Dear Daryl,

What I want and you've got (forgiveness) may be hard to handle. But here it goes.

I apologize in advance for the tardiness of this apology. It’s been roughly 30 years since I behaved childishly in your presence at L.L. Bean in Freeport, Maine.

It had been a long day of shopping at Dad’s favorite store. I know he loved it from his days in the Naval Reserves in Brunswick, and he always seemed to bump into somebody he knew.

On this day, that happened to be you, Daryl. And I want to make it clear that at no point did you do anything wrong or classless. It’s just that I was bored. And the last thing you want to hear when you’re a bored kid is your dad say: “Wait for me.”

And after four hours of flannel gawking, the sight of Dad stopping to talk to yet another old buddy had me saying, “I can’t go for that.” You know what I mean? Like, “No can do.”

But on and on you two Boomers yammered. “I’m up in Kennebunkport!” “We just took a trip to Pennsylvania!” Blah blah blah, while I watched and waited, my eyes on the door.

Was it inappropriate for me to chant “Daryl!” under my breath the way Red Sox fans taunted Darryl Strawberry? Yes. Was I wrong to scoff “Where’s Larry and the other Daryl?” Also, yes.

Anyway, I am sorry you had to tell Dad – jokingly – “Looks like you got someone waitin’ for you!” My private eyes were evidently not so private. And I understand now, after my Mom told me who you actually were, that not all of Dad’s friends were pilots (nor was it common for Naval Reservists to have long, blonde mullets...).

I hope when you resumed shopping, you found all the best things on your list, Daryl – I’m sorry, Mr. Hall. And hope that life remains kind to you and your associate, Mr. Oates.

P.S. If you think this is the worst of my lack of cultural awareness, this tale is worse.

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