Look out! Here comes Nelle. Twice.
Mr. Nelle was kind enough to accede to my incessant request to give me ClayLive Concert tickets for Mother's Day. First day sales, scored row 23, aisle seats, on the floor in San Jose.
Fast-forward three months. I go out with pals from local People's Republic of Clay (PRoC), and listen longingly to stories of some of them going to repeat concerts. Giving in to temptation that Clay Aiken is thoroughly responsible for, I purchase row 5-center floor ticket to Sacramento. My pal from the local PRoC, Spotlightlover, has found this ticket for me at Ticketmaster. I am now a Spotlightlover Lover.
Sacramento Comes First
I come down with sinus infection four days prior to concert! No fair! Daughter is leaving for college two days prior to concert. A day of loss, yet, a day to be both happy and proud. Two days prior to concert, Clayton is reportedly hospitalized for allergic reaction, requiring shot in leg resulting in obvious limping at next concert. Extreme maternal feelings toward Clay burst forth.
Grappling with mixed emotions of anticipating seeing ClayLive, while missing and feeling exceedingly proud of daughter, and falling into a fog fueled by Sudafed, Tylenol, Motrin, orange juice, enflamed sinuses and antibiotics, I resume long-held fantasy of Clay marrying daughter. This fantasy first emerged back in the spring, when it occurred to me that there was a slight possibility that Clay would not be on the make for a graying Lecherous Broad who was twice his age, nearly twice his weight, and who'd been happily married for longer than he'd been breathing. Unwilling to lose Clayton to another, I seized upon idea of beautiful and brilliant 18 year old daughter as Clay's future bride. So, I could be grandmother to his children, and he would sing for the family on Thanksgiving (don't be jealous, Broads, you'll all be invited to the wedding). At the time, daughter was quite non-compliant, which became less and less problematic as AI season and summer progressed, and I enjoyed obsessing over Clayton and the banter at LBFCA more from the Lecherous side than from the potential mother-in-law side of self. As I reclaim the fantasy, Clay becomes my Beloved/future son-in-law. Somehow, as with all Clay related things, in a magical way, these for-my-self/for-my-daughter Clay fantasies are free of familial dysfunction, and do not lead me to believe I would make a good candidate for a grotesque day time trash talk TV show. I don't know how this works. I consider it ClayLove logic, and, I discovered way back in March that it was impossible to explain the magic transformative power of ClayLove logic. It is simply true.
Day of concert. Daughter calls from far away state of college. I inform her of newly devised fantasy plan. Clay reported on Seattle radio interview he has no place to live post concert tour, and he has been sick. I will bring Beloved/Future son-in-law home after concert tonight; move him into daughter's now unoccupied room, I will care for him in motherly fashion to restore his health and vigor. Expect when daughter comes home, at Thanksgiving, she and Clay will fall in love, and plans will be made for Christmas wedding. Daughter is surprisingly agreeable, states desire for June wedding. Feeling especially protective, and caring for all things Clay, I also suggest having 21-year old son move out of home, so Kim Locke can move in, too. After all, she is good friend to Beloved/future son-in-law, and they were going to move in together. Daughter immediately sees reason in this plan, and suggests Kim L as Maid of Honor at June wedding. I imagine daughter's long-time best friend will feel dismissed at this slight, but, she's not really necessary to success of plan, so, oh well.
I leave approximately 1 pm to meet pal from local PRoC, Debra, at her office in South San Francisco. Debra has been to two ClayLive concerts. She is my guide in enjoying the ClayLive experience. We leave Debra's office shortly after 2 pm, only to drive in endless stop and go traffic, to and across San Francisco Bay Bridge, and north to state capital. Ugh. Our expected 2 - 21/2 hour trip to Sacramento takes 3 1/2 hours.
Debra tells me there are reports of Entertainment Weekly, with Clay on the cover, already being purchased in Los Angeles. We agree we could have gotten to Sacramento faster if we had flown to LA, picked up the magazine, and flown to Sacramento. We pass the time agreeably, talking about Clay, our respective boards, Clay, the interesting phenomenon of having an online community, Clay, personal news, Clay, and by listening to Clay's AI2 song CD, reliving each and every performance, detail by delightful detail. I mark the time by informing Debra how many hours/minutes until I see Clay rise from below the stage for the first time. I advise her of plan to bring Clay home with us after concert, and daughter's and Clay's upcoming June nuptials. Debra expresses belief that daughter is humoring me in agreeing to plan. Silly, Debra! Nevertheless, Debra agrees Beloved/future son-in-law could sleep comfortably in back seat of her SUV on way home from concert. I take all medications, again, when we arrive in Sacramento. I secretly devise plan for ride home, to protect Beloved/future son-in-law from Debra's obvious lecherous intent.
We arrive at Sacramento Hard Rock Café towards end of pre-concert celebration of 25 red-decked PRoC fans. Quick drink and salad, quick visit with friends, new and not so new. Learn two among the gathered were at Meet and Greet earlier today. Webweaver came all the way from New Zealand to see Clay. She described going along the table at the Meet and Greet, introducing herself with that report (well, she's a decent and respectful broad, so she told them she came to see all of them). She reports that KimberMe, upon hearing this, asked, "did you fly, or did you drive?" Generous understanding of this story allows for belief KimberMe misunderstood where Webweaver said she was from. Webweaver shows me the CD Clay signed, 'All my love, Clay Aiken.' I remember later I must invite Webweaver to the wedding, as Clay loves her so. Beloved/future son-in-law is such a loving person.
Arrive at venue good hour prior to show, the line hasn't even started moving yet. Behind us are a group of women and teens, all decked out in Clay gear. They offer us red glow sticks, which we happily accept. We are with extended family of our United ClayNations, now. I ask one teen if she's online and which board. She says TTC, and asks me the same. When I answer Lecherous Broads she stops suddenly. I figure I have either frightened her because of our reputation, or she's not familiar with us and I've frightened her with our name. I don't want to frighten Clay fans, so I compliment TTC, especially their speedy concert recaps. She responds with happy animated Clay fan talk. I am happy, too. We look at the tour buses. She says one of them is Clay's bus. I say Clay sleeps on one of those buses. She says, out loud, 'thud!' Teen lechery can be so cute! We get tickets from Will Call. Find seats. Clay fans to my right. I am happy. Teenish Idol fans to Debra's left. She is less happy (I believe the teen next to Debra started crying when the first Idol hit the stage). Debra has gone to both Indianapolis and Salt Lake City ClayLive Concerts. She explains value of current seats, for excellent view of Beloved/future son-in-law at various times during impending performance.
I go to look for Sacramento Lecherous Broad Lisa, whose section and seat number I have brought with me. I meet my first RL Lecherous Broad!!!! Much joy in Sacramento Arco Arena. Broads hug. I meet Lisa's friend, and their respective daughters, all decked in red. Lisa is lovely, and her daughters are, too. I give Lisa two LBFCA pins I have made. One with the Twister!Broads!Dang! album cover graphic, that Katynka and Marie designed. One is from a purple tie graphic that Julie designed. I return to my seat, happy that another Broad is in the room. Then, I discover a huge wet spot on the front of my shirt! Apparently I leaned against the sink while in the restroom prior to finding Lisa. I am now convinced Lisa probably believes I am a complete dork! (I'm really only a partial dork. Really.). I read the program I have purchased primarily to own the large photograph of Clay's face. His thank you to his old friends back home is touching, and I make plans to invite them all to the wedding.
Much of my report will be similar to others. I'm probably using the same descriptive words others have used. The show is a lively casserole of baked cheese, stuffed with creamy cheese filling and topped with a smooth cheese sauce. I enjoy cheese, but wouldn't be here except to see ClayLive.
Other's sing, and dance. I enjoy them, and expect they will all be invited to the wedding. They are Clay's new friends. There are pyrotechnics and energy and sweat. I am waiting for Clay. If you want to know about the others in the cheese show, you are looking at the wrong BEVR. Go look at someone else's.
At last, my longing is met with the image of its' desire. Clay rises from below the stage, in a mist of dry ice smoke, and he sings, "This is the Night." He is handsome in suit with dark purple tie. His eyes sparkle. His face glows. His voice soars. He rips the mic off the stand, deep knee bends, and stomps one foot. I am mesmerized. He is a mere thirty feet away from my eyes. I thought I would cry. I have my pockets stuffed with tissue for anticipated tears. Instead, I am nearly struck dumb. I am there, but I am transformed. My legs have become solidified with the floor, the floor has come up right through my feet to possess me, and I am a pillar of a Clay Aiken Fan. Clay talks about Ruben, and disappears. I sit down, awestruck and shaken. You would be too, if you saw this:
After intermission, Clay, in white, emerges at the top of the stairs, and slowly descends. My eyes are riveted on him wherever he is. I think the song was fun, I'm not sure, but it is over too quickly. He's gone again, while some women in black sing, then he comes back and sings some more. I think there was dancing. I think there were others on the stage with him. It is all a blur. Then, Clay sings, "To Love Somebody." I am transfixed. I am trembling. It is over too fast.
At one point, I don't remember when, Clay and Julia have been dancing, or at least nearby each other. I have not minded the Clulia, or the Clarmen. I recognize they are choreographed moments. But, at this one point in the show, Clay and Julia turn away from the audience, and are walking towards the backstage, when Julia reaches over and pats Beloved/future son-in-law's left buttock. I experience a twinge of jealousy the source of which is not from my maternal/future mother-in-law self. I consider paring the wedding guest list by one.
The others leave the stage to Clay and Ruben. I know what to expect. The banter and the panties fly. It is charming and goofy and silly and fun. Clay picks up a scrolled magazine, and opens it to show Ruben, then all of us, his new Entertainment Weekly cover. Much cheering. He says he hasn't seen it himself, yet, "today," and looks quite pleased. I have prepared a gift, and my pal from PRoC, Zeusdog, has agreed to toss it from her second row seat. It is a small stuffed dog, which I chose because it is wearing a purple sweater! Yes, representing the Broads in all our glory. Technically, the sweater is lavender, but this is a symbolic gift already---expressing my support that Clay be able to get that dog he wants---so, just go with it. Also, attached is a bracelet I made, like the ones made at the last local PRoC/Broads mini-con. It says 'LBFCA&PROC*heart*CLAY.' A scrolled note, tied on with a shiny ribbon, expresses heartfelt sentiment in eloquent humor with restrained lechery (What? It's my BEVR, I can brag if I want to). The note also explains the Purple Tie Pin, one of which is pinned to the note. It tells Clay we will always consider his purple tie during this concert tour as his shout-out to our Purple Pages.
I see my gift fly, and land, on the other side of Ruben from where Clay is holding up a white lacy bustier, with that drop jaw look of amazement I have heard he has perfected, while Ruben is giving the Public Service Announcement about this being a family show. I worry that Ruben will pick up my gift, as it is a stuffed dog, appropriate for a children's hospital donation, and am relieved to see Clay pick it up instead, while he scurries about picking up all the tossables. He drops my gift at the designated place, along with the others, and I am satisfied that he touched it for that long. Near the end of the banter, Ruben looks down and asked, "what are we gonna do with somebody's nasty shoe?" Clay picks up the red thong - the footwear variety - and said, "Now, THIS is an appropriate thong to throw on the stage in a family show." Beloved/future son-in-law is so quick witted, and really knows how to play with his audience. Then he sings. *sigh*
(Directorial comment to fans: some people threw things during Kim L's solo. After her song, she said 'let me pick up my flower,' and, upon seeing it closely, said, 'oh, it's for Clay, I'll give it to him, because I love him, too.' Then she picked up a little pair of red shoes, and held them up, saying, 'see, these are for Clay, too.' FANS: This is rude! Sheesh! Throw gifts for Clay when it's his song, or, at least not when someone else is alone on stage! I need to look out for Kim, as she'll be Maid of Honor, and all. *Got your back, K-Lo*)
Others sing and dance. I still enjoy them. I miss Clay. Then, Clay appears in black shirt and jeans. I grip Debra's arm, as Clay begins to sing "Can You Feel The Love Tonight." It is dreamy Clay singing a romantic song. He is beautiful in look and voice, and it is my enchanted moment. The long pause before the end is exhilarating even though expected. He waits for the screams to reach a crescendo, eyeing the audience with that, 'c'mon, is that all you've got?' look, then delivers the final note, and descends. I sit down, and show Debra my trembling hands. Debra reassures me Clay will be back.
Of course, he is. And I enjoy the group singing and dancing, and watch him interact with the others. I enjoy the others, too, but they are not who I am here for. During the introduction of the band, I watch Clay, but still enjoy the funky singing banter from Ruben and Kim L, and the others. During the intro of the guitarist, they are talking/singing about how hot it is (I've read elsewhere it is because they are playing the Nelly song about "It's Hot in Herre," I am too old to know this myself.) (Who is this Nelly and why is she trying to steal my name! I neither spell nor pronounce a my name with a 'y' at the end!) (I'm kidding, I really do know who Nelly is, and have even heard his song. But, I still have no idea at the time that is the song that was being played.) (Just thought I'd throw in another set of parentheses, to freak out all the grammarians out there.), and I'm not even sure who sang/said it, but, someone(s) sang/said something like 'it's so hot, Clay, take it off!' (Well, that's what it sounded like to me, maybe it was just my lecherous imagination). To which, Clay twirled around to face the audience, and unbuttoned the top button of his black shirt. This mini-striptease revealed only a triangle of white t-shirt underneath, but the crowd went wild (it went by so fast, I couldn't tell which of his LBFCA t-shirts Clay was wearing, sorry.). Ruben sang/said his Public Service Announcement about it being a Family Show, "Mr. Clay Chippendale Aiken." Clay was laughing so hard he almost fell over, and he didn't leave that button undone very long. Beloved/future son-in-law can be so ding dang modest.
After they all sing, "I've had the Time of My Life," and leave the stage, the band spurs the crowd to uproarious screaming and applause. Clay ascends from below stage, crouched, then stands. He is wearing a Sacramento Kings (basketball) jersey, over a white short-sleeved t-shirt. He jokes that he hasn't been out in the sun much and his arms are as white as this t-shirt. He talks about his appreciation for the fans, and now it is time for the performance of my night: "Invisible." The jersey is tucked in at the front, but is obviously really long. With nearly his first tug, out it comes, and the hemline falls past the midpoint of his thighs. Most of the skirts worn by the women during the show were shorter than this jersey. Clay is now wearing a basketball jersey dress over his jeans. He appears slightly self-conscious about this, and tries to hike the thing up a couple times, first one side, then the other, to no avail. Clay is a tall fellow, but that jersey was made for someone who must be eight feet tall! Undaunted, he sings his face off for "Invisible," dancing and running on the stage, jumping jacks clapping, deep knee bends, clutches and tugs, galore. I sing and dance along. Now I am having the time of my life. You've seen the photos of this performance in Lisa's BEVR. Somehow Clay makes wearing a basketball jersey dress over jeans look incredible, and sexy. How he does this, I do not know. It is, again, the magic transformation of all things related to Clay. If there were hip swivels I missed them through the basketball jersey dress. I am still in my motherly/mother-in-law mode, and I don't mind. If I didn't know I'd have a chance to see him again in two days, I might have minded more. That I even think that, indicates to me my motherly/mother-in-law mode is fading.
During "I'm Proud to be an American," Clay sang the whole time, unlike reports from other shows. Then, he was gone.
On the drive home, I notice Beloved/future son-in-law is not sleeping in the back seat of Debra's SUV. She agrees that is true. I have not communicated my plan to Clay! Well, I did fix my piercing gaze on him throughout the show, and, apparently believed this would suffice to convince him of the reasonableness of moving into my daughter's room until their June wedding. Alas, that wasn't enough. I obviously need a new plan.
Debra and I talk about how beautiful Clay is, and how wonderful his voice is. I realize I have seen Clay's arms but hardly noticed, I exclaim I was transfixed on his face, and never even looked elsewhere. She says she looked, and reports definite evidence of DTTL observable. For two days I have been immersed in my motherly/future mother-in-law fantasy, but not so much anymore. I definitely need a new plan. My daughter can find her own ding dang boyfriend.
With thanks to Spotlightlover for the photo
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