Sep 29, 2014

That time I met my idol...

In July my best friend Sara sent me a link to a story about Tina Fey coming back to Upper Darby, PA. 
She was going back to the Upper Darby Performing Arts Center, the community theater that she talked about so lovingly in her book. 
There was going to be a "Mean Girls" 10th Anniversary screening followed by a meet and greet, and all ticket sales would go to raising money for a new sound system for the theater.
Naturally I thought:
I want to go to there. 

Then I read the kicker: 
If you called in the day tickets went on sale you could buy a higher priced ticket and 
MEET TINA FEY.

Yep. 
Meet her. 
My idol. 

Because I'm a super crazy person I decided to not tell a ton of people about my plan.
I didn't want to jinx it.
Because I believe in jinxes.

The day the tickets went on sale I was so nervous.
I dialed the number at 9:58 hit send at 9:59 and had purchased my ticket by 10:03.
Part of me wanted to yell it to anyone that I walked by,
"HEY SUCKER GUESS WHO'S MEETING THEIR IDOL IN A MONTH? ME."
Why I would be so aggressive about it I don't know, but in the moment it felt right.
Because I believe in the ever present jinx I refrained from putting it on any sort of social media.
Anything could happen, and I didn't want to be the girl who cried Tina.

So I waited.
And waited.
And waited.
And waited for my package of instructions and golden ticket to come in the mail.
Finally, after hovering so much by our mailroom and creeping people out I decided to call the box office.
Here's how the conversation went:

Me: "HI. I BOUGHT A TICKET TO MEET TINA. WHERE? HELP?
Nice Box Office Employee: "Ma'am hi, we sent those out two weeks ago. You should have received yours."
Me: "NOT HERE. WHAT DO I DO? PANIC."
Nice Box Office Employee: That's ok ma'am these things happen, you're on the meet and greet list, everything will be good to go.
Me: "PINKY PROMISE."
NBOE: "Bye now."
Me: "I LOVE YOU."

As you can imagine I was in a straight up panic.
Where the f was my ticket?

Turns out one of the summer employees was returning all mail sent to the address who didn't belong to the summer program living in that building.
All of it.
Just sending it back like it didn't have a home.
To say I planned a pay per view street fight in my mind is an understatement,.

Up until the event I silently panicked that the Nice Box Office Employee would have forgotten all about me and I would weep on steps of  Upper Darby High School.

But I got there, they let me in and I was directed into the meet and greet where we were told to write down a question for Tina, that she would possibly answer during the Q&A after the movie.

The question I wrote:
"The episode of '30 Rock' entitled "Sandwich Day" taught me that you could have it all. Having said that, if you could be a topping on a sandwich what would you be?"

I dropped it in the pile hoping that I would gain insight on a topic very dear to my heart.
Selfishly I was hoping she would say cheese and then break into:



Then like a beacon of light she walked into the room, and everyone got in line to meet her.
I was second in line.
SECOND.
I panicked so hard.
When it was my turn to speak it went like this:
Me: "Hi. I can't believe this. I'm just just just...I"
Tina: "It's going to be ok..."
Me: "ARE WE GOING TO BE OK?"
Tina: "nervous laughter (probably looking for security) yes we are going to be ok."

I can't believe that I typed out a conversation that Tina f'ing Fey and I had with each other.
But I did and it happened.
I told her that the episode "Sandwich Day" changed my life, and then asked her to take a picture with me in which she did the classic Liz Lemon eye roll.

She said, "But then people will think I don't like you."
I said, "That's ok Tina."
be still my heart

SHE ALSO TOUCHED MY SHOULDER AND SIGNED MY BOSSY PANTS BOOK.
I also asked her to sign my "Live From New York" book that is 600 pages of pure SNL facts.
I apologized for asking her to autograph so many things and told her if she wanted, she could sign my forehead.
She told me should wouldn't out of respect for me.

After watching "Mean Girls," she came out and did a Q&A with her best friend Damien who was in the community theater with her and the inspiration for Damien in the movie.
Cut to Jones was weeping from fandom in her seat sitting next to only strangers.

When it got to the audience questions, Damien said,
"This question is from Ashley Jones."
AND I SCREAMED.
OUT LOUD.
"THAT'S ME!"
My sandwich topping was asked and she answered in the most beautiful way possible.
If she could be a topping on a sandwich she would be crushed up potato chips.
An angel sent from heaven y'all.

I had a video and more pictures of the evening but when I updated my phone they were deleted.
After I post this I will be writing an email to Steve Jobs in heaven about getting iOS8's shit together.

In closing, I met my idol.

I was kind of afraid that she wouldn't be this mythical perfect creature that I had built her up to be in my mind, but she was better.
She was so thoughtful and made sure to meet everyone.
She was there supporting her community theater that meant so much to her and was consistently a home to people who had a passion for the arts.

It was such a neat night to be a part of and I can honestly say
nothing will ever top it.

Maybe the birth of my child.
But who knows.
The kid will have to be real cute.

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