In case you haven’t noticed, many of my brushes with the objects of my fandoms haven’t gone exactly according to plan.
When I met Brian Wilson in 2001, despite my best attempts and highest heels, my friend who introduced us had to stand about 15 feet away to fit Brian’s 6’4″ frame, and my 5’2″ one (5’6″ in heels!) into a photo. Brian finally, graciously, wound up leaning down a little to make it work, but not before we had a laugh at my height…or lack thereof. (Incidentally, that photo never made its way to me–I don’t know whose camera it was taken with. In another unplanned twist, the friend I brought with me took off to parts unknown with my own camera.)
When I met Glenn Frey I accidentally grabbed his butt, trying to put my arm around him. I also flipped a salad bowl upside down, onto the floor, later that evening, while trying to subtly catch the attention of his backing band at a restaurant (I mean…it worked…).
My meet and greet with Don Henley is by far my greatest triumph, overall…but that isn’t really saying much. I wanted to be intelligent, or at least intelligible, but when the well-spoken Eagle greeted me by calling me sweetheart and saying he remembered me from the question I’d asked earlier, I kinda lost the ability to form sentences. But on the plus side, this meant I didn’t say anything dumb! This isn’t to say I haven’t ever done anything stupid around him, however; the second time I saw him solo, I screamed at the top of my lungs, so loudly I made him jump and almost miss his cue at the beginning of the song I was bizarrely cheering for.
Recently, Sister Coyote and I found ourselves in an elevator with Glenn and Don’s sons, Deacon and Will. I once again lost my words, thanks to equal parts wine and shock, except I couldn’t stop trying to talk anyway. At least I made them laugh?
As for Lindsey Buckingham…oh, poor Lindsey. The first time I ever met him I accidentally called him Linds, ’cause apparently we were old buddies. A few days later he walked up to my friends and I just as I announced to the world, “I only have $20 to last me til Friday!” It was Tuesday.
The next time I met him, I had a huge hole in my shirt, and after that, I walked straight into a brick wall at an event in New York City while trying to gracefully walk away. A few years later, during a show, he looked over to see me sitting with my foot up in front of my face. Some guy had stomped on it while taking pictures in the aisle, but Lindsey didn’t know that. He just knew that the weird girl was back and holding her foot in the air in the 5th row.
The next year, I tried to stand up to greet him as he walked towards me in a hotel lobby, but managed to catch my knee on the arm of the chair I was sitting in, resulting in me falling face first towards the poor guy. I followed that up with stepping on his foot a few months later, and the following spring, the first time I’d met him completely alone without friends around to shore me up, I wound up dry heaving behind a restaurant sign afterwards out of pure shock and excitement. The kicker? I don’t think he was far enough away yet to not be able to see that.
The most recent time I spoke to him, in July of last year, I hadn’t properly packed my suitcase and wound up wearing a sundress that was too small for the bra I’d brought to wear with it. Sure, the fancy-bra-showing-through-shirt thing is in style, but not like this: with miles of bra visible at the armpits, it just wound up making me look like I’d outgrown the dress.
My goal for the meet and greet in Kitchener in November is to finally, for once in my life, speak properly and avoid all wardrobe malfunctions. Unfortunately, I don’t have high hopes, but man, I’m gonna try!
All of this is to say: I’ve seen and heard people say that they wouldn’t want to meet their heroes, simply because they’re afraid of making a fool of themselves.
I’ve practically made a career out of making a fool out of myself in front of my heroes.
Let me tell you: it’s the best dang part.
I’ve made my heroes laugh. I don’t care if it was at my own expense. Everybody has their moments of complete ridiculousness. Including, I imagine, the very heroes everyone tries to be on their best behaviour for. And they’ve all been nothing but wonderful to me, even in all my oddness.
So anyone out there considering a meet and greet with anybody: if you can, just go. Be you. Don’t stress. And if something weird happens, embrace it.
Weird makes the best stories later.