The next thing I knew, Blue Rodeo scheduled a concert for February 13, 2004, and I decreed that I was going, come hell or high water. Even if it involved travelling to Canada in February. I did not get a ticket in the presale, and wasted an entire afternoon trying to get in. My ticketmaster seat was in about row 13, which I didn’t appreciate, but I made it up to the show with a sign that said “I came from Boston for my birthday,” a curly silver gift bow, and the beginnings of a horrible cold.
The show was incredibly amazing, over three hours of pure musical pleasure, and a whole bunch of Blue Rodeo fans sang happy birthday to me at the end. Me and my sign hung around for a while after the concert to talk to James Gray, the then-keyboard player, and some fans. I asked him for a picture with the bow, he said no, I got a picture without the bow, and I begged my way into the concert afterparty. I got to celebrate my birthday with the “uncool” half of Canadian music.
Countless people wished me happy birthday, Ron Sexsmith gave me his seat at the bar, someone bought me a shot, but mostly I just stood in one place trying to work up the courage to talk to one particular person. His mother, wife and children were in the room, so I didn’t want to be that intrusive or that obsessive. I ate some really gross appetizers and just…waited.
At who-knows-o’clock in the morning, I decided I had to leave, so I was going to go apologize to Jim Cuddy for acting like an idiot. And ask for a picture. Because dear god did I have a crush on him.
I walked up to him and held out my sign. He said, “Oh, you’re from Boston, I remember you, we talked in the bar!” That was mortifying.
Next I asked him for a picture, and to hold the bow. He threw an arm around me with the bow, held his beer in his other hand, and screamed “Red Sox suck!” while the picture was taken. I flipped him off. He laughed at me. He asked me how I liked the show, I swooned, I tried to answer him, god knows what I said, and eventually I told him “you have a lovely evening” and I gathered my stuff to leave.
At that point, I actually lost my ability to speak. I had to have someone else call a cab for me to get back to my hotel. I pretty much couldn’t even think. The next morning, I spent an hour writing down a concert review in a chair in a corner at Chapters, and the hotel concierge laughed at me because I was drooling.
By then, I was sure that he knew I liked him. But hey, doesn’t everyone want their celebrity crush with a bow for their birthday, even in photographic form? Also, by the time the picture was taken, it was Valentine’s Day. Awesome.