (lasted for hours and counted as our breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
-read the paper (I would steal my dad's copy of the paper as early as age 4. I would also read the children's section of Newsday- Kidsday- from cover to cover.)
Dad would wake up from his food coma, find his paper a mess, and I would look at him with a false expression of bewilderment of what could have possibly happened to his disheveled paper.
Then Dad would put on 60 Minutes. I loved it. I loved it even more than the regular news and more than Good Morning, America!, which I watched with my mother most weekday mornings as I got ready for school.
My dad worked really hard while I was growing up. He wanted us to want for nothing. And so I didn't get to see him a lot during the week. But for me, this was my time with my dad. And my time to determine what was going on in the world.
And Andy Rooney was like a delicious tiramisu after course after course of knowledge. He seemed light and funny but was actually more dense and heavy than he seemed. And who didn't love his eyebrows?
Even in my earliest years, when I knew little about what he was discussing, I found the rhythm and tone of his voice melodic.
So I was thrilled to watch 60 Minutes with my friend Kristen, concluding with our dose of Andy Rooney. Then finding that we were still hungry a few hours later, leading us to watching clips online.
Mr. Rooney, you will be missed. Thank you for inspiring us.