Dear Dylan (AKA Luke Perry),
I fell in love with you from the very beginning of 90210. That bad boy attitude, the look in your eyes, the sideburns, and that adorable little scar in your eyebrow. I loved how you walked through the halls of West Beverly with that “I don’t give a crap” attitude.
You were a teenage girl’s dream, and even though I was in my early twenties during 90210’s run, I felt my love was appropriate because the real Luke Perry was the exactly same age as me.
My friends and I would argue over who was a “Brandon” fan and who was a “Dylan” fan. I never wavered. No offense to Jason Priestley (who was also adorable), but you had me at hello.
Your romance with Brenda was what a high school girl dreamt of, and I rooted for the two of you all the way. You had my loyalty from the moment you dropped that flower pot at Brenda’s feet. And who could forget the spring dance? Even though the night had a rocky start for Brenda because of the horror of Kelly arriving in the same dress, you made it a very special and meaningful evening for her.
I loved how you ignored Jim and Cindy’s protests and fought for the girl you loved, eventually winning over Brenda’s conservative parents (well – sometimes). The two of you were the epitome of first love and helped us all to fall in love along with you.
Now to get to that pesky Kelly situation. I did love the Kelly character but I never thought she belonged with Dylan. I was Team Brenda all the way. While the love triangle was great to watch, I was disappointed when you ultimately chose Kelly. Having to watch Brenda witness your relationship with Kelly was torturous.
I felt for you through all of your drinking and drug abuse. How could I not? You were Dylan. Through it all, your heart always shone through.
When you married Toni after only a short time, I thought that maybe you were better off without Brenda or Kelly, that you had found your happy ending. But watching you scream when you found her shot dead in your car was heartbreaking.
And then you left my beloved 90210. I still loved the show but it was never the same when you were gone. I was thrilled to see you reappear a few seasons later.
Twenty years later, my teenage daughters started to watch a new show, Riverdale. The little girl in me was excited when they told me that the characters were based on the Archie Comics. Then one of them said, “Mom, Luke Perry plays Archie’s father. Isn’t he from that show 90210 that you still talk about?”
Omg it was Dylan McKay!
Both of my daughters have become big fans of Riverdale, and I am glad they were able to experience Luke Perry, even though it was not the same way I did. While I loved Dylan McKay, they love Luke Perry as a dad. Who would have thought? I hope that I can now get them to binge-watch 90210 with me and experience the Dylan that I loved.
Your loss is devastating. You have so many crazy fans like me who have you wrapped up in their own 90s memories. You will never be forgotten.
Xoxo – Stacy
Stacy was a stay-at-home mom/part-time preschool teacher whose life was turned upside down in 2011 when her husband tragically passed away. After a few very difficult years, she started The Widow Wears Pink, a blog about her widow life.
Stacy has been published in Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Her View From Home, Better After 50, Modern Loss, Grown & Flown,, Option B, Kveller, Mamalode, Sammiches & Psychmeds, and Thought Catalog. She is a contributor on Hope for Widows Foundation and freelances for Today.com. She is currently working on both her memoir and a fiction novel.