This is NOT A DRILL: Stop everything because I just met Michael Bolton
You guys, I need your attention for a minute. There's a reason why I'm sharing this photo of myself, hunched over and somewhere between smiling so hard my face falls off and falling on the ground. It's about Michael Bolton and I, and it's very, very important.
When I was 18 months old, my mom bought a Miami Sound Machine cassette, but inside the case was the wrong tape: Michael Bolton's "Soul Provider" album. Instead of returning it, we played it over and over, and before learning "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" or my ABCs, I'd memorized the words to "How can we be Lovers if we can't be Friends". I would run around our house singing it about 10x/day, and I became convinced that then-long-haired Michael was my soulmate (age gap and Nicolette Sheridan be damned.)
My obsession didn't end once I graduated preschool. I listened to the "Soul Provider" album regularly growing up (my friends learned to either embrace it or just keep laughing at me) and I still do. My Grandma got me tickets to see Michael in concert when I was 18, and even though I pushed pretty much every 60+ year old woman out of the way to get to the stage, I didn't get to meet him. I didn't know if I would ever have another chance, until a few months ago.
Selma was about one month old and Tim Kaine came to Houston to stump for Hillary Clinton at a hotel near our house. I hadn't slept in 30 days, so when I sat in the audience and the emcee announced that Tim Kaine would be out after a performance by musical guest Michael Bolton, I thought I was hallucinating. I wasn't. He was there, again, three rows away from me. I chased him off stage and missed Tim Kaine's speech (sorry Tim - love you, but once you've heard one you've kinda heard them all.) Again, Michael left the building before I had a chance to tell him I was his #1 fan. I promised myself that the third time I saw him I would meet him, and then a few months later, I got an email from my mom inviting me to last night's UNICEF gala where he would be performing. This was it.
"Do I look like someone who's going to meet Michael Bolton tonight?!" I said to my husband as I put on my friend's black dress. (Also, sorry, Julia, but you're never getting this touched-my-Michael-Bolton dress back. 😉)
And so I arrived and my friend, Michael Pearce, who will now be written into my will, walked me backstage and I got to sneak up behind Michael Bolton and tell him how important he's been in my life. He seemed mostly terrified and kinda flattered but either way, I will NEVER FORGET what was basically the best night in my life besides my wedding (yes, somewhere along the way I found my real soulmate and realized that, like the song goes, Michael and I would never be lovers, but perhaps friends.) Major shoutout to Roxann Neumann, for inviting my mom and I to be with you at your table last night and making all my wildest dreams come true. Like I said, you now have a permanent standing invitation to all of our intimate family gatherings. You're officially family now.
And Michael, if somewhere in a distant stratosphere you're reading this, thank you for singing me through my entire life. Who needs "Baa Baa Black Sheep" when you have "Time, Love and Tenderness"? I can't believe I got to meet you!
Your youngest and most devoted fan of all time, Laura