Boston is beautiful at the end of August, Readers. Here is a view of the waterfront.
It was my destination this weekend to see this man.....
Woo-ee, Sista! Who is THAT? you are asking? Dontcha recognize him? Here, let Eloise help. This is my man, country music star Tim McGraw.
I guess you need the black hat, microphone, and ichthys tattoo to get the full picture. The above photo is one that I snapped of him during the Brothers of the Sun Tour 2012, Cleveland, OH stop on July 29th.
Here's one from a professional, which makes him look all the handsomer (Eloise loses her ability to form words when she thinks of him, hence I make up a few of my own).
Handsome and I have a date this weekend. Tonight to be exact. We're set to meet in Foxboro, Massachusetts, at Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots and that %$#head Tom Brady. Too bad he has to play his last show there. Tonight the sun sets on his wildly popular Brothers of the Sun Tour with his friend Kenny Chesney. He's saving the best for last though--he's meeting me afterwards.
Don't believe me do you, Slovenians? No one likes a doubter, so here's your proof. Here's my ticket:
It's my VIP backstage pass to meet Tim McGraw. It was given to me by this man, Jim the driver on Monday. In case you missed the story, refer back to Monday's blog post, Lesson 180: Truck Yeah!
The ticket has been around my neck on the lanyard it came on since then. I've stared at it, scrutinized it, did an internet search on it, flipped it between my fingers, fanned myself with it, hung it around my foot, kissed it, and even used it to corral some spilled coffee grounds off the counter. I was making a third pot because I was staying up late for a long thinking session, in an attempt to figure out what to do.
Go or not go? Be brave or be a chicken$h!t? Live conservatively or live carefree? It has been an agonizing decision, and not one I've taken lightly. I've made lists. I've thought myself in circles about this chance meeting that soon turned into a choice. Agony.
And who has caused me the act of such mental gymnastics as of late?---my female blog followers, facebook friends, and colleagues. Here are just a few of the responses that I received in print:
- I just read your Tim McGraw post! That is SO awesome Eloise!
You NEED to get to Boston this weekend!
- Here's what I think....you need to call-in and cash-out all future birthday, Christmas, Mother's Day and National Day of Slovenia gifts and get yourself to Boston this weekend. Come on, how often will you be handed a free ticket to make a dream come true?? Backstage to meet Handsome? No brainer...it was meant to be!
- Yes! Go! Go! Go! You CANNOT pass this up! You will kick yourself later if you pass it by! It's an opportunity of a lifetime for you!
- Why are you not in your car yet?
- You should be going! Go use that backstage pass!
- I wish you were going to Boston. You will never get this chance again!
- If you left Sat. morning at 5am, you could be there by 3:30. That's including an hour lunch break, 1 gas stop, and 6 pee stops. You will get to have your photo with him!!!! What's stopping you?!
All of that, and more, from my chick friends. Women who in some way see me as themselves. Mothers, wives, teachers, working day to day in and out of the house with no chances ever like this. I feel like I owe it to them. I bet many have even checked The Lamp Post several times already this weekend, with the curious thought in the back of their heads, "Did she go?"
In response to your inquiries that I only really picked up as vibes: I hold up my hand in the secret sign of District 12 solidarity (Hunger Games):
I kissed those fingers moments before as Katniss did when she sent the signal to Rue's supporters in District 11. It is a sign of respect and solidarity. Please Girls, respect me when I tell you that I am standing Handsome up tonight. Eloise is here, in the Lamp Post, typing to you instead of waiting for my man outside of Gillette Stadium in Foxboro.
I just heard your collective sigh of letdown. Believe me, I'm let down, too. In fact, I just wiped a stray tear from my cheek. There is nothing more I would have rather done this weekend than go see that concert again and meet Handsome. But I have duties here that I signed up for long ago, and I have to make good on those promises.
The kids start school Monday. God gave me three to raise up into good people, and part of that means being there for them when they need you the most. Two thirds of my children struggle with their emotions and need extra patience and consistency before upcoming changes. School starting is a biggie in my house. As a teacher, I know the importance of getting the year off to the right start. I felt my absence from them this weekend would result in the undoing of so many good things I worked hard on over the summer. When I was forced to toe the line between Handsome and my tribe, my trio won out. Do you still respect me, Girls? You should. If more people thought like me, I'd have less problems to deal with in school.
Natalie needed me to practice her reading. She's ready to show off her skills on Starfall's Ready to Read program. Not only did someone crack the code on Natalie's hidden message (see Lesson 179: Update, if you missed it), but someone else gave her these!
They are the Starfall characters in stuffed animal form. Gus the Duck and Zac the Rat are in the middle. Thank you to Amy Smith of Harbor Creek School District for gifting these to Natalie! They have not been out of her sight since. You can see the twinkle in her eyes in this photo. It is outstanding to be able to make a connection with a child with autism.
Sam starts Kindergarten Monday, and it would be detrimental for me to be away from him this weekend. Thanks to Kindergarten Orientation, Sam went from not seeing the need (he wants to be on the WWE wrestling circuit), to not being able to wait. The garbage truck pulled up the other day and Sam went running to the window to see if it was the bus to take him to Kindergarten. He didn't want to miss it.
Sam got to play with his Pittsburgh friends Mac and Harlo this weekend, and I would have missed the chance to see that.
Harlo tells me that Sam is her boyfriend. To catch the attention of this cutie, I must be doing something right in raising my boy. Maybe it was the his sporty new buzz cut.
This is my daughter Ellen, soon to be 12 years old. She is sandwiched between Natalie and Sam, trying to figure out how to navigate her life. She is so special to me, I even wrote a book about her. I have to make good on the promise of publishing it soon, too.
Ellen has desperately wanted her own blog. She's already written several drafts and has thought of the perfect title: Life Inside the Lamp Post. Ellen tells me that are posts are going to be all about ME. She's already taken a few pictures of me asleep and when I say or do something stupid, she holds her fingers out in front of her and pretends like she's typing. A cue to me that she's going to blog about the event one day. Paybacks are he!!, they say.
I made a deal with her. Mother Eloise told her that if she earned an advanced score on the Pennsylvania State Writing Exam last spring, she could have her blog. Mother Eloise is also Mrs. Eloise to her, as I am also Ellen's enrichment teacher in school. I work with talented children and I am fully aware that the test is very hard. No one in her elementary school has ever scored advanced. They are scores the state awards to only a few pieces per school each year. Being familiar with Ellen's work, I knew she'd be in the running, but that it was still unlikely to achieve as a fifth grader. Eloise thought wrong. Look:
Congratulations, Honey. You earned it.
Yikes! What goes around comes around, I guess.
The Brothers of the Sun Tour will see its last sunset tonight. My heart is still pitter-pattering in my chest that I passed on my chanced to meet Handsome. However, Eloise is a believer. Not now does not mean never, Friends. I know I'll get my chance someday. I know it because I can feel it, deep in my bones. Until then, I'll keep believing that Handsome is coming for me again, someday down the road. I refuse to think of this all as the opportunity I wimped out on. Tonight, I'm putting on my boots, mounting my house, and riding off into my own sunset on the moral high road. My path will bend around in Handsome's direction again. I'm sure of it. It makes me even more excited for the things to come.
A special thank you to all of my girlfriends and your words of encouragement. Especially to Kathy who whipped out her checkbook and offered to pay for my plane ticket. It humbles me to think of the support I have from all of you. I didn't let you down; I did the right thing. I hope you can show me as much support as this friend did. She wrote: I don't know what you decided for tomorrow, but I support you in whatever choice you make.
That Readers, is an example of a true friend. Teacher Friends, as you pass me in the hallways on Monday, our first day of class for the 2012-2013 school year, flash me this symbol so I know that you're with me on this one:
With me does not just mean standing up Handsome tonight in Foxboro, but also that Sam has entered Kindergarten. We're all in this together, right?
Weepy, Weepy Eloise