by Maggie LaMaack
There is no family more beloved on Twin Cities’ social media than the Purmorts.
Most of you already know Aaron Purmort’s (@Purmort) story through his wife, Nora’s eloquent storytelling on My Husband’s Tumor, and have seen their adorable son’s life unfold via #ralphiegrams. What those mediums fail to mention is that any time Aaron or Nora come up in conversation, it elicits several responses along the lines of “They are just the best,” which is pretty impressive considering Twitter is largely a place for people to complain about other people’s use of Twitter.
Off the Internet, Aaron is a designer and dad who likes Taylor Swift. He also completed this interview without the use of one of his arms, and there wasn’t even one typo.
Aaron can tell his story better than I can, so I’m going to let him take it away:
@Purmort: I grew up in wild, wonderful Andover, Minn. One time at the bus, a kid threw a bee hive at his brother. I worked in the photo department at the Walmart in Coon Rapids and saw a lot of nudies.
In high school I met Gwen Stefani at First Avenue and asked her to prom. She politely declined, but I think she wanted to say yes. I also invited Cameron Diaz to dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory with me and my parents when I was an extra in Feeling Minnesota. She also declined, I think she was uncomfortable going on a date with a minor and his mom.
When I went to college, I enrolled at North Hennepin Community College, considered by many to be the Harvard of Northern Minneapolis Suburban Community Colleges. I then attended the College of Visual Arts, which has since closed because I SHUT THAT SHIT DOWN.
I’ve worked at almost every agency in Minneapolis either full-time or freelance, and am an Interactive ACD at Colle + McVoy. I love designing posters (I’ve done them for Katy Perry and Girl Talk, you can see them hanging in the Depot) and t-shirts and anything my wife requests of me.
When I was 32 I had a seizure at work on Halloween. Turned out I had a brain tumor growing for a couple years, and it was stage IV brain cancer. A month later, my girlfriend Nora and I got married at the art gallery where we met (shout out to CO Exhibitions). A bit more than a year after that, we had our son, Ralph.
Now I’m 35 and I’m married and have a kid. I’m a dad but I don’t wear dad pants. We live in Northeast Minneapolis.
After three years of radiation and chemotherapy, I’m in hospice care at home. Nora is my nurse. I think I am the first person on LOL/OMG to be interviewed on his death bed.
Now, on to the fun part:
LOL/OMG: When and why did you join Twitter?
@Purmort: I joined Twitter in September 2008 because I felt like I was the missing piece in getting their IPO off the ground. It took awhile, but I think I did it.
What is the best thing and the worst thing about Twitter?
Twitter keeps people short but sweet. When you need to edit yourself to keep it under 140 characters, you bring a bit more skill to the game than you typically do with something like Facebook. Also, nobody can invite you to play Candy Crush.
The worst is when people retweet accounts with a billion followers. Look, we all follow Mashable, we get it.
Tell us something about yourself we wouldn’t know from following you on Twitter.
I have a really huge, obscenely large … collection of comic books.
You have 160 characters to write yourself a brand new bio. Go!
If you’re reading this, I’m already dead.
Give us your top three of each:
Local Twitter accounts:
1. @JanaShortal is an angel. She is even more charming in real life than she is on the Internet.
2. Anyone but @Matthasarms — did you know that his wife actually writes all his tweets for him?
3. @Target — it’s a local boutique I’m just getting into. I think they’re going to take off if they get enough followers.
Non-local Twitter accounts:
1. @hipsterrunoff still makes me laugh even if it’s different than when Nora and I met. We bonded over that account.
2. @dadboner forever.
3. @grantwahl — For fellow soccer lovers. Not for everyone.
Best songs on 1989:
I’m going to say something controversial here: I like Red better than 1989.
Favorite things on the Internet this week:
1. The Still Kickin shirt finished it’s second round, more than doubling the previous sales record for Cotton Bureau.
2. @JamieKvamme wearing the Still Kickin shirt in the best way possible.