Dear Bono, The Hutton Hotel, Oprah, The Edge, The Other Two Guys In The Band, (JK, I know who you are, Larry and Adam), Jesus, President Obama And Anyone Else Who Might Be Able To Help A Girl Out:
I've got a problem. And yes, my problem might not be as pressing as world hunger or the scourge of Aids in impoverished countries or even the state of Weiner's wiener, but it's my problem and that makes it a BIG one.
I have this long vacation story I won't go into because my posts are legendary enough when it comes to length and if any of you aforementioned folks are reading this, especially you Jesus and of course, Bono and Oprah, I know you're all busy saving humanity and the like, so I'll try to make this as brief as I possibly can.
I'll just say, due to time constraints thanks to my oldest daughter's college and work schedule, my dream of a family vacation was whittled down to 8 days—the only sequential days my daughter could manage.
And so, after many options were mulled over and over and over again, we finally came up with Tennessee. I know my blog readers are scratching their heads right now. Here's the deal on those other places I was considering, guys. We wanted more time than 8 days to traipse across Seattle and Canada. A Cruise didn't work our week. Thank God! And my hubs decided he's New York Citied out for the time being. This might have something to do with the fact that he gets dragged through every back room in Chinatown. His official title is Haggler of Fake Purses. And if you're the Feds, I did not just say that. Someone hacked my blog. Probably the same person who hacked Weiner's twitter.
My sister was vacationing in Tennessee. So we're meeting up with her and her family for a few days in the mountains and then heading over to Nashville.
We've never been to Nashville and I hear it's a very exciting city with lots of rhinestone cowboys and such.
So, since I am a savvy travel planner, I did my research and decided that the beautiful Hutton Hotel would fit our needs perfectly.
I booked us for the majority of the week into the Hutton and decided on our last night of vacation, we would spend the night in Knoxville, since we were flying out of that city the next afternoon.
After making all of our plans, I breathed a sigh of relief. We were ready to go.
But then, last week my hubs called me and said, "You're never going to guess who's playing in Nashville on our last night there."
I figured since he is a shooting man and into all things country, he was going to tell me about some country star he's been dying to see and then I'd be forced to go to a geetar pickin' concert where I'd be awash in a sea of Wrangler jeans and disturbingly large belt buckles.
But he did not say Waylon or Willie.
He said U2.
U2. U2. U2.
AND our hotel was just a short jaunt to the stadium. The stadium where Bono of the leather pants and the soaring power punch of a voice and his U2 brothers would be performing.
I squealed like a Belieber would, while attending a concert of that famous bouffant haired tot.
I, for the record, am not a Belieber. I'm a Bonoliever. And Bonolievers can shriek and and jump around in frenzied hysteria just as well as the Beliebers.
The only difference is, we have to hold our boobs when we're jumping.
My hubs immediately went online to get tickets only to find the stadium is sold out.
Not a problem for two kids who spent most of the 80's in sweet-smelling smoky concert arenas.
We were concert professionals back in the day, expert at snagging the best tickets, expert at working our way up to the front of the stage, experts at smuggling in fortifications.
In fact, Internet, remind me to tell you the story of the time I got busted for vodka laced otter pops down my pants. It's a most excellent story, I promise.
So a sold out stadium is no deterrent for us, especially when it comes to the best band in the world with my boyfriend, Bono as their front man.
I would simply extend our stay at the Hutton Hotel for one more night. We would snag some tickets outside the stadium the night of the concert and that would be the end of it.
I promptly called up the lovely Hutton Hotel and was fortunate enough to speak to a delightful woman. Sadly, I can't remember her name, but she just about melted me with her buttery Southern charm. She told me that at the moment, everybody at the hotel was rather busy. See, I happened to call the day of the CMA's which were being held right there in Nashville and goodness knows who those poor hotel people had to keep happy.
I don't know much about country music stars, but they've probably gotten bitten by the "I'm one of the Special People and thus should be treated in Special fashion" Bug just like the rest of the celebrity crowd.(Of course, that does not include you aforementioned Special People, ahem Oprah.) Country stars are most likely just as outrageous in their demands as the rest of the Special People. I'm sure they want the brown m&m's taken out of the mix of colors and rose petals scattered in their toilets. I could be wrong because Carrie Underwood and Tim McGraw and their whole crew of country crooners all seem super sweet, but I think once you're bitten by that bug, the side effects are pretty potent. So since the Hutton Hotel staff were most likely all running around removing brown m&m's from everyone's party bowls and throwing rose petals in everyone's toilet bowls, that sweet Southern lady graciously took my info and reassured me the reservations desk would send me a new confirmation.
A few days went by and with my big life here with dogs and ducks and teenage girls, I forgot about the confirmation. The moment I realized I'd never received it, I called the Hutton Hotel.
This time, I didn't get the lovely lady oozing with sweet Tennessee charm who was what I imagined Dolly Parton to be like.
I spoke to another woman who did not ooze southern graciousness. In fact, she did not ooze at all. She barked, kind of like what I imagine Angelina Jolie to be like. All clipped and harried, she took down my info and then barked at me some more and put me on hold.
When she came back on the line, she barked even louder, informing me that the reason I didn't get a confirmation was because the hotel was booked up for that night.
No room at the inn. The hell? Where is the bad economy when you need it?
Now having learned over the years that "no" rarely means a definite, firm "no" when it comes to these things, I tried to charm my Doberman/Angelina friend. I told her I'd picked this beautiful hotel for our vacation to Nashville and it was only after booking, quite a few nights I might add, that I discovered my favorite band in the entire world, U2, would be playing there and that I would give just about anything, maybe even one of my kids and certainly the ducks, both of them, if we could just stay another night.
And that's when the pit bull barked THERE WAS NO ROOM AT THE INN. PERIOD. She ended my pleading with a veiled Hitleresque threat of, "Now, if there's NOTHINGGGG else I can do for you..."
She probably had to go gloss her overinflated lips. I'm sure they get quite chapped, barking at people all day.
I did some surfing of the net, made some phone calls and I'm not at liberty to say where I got my info, but there is a very good chance that, (I'm already starting to hyperventilate just typing the words), that Irish boy with the wail of a voice I first heard coming through my boyfriend's tape deck back in 1981—that soaring, "Your eyes make a circle, I see you when I go in there..."—the one that made me turn to my boyfriend and say, "I have to know who that is"—To which his reply was, "It's a bootleg tape of a new punk rock band out of Ireland called U2"—To which I then confiscated that tape and played it until it wore out and then waited breathlessly for their album debut and still wait breathlessly for every new album as we travel these years together—That Irish boy who has sung to me through all these years—The one and only Bono just might be staying at my hotel, the hotel I was being forced to leave as he would be entering, most likely in his leather pants.
I immediately called my hubs who is a make-it-happen kind of guy and told him he HAD to get us an extra night at the hotel. He, in turn, called the hotel and spoke his charmspeak to someone in charge who told him that there was definitely no room at the inn, but he would put us on the waiting list. The list that was already miles long.
And this next question's just for you Jesus and probably Oprah, too, because she's in charge of a lot of things down here. What did I do to deserve this? I mean, I'm a nice girl. I always hand back the incorrect change when the cashier gives me too much. I return my grocery carts to the store instead of just leaving them in the parking lot to coast into someone's parked car. I am kind to animals and old people. I give to charity. And I always tell people when they have something in their teeth, because I would want the same.
So what's up, Jesus and Oprah?
It's not supposed to work this way with U2 and me.
I have always had this wonderful serendipity when it comes to Bono and the boys.
I mean, the 360 tour started on September 12th.
As in September 12 of my birthday, September 12th.
Chicago, the city of my roots. The hometown of all of my sisters.
I think when they were mapping out the tour dates, Bono said, "I don't know why, but Sept. 12 just speaks to me and so does the city of Chicago. What possibly could have happened in Chicago on Sept. 12? I don't know, but we have to launch the tour on this date in this city."
You know what Bono? I happened on Sept. 12 in Chicago.
And I came back for our birthday date this past year. And it was the best birthday of all times.
And then magically, the next night, as we sat in a beautiful Chicago park sipping wine and listening to a local Irish band, two tickets were so generously placed in my hand because of a last minute snafu for someone else who couldn't make it to the concert. And so there I was, 20 minutes before the concert, just a few blocks from the stadium, when my U2 karmic connection happened again.
And the second night was even more glorious than the first.
Flash forward to U2 in my hometown a few months later. I figured I didn't need to see them a third time so I didn't buy tickets when they were offered to fan club members first.
And yes, I am a fan club member. I can't be sure of this, but if years of membership count, I might even be the President.
But silly, stupid me thought that I had hit my U2 satisfaction limit.
In a moment of insanity, I forgot that there is no such thing as too much U2. Just like Mama Duggar knows there are never enough children to be birthed.
And so the day of the concert I was spreading the word through Facebook that I needed tickets.
About an hour before the concert, my college girl in another part of the state called me to say one of her college friend's parents had U2 tickets they weren't going to use and these parents lived just a few miles from my home!
We rushed over, gratefully took those tickets off their hands and sped to the concert and into two fabulous seats.
And yes, you might think I have had more than my share of fortune when it comes to Bono and his incredible leather pants.
But I say, nay, nay. How can there ever be enough Bono and certainly ever be enough of those leather pants?
I know, deep in my heart, I am destined to meet this man. To babble nonsensical words to him. To tell him I am his biggest fan, because I am sure no one's ever said that to him before. To confess to him as I weep profusely and try my hardest not to drool, that I have loved him since the moment I heard his soaring voice. And of course, to ask him if I could be the one to dance with him on the stage.
I know this just as I know that without a doubt I will never wear anything remotely considered a sensible shoe.
This could be my chance.
If any of you aforementioned folks or anyone else out there knows the magic password that would secure me one more night at that hotel, I would be forever grateful.
Because this has to happen.
I mean, I even bought some pretty new shoes, the most sensible ones I could find, just for this event.
Maybe this will explain things better.
I have entitled this: A Girl With Too Much Time On Her Hands Who Is Only Kidding (Kind Of)
I was headed up to NEW YORK when my Hubs suddenly had a DESIRE to see that famous country town all decked out in SILVER AND GOLD cowboy rhinestone bling. THE CITY OF BLINDING LIGHTS with a higher ELEVATION than the flat lands of Florida beckoned to me and that man, us with our TWO HEARTS BEAT AS ONE sweet, enduring marriage and our band of beautiful BABYFACE daughters. Sadly, that man has had to say, on more than one occasion to some of our MAGNIFICENT girls: DADDY'S GONNA PAY FOR YOUR CRASHED CAR. And because he has been such a patient father and since a household of estrogen can sometimes be SO CRUEL on a solitary man and since he usually has to throw his hands up in bafflement on a daily basis when dealing with all of our estrogen driven MYSTERIOUS WAYS, I figured I owed him this ONE.
And so on a SUNDAY BLOODY SUNDAY with a fierce, Florida ELECTRICAL STORM that kept threatening to down my computer, I practically got VERTIGO in my haste to make our vacation plans. I do my best to plan us vacations with A BEAUTIFUL DAY or two or ten. It was a stressful job trying to find the right place to stay. And I was a little bit of a BAD MOFO, going all mercenary, GLORIA Allred style, on my family if they dared to bug me while I tearfully complained, I STILL HAVEN'T FOUND WHAT I'M LOOKING FOR. After trying to figure out 40 million options, I felt like I WAS STUCK IN A MOMENT YOU CAN'T GET OUT OF. And so I turned to Frommers because SOMETIMES YOU CAN'T MAKE IT ON YOUR OWN. Frommers was instrumental in being my ULTRAVIOLET, helping me (LIGHT MY WAY) to the Hutton Hotel.
And so I whooped and hollered to my family, GET ON YOUR BOOTS and let's WALK ON over to Nashville. I'll bring my nav system because sometimes, when traveling, we find ourselves utterly lost. It's almost like we're in a town WHERE THE STREETS HAVE NO NAME and I WILL FOLLOW my hubs anywhere, but when he's counting on me to be the navigator instead of the follower, I am like a KITE just drifting aimlessly and then we fight loud enough to WAKE UP a DEAD MAN but we always make up because LOVE IS BLINDNESS or in this case, the wife is Map Blindness and completely helpless when trying to find our way.
But then I discovered, that close to the 4TH OF JULY, the SWEETEST THING was happening IN GOD'S COUNTRY. A ZOOROPA madness was descending upon this city like it always does when U2 arrives and LOVE COMES TO TOWN. I was about to get ONE STEP CLOSER to meeting the other man, besides my hubs, that I will love UNTIL THE END OF THE WORLD. I was so excited, but then an UNKNOWN CALLER told me I had to STAY FAR AWAY yet SO CLOSE and I almost THREW A BRICK THROUGH A WINDOW in my frustration.
And as you, Jesus, are my witness, I will be an ACROBAT, contorting myself in every direction to make this happen. Because listening to Bono and the boys on my iPod is in no way EVEN BETTER THAN THE REAL THING. And I feel like this is A SORT OF HOMECOMING. That after all of my years of total devotion with this UNFORGETTABLE FIRE that burns within me, I will finally get my chance to say to Bono, "HOLD ME, THRILL ME, KISS ME, but don't KILL ME because I can't live WITH OR WITHOUT YOU."
I mean, I'm such a fan of Bono and U2, I've probably spent enough greenbacks on U2 paraphernalia to fund the Times Square clean up on NEW YEAR'S DAY.
Here's just a sampling of my stash. And I do mean a sampling. There's a lot more where that came from and that special Red iPod is a U2 iPod filled with probably every song they've ever made.
ALL BECAUSE OF YOU, Bono.
So, IF GOD WOULD SEND HIS ANGELS and help a semi-crazed, but totally safe and non-stalkerish girl, I would be forever grateful, YAHWEH. Because seriously, if this moment in time, the moment that is sure to be my destiny, doesn't turn out the way it rightfully should and I am not there at that concert, screaming at the top of my lungs and more importantly, hanging out in the Hutton Hotel where this man might just be, I think I'LL GO CRAZY IF I DON'T GO CRAZY TONIGHT, trying to make this happen.
And Bono, IF YOU want me to WEAR THAT VELVET DRESS to the concert, I will. I'll be mighty hot and sweaty in velvet, but so will you, in those leather pants of yours that make me all crazy and wanting to know, WHO'S GONNA RIDE YOUR WILD HORSES?
And just so you know, I'm passionate about horses, the wilder the better.
And in closing, dearest Bono, I have to tell you, the number one thing on my bucket list? ALL I WANT IS YOU pulling me up on that stage and SLOW DANCING with me. I know this letter makes it look like I have too much time on my hands and no PRIDE, but it's all IN THE NAME OF LOVE, since that very first moment when I heard, "Your eyes make a circle, I see you when I go in there." I knew then, I WILL FOLLOW you for the rest of my days. You and your leather pants.
Your biggest fan and President (I think) of the U2 fan club,
Joann AKA Bono's Girl
Today's Definite Download: Well, come on now, what did you THINK I was going to say. "With Or Without You" by U2. Not necessarily because of that song, but because of this.
With Or Without You, traditionally is the song where Bono pulls that one lucky girl up on stage. You'll be shocked to know I have this concert DVD filmed in Boston, along with many others, and every time I watch this, I almost faint for that girl. How she kept her composure with Bono lying there next to her, I'll never know.
But watch, enjoy and pray hard for me next week—that I get concert tickets, that the Hutton Hotel will rain down their hospitality on me and let me stay that one extra night, that this will be my moment, the moment I get to say, "Hi Bono, IreallyloveyourleatherpantsandcanyoutakeapicturewithmeandcanIbekissingyouduringtheshot? And for the love of all things Edge, please pick me for that dance!"
And most importantly, pray that my hubs does not come home with a disturbingly large belt buckle. It's been enough of a burden that he wears shirts covered in a rustic fish print. We cannot add cowboy belt buckles to the mix.
I'll see you soon. Hopefully, with scandalous tales to tell.
Posted by Joann Mannix at 4:10 PM