Missy Votel - 09/28/2017
“Is that chewing gum?” the woman in the purple shirt at the front desk asked me, with more than a hint of disgust. “You will have to spit that out,” she scolded, handing me a box of tissues with her similarly painted purple fingernails.
I dutifully and sheepishly spit the gum out, not quite sure what compelled me to pop it in in the first place. It was especially inexplicable given that only seconds earlier, a large man in a black suit confiscated my phone. He didn’t keep it, he just locked it in a case so I couldn’t use it, but the message was clear: don’t mess.
Perhaps I was nervous knowing my every move was being monitored. Or maybe I wanted to make sure I had fresh breath when I met my idol. Or at least his remains.
As you may have heard me mention before, I’m kind of obsessed with Prince – I guess I never really gave up the dream of someday being his back-up singer or maybe eating pancakes with him at one of his late-night pajama parties. There’s something about this biggest little badass that’s hard to shake. An enigma wrapped in a riddle and cloaked in royal purple satin and lace. He could “hush” the world with a stare and rock the Super Bowl in the rain in heels that put Melania to shame.
Like many, I was shook by his death. A quiet, reclusive, Jehovah-fearing, vegetarian teetotaler, he was supposed to live forever. Then again, by rock and roll standards, 57 is pretty good. But it didn’t make the pain any less.
Thus, when I heard you could tour his colossal suburban fortress, Paisley Park, I knew it was a pilgrimage I had to make. You know, for closure (and maybe a chance to jump on his bed or at least touch his stuff.) So, using a flimsy excuse to see family, I booked some tickets to the Mini Apple and bought my PP tickets online. Before I knew it, my sisters and I were pointing the Dadmobile to the equally unrock’n’rollish suburb of Chanhassen: the Prince promised land.
Having never toured a dead star’s home (or any star for that matter), I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would there be a “Jungle Room?” Would they let us look inside his fridge or poke through his closet? Could we karaoke to “1999” in his private nightclub? Well, when we showed up, it was clear they had seen our kind before.
Before I could so much as slink off to run my hands over the purple velvet chaise, I was yanked back in line. The tour was a well-oiled and supervised machine – and can’t say I could blame them. Prince was an extremely private person when he wasn’t gyrating on stage. The rules are how he would’ve wanted them: no roaming, no dawdling, no messing things up and no photos. (That latter of which I was actually quite thankful for. After all, Prince’s home is a shrine, not a place for selfie sticks and hashtagging. #havesomerespect.)