I am obsessed with Hawaii. Many childhood trips to paradise have pretty much ruined me for any other vacation destination and have given me a sometimes embarrassing soft spot for anything Hawaii-related.
Jack Johnson. Tropical designs for my car seat covers, checkbook, shower curtain. Any movie that's set on the islands. And now there's Bruno Mars.
It's not uncommon knowledge at this point that the petite, Grammy-nominated pop star hails from the 50th state, where he used to be the world's youngest Elvis impersonator. He even did a cameo lip curl in the 1992 movie Honeymoon in Vegas.
I remember it. I'm pretty sure it hit theaters soon after I went onstage with Bruno. Read on for a picture.
That's right. I met baby Bruno. I may have even danced with him.
I can't remember all of the details or even the year. But I'm only three years older than Bruno, so I couldn't have yet been 10 on the night my family attended a lounge show in which he performed. Luckily, Mom or Dad took a picture.
At some point, the show's host invited my friend, Stacy, and me to get onstage and do the hula in our fanny packs. We told the audience where we came from. And then, out came little Bruno, outfitted in a rhinestone-encrusted Elvis suit. (I couldn't find a picture with me actually in the frame with Bruno, but considering the fanny pack and bad hair, I don't think you need to see the Crystal child anyway.)
Bruno serenaded the audience and handed blue silk scarves to me and Stacy. I kept mine until a few years ago, thinking Bruno must have suffered the fate of so many child performers, a career ending with puberty.
But, no! As my mother pointed out to me a few months ago, he's gone on to snort cocaine, collaborate with Travie McCoy, get a Grammy nod and sing super-popular songs that simultaneously annoy and addict me. Kinda like Elvis.
I'm sorry I tossed your scarf in the trash, Bruno. Will you still love me just the way I am? Especially if you become a billionaire?