The first time I dialed, I received a busy signal. That was normal. I was not deterred. The second call was met with ringing. Wait. But it never rings. That’s odd. After three tones I heard a voice . . . “HFS.” A bit too shocked to comprehend the meaning of those three little letters, I responded as if I had never used a phone before. “Hello?”
“Hi!” was the response I received. Starting to realize what this meant, I started talking. I have no memory of what I said next, but it was apparently enough to convey that I did indeed know why I was calling, I was a cognizant and vocally able individual, and yes please, I would love the prize.
Concert tickets. Along with a meet and greet before the show. And even a possibility (although this was not firm yet) of a private show prior to the concert.
Holy cow! This was awesome. Best day ever! My luck is turning around. Things are looking up!
But then it got a lot less awesome. Obviously, not being forward thinking enough to listen to any details before my hot little fingers furiously dialed in to the radio station, I had to ask the DJ when and where the show was. Tuesday night. In Virginia. “And the meet and greet is early, so you should probably take the day off. ”
Hold on now, what’s this you say? I just wanted to go to a concert, not have to invest an entire day into this whole endeavor. But, at that moment, all of those were just details. Because I won. I won. That just doesn’t happen. So, this was a good day.
I arrived home to share the news with my husband. He was happy for me, but luke warm about the entire prospect. He would not be able to escort me, since he already had plans to be out of town. Although, if I had won Kenny Chesney tickets, I bet those plans would have changed. But regardless, I was now in a position of needing to find a date. So, I started texting friends. And began to get many rejections. For many different reasons. Childcare issues, Back to School night, Surprise Going Away Party, work meetings, unchangeable doctor’s appointments, etc. Apparently, this was a very busy Tuesday night for all of my friends and family. (Either that or they were all coming up with very different and creative ways to blow me off).
It was getting very frustrating. And I was starting to get worried, and feared that it was hopeless. I began thinking that I would either have to go by myself, which was not a concept I embraced, or not go at all. It seemed as if my luck had not turned around at all. And this would be the second time that I wouldn’t see the band perform whilst having tickets.
Two weeks prior, they played at the State Fair. I had bought tickets, good seats as well. But when the night arrived, there was just no possible way that we were going to be able to go. It was impossible. And here I was again, in possession of presumably good seats to see this very same band, and needing to forego them because I could not find anyone who wanted to go.
Then I received an email from the DJ with details for the day. Arrive by 2:45 to meet the band. Get your tickets there. Oh, and by the way, they will play a private show just for the winners before the concert.
Damn, this was a game changer. I had to go to this thing. Even alone if necessary. Because while the meet and greet was no big deal, since I’m not a squeeing teenaged fangirl of the band members, I did love their music. Seeing a private and intimate performance from the band would be a once in a lifetime experience. Not to be missed.
But 2:45 was early. So very early in the day. I would basically have to take a half day to ensure I arrived at that time. DC traffic is notoriously awful at all times of the day. All I would need was one backup and I’d be done.
But I had to do it. There was no other option. Now, I just needed to find someone to go with me! Getting desperate, I posted on both of my facebook accounts (private and blog), offering anyone who could do it the chance to go with me and see the band. I will neither confirm nor deny the fact that I also offered up the opportunity to molest the lead singer. Nevertheless, I had zero takers, unless you count my former au pair who now lives in Venezuela and another friend who lives in Oregon. So, basically nobody.
And then I finally got a bite. I had texted my niece to see if she could make it, and she was very wishy washy about the whole thing. Then, I let her know about the private show, and she was onboard. She would make it happen. She just had to pawn off her nephews to her parents for babysitting and get a substitute teacher for her class. No sweat!
The day of the show, I somehow arrived at the venue very quickly, although already a bit sweaty because it was 95* outside and the A/C in my car is broken. Nevertheless, I was there on time, met my niece there, and rendezvoused with the other winners and DJ. We were all very excited and ready! So, after some ridiculousness involving trekking all the way around the stadium (did I mention it was really hot?) to go down to the band entrance and go into a very nicely air conditioned lobby, only to be unceremoniously kicked back out into the sweltering heat because security had to show us their big balls, we eventually were escorted inside and into a room. Within thirty seconds, the band came walking right in. I had never seen them in person before, and my first impression of them was that they were very wee. Like teeny tiny boys. I wanted to just grab all of them and stick them in my pockets. They were precious and adorable.
As they entered the room, one of the guys joked with us that we looked like we were lined up for a firing squad (we had all been told to sit on all these window seat benches against the wall, and we were good little lemmings, so we did). Then, he went on to say that the lead singer wasn’t going to speak because he had voice issues and was saving his voice for the concert, so if he wasn’t singing on stage, he was mandated not to make a peep. Now, you might have some clue as to what this portends, but at that moment, nothing registered in my noggin that foretold trouble and disappointment. But we’ll get there.
The band was awesome. Very laid back and personable. Accessable and gracious. Fun and funny. I met them, got my picture taken with them (after which I thanked them, to which they responded with a very genuine, “no, thank you.”), and got them to autograph my CD case. There were about twenty of us, and they took pictures and signed things for all of us. It was very nice. And very quick.
Before we knew it, we were being asked to leave the room and were sent back out into the heat. Wondering what the itinerary was for the rest of the day, I asked the DJ. He very deftly avoided my question and moved away. Hmmm, that’s odd. But I did not have long to wait for the answer to my question. He got everyone’s attention and announced that since the lead singer was saving his voice for the stage, that meant that they had to cancel the private concert.
I was crushed. What a disappointment. We were all a little shell shocked at that point. I mean, we met the band and that was cool, and we still had the concert to attend much later in the night, but . . . The private concert was a once in a lifetime event. And we were so looking forward to it. But, it was not to be.
But, we had to rally. So, my niece and I hooked up with another pair of winners, drove to a local sushi restaurant, had some food and drinks and chatted away the time, and then returned to see the show. The original plan was to leave soon after the band went on, thinking that we lived very far away, we both had to work the next day, and anyway, we were going to get to see them play their songs before the concert just for us, so who needed the concert for the masses? Yeah, well we ended up staying until right before the first encore. I hated to leave, because the concert was incredible, but we had to start our long trek home, as we had been there for almost eight hours. As for the lead singer’s voice, you could tell he was strained on some of the higher registers, but you could only tell if you knew he had an issue. Otherwise, it was fabulous.
I was finally able to see the band in concert, so that’s a relief. But the addendum to this story is that laryngitis and I are officially fighting, and the band owes us a private show. I’m holding them to that. Whether they know of this or not.