Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I am awesome at meeting famous people.

I may have mentioned Amy Ray on this blog before.

As in, I gave birth listening to Amy Ray.*

Or, Last weekend I ran anothermarathon listening to Amy Ray.

I always considered myself an Indigo Girls fan, at least from the moment when my freshman year roommate put in Rites of Passage and said "Hey, Mel, listen to this" (it was their cover of "Romeo and Juliet").  But when Amy Ray came out with her first solo album in 2001, that was life changing.  I don't know.  I just really, really, really liked it.

The culmination of many years of being a fan reached its peak last month, when Amy Ray came to St. Louis and did a show at the Old Rock House.

It was amazing.  Oh dear god, it was amazing.




I love how happy she looks in this picture


The Old Rock House is a pretty small venue (not that I actually know that much about venues), and after the show, Rob and me and my friend who had come with us were hanging around for a while.  Then all of a sudden, Amy Ray walked back into the room.  She just started hanging out too-- talking to fans, signing autographs, etc.  The thing is, nobody seemed particularly concerned or excited.  It was all really laid back.  Except for me--  I reacted like one of those girls from the 1960's who was seeing the Beatles for the first time.


Image from

In the midst of all the hyperventilating and fainting I was doing, Rob was all, "You should go up to her and talk to her."

And I was like, Talk?!  How can I just go up and talk to Amy Ray?

One thing about Rob is that even though he is often quiet in most other life situations, he is really, really good at talking to rock stars.

So Rob and my friend each took one of my arms and marched me over to Amy Ray.

She smiled at us and said, "Hey, I'm Amy."

Rob turned on his rock star super speaking ability and said something to the effect of, "Hi, this is Melissa and she's a really big fan.  Your music has gotten her through a lot.  She gave birth and runs marathons listening to your music."

And then Amy Ray shook my hand.  She was like, "Whoa.  You run marathons?  That's cool."

And I was all Oh my god, you're Amy Ray.  My teeth were chattering and I had no control over the limbs of my body.

Also, I think she may have been weirded out by the giving birth statement.

(I don't blame her, that is actually kind of weird).

Even so, she put her arm around me, and Rob took a picture.

Melissa with her idol


It has been almost a whole month, and I am *still* recovering from this moment.

How do you even recover from meeting Amy Ray??

Well, you don't I guess.

But one way you can try is to go out and meet Gloria Steinem in the same week.

It was graduation on campus, and Gloria Steinem was set to receive an honorary degree.  She was giving a commencement address, and also, the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies department was hosting a special, invitation only, meet and greet with her the day before graduation.

I was in the office on the morning of Gloria Steinem's arrival on campus, talking with some coworkers about how I really admired her and how I thought it would be really cool to hear her speak.  One of the faculty members, who happens to have a joint appointment in the WGS department was also talking to us, and she was like, "We'll see what I can do."

Well, she came down to my office later in the day and asked me if I would be interested in going to the Gloria Steinem Meet and Greet that afternoon as her +1.

I was in!!!!!

The only problem was, I didn't think I was dressed for the occasion.

I was wearing a teal sleeveless shirt that my mom gave me for my 26th birthday (in 2005) and a pair of black pants that I have had since before graduating college.  This just didn't seem fancy enough.  The invitation to the event was very fancy.  Wine and cheese was to be served.  I thought everyone would be dressed in formal wear.

I almost called Rob and asked him to bring me my new black dress (that I got at the Scholar Shop for $12), but then I was like, wait, Gloria Steinem is a feminist.  I shouldn't wear a dress.  I should ask him to bring me my black blazer.

I didn't end up asking him to bring any of these things, because my date told me that she thought I was dressed appropriately, and besides that, Gloria Steinem wouldn't care what I was wearing.

She was right.  My outfit was actually perfect for the occasion, and Gloria Steinem's talk was fantastic!

She is so inspirational!  And brilliant.  Everything she said was just about the smartest thing I've ever heard.

The talk was unstructured; it was mainly an opportunity for students to ask her questions.  Many of them asked her questions relating to "What would you advise us to do after graduation?"  Her response was something to the effect of, "You know what I think you should do?  I think you should find that one thing that you are so passionate about, that you love so deeply, that you'll do it and forget to eat and sleep because you love it so much.  I think you should do that, and do it well."

There's my problem in life.

I either haven't found the thing I am that passionate about, or, I don't do it well enough that I could live off of it.  (Writing).


Me with my pal, Gloria Steinem.  My date to the event was sitting on my other side and is not pictured.


I think what I'd like to do is get a book deal.  Writing Amy Ray's biography.  I bet I would be good at that.  But I'll have to get better at talking rock stars, otherwise, Rob will have to ask all the questions.

Thanks for reading.




*N.B.: Will arrived early to this world and I was unprepared to give birth (I did not have an iPod handy for some reason), so what I actually listened to was Rob singing "Dairy Queen" and "Driver Education" (which I guess are both technically Indigo Girls songs, but were written by Amy Ray).  While this didn't make it into my "official" birth story, I am pretty sure that it did happen.



Anonymous said...

Awesome'!!!!!! So glad you are !talking! To such big time people!!!! And FYI You ARE a writer, just reading this blog. Had me laughing hysterically!!!!!! Never give up with your love of writing!!!! Luv u ,mama

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