A little over a decade ago, I bought a guitar so I wouldn’t do recreational drugs. When I realized that I wouldn’t just learn through osmosis, I decided to pick it up and teach myself some songs. Mostly Indigo Girls, Patty Griffin and some Dar Williams – you know, the really “bitchin” stuff.
Well, let me be clear about one thing. I use the term “learn” loosely. If by saying learn, I mean that I could actually hold the guitar in my hands and make sounds to accompany my voice, then we are both on the same page. I was no Jimi Hendrix. Or even Taylor Swift for that matter with the 8 open chords I knew how to play at the time.
During one of the indie performances I went to see, a young woman named Kris Delmhorst played, opening for Dar Williams. (I say these names assuming you do not follow Indie folk artists like me. If you do, ROCK on. Totally bitchin!)
I fell in lurve. (This is what I call love when I develop non-sexual crushes on really cool women).
So now I am in “lurve” with Kris Delmhorst. I would drag my friends to go see her at all her shows in the Northern Virginia area. I would be near tears like I was at a Bon Jovi concert, while my friends would be trying not to fall asleep.
I brought my friend Deana, a pretty solid fashionista, to one of the shows. While she was impressed with Kris’s singing, she was not impressed by Kris’s fashion sense and as what she called them, her “man pants.”
Some people just don’t get true “lurve.”
Anyway, fast forward a few years later. Kris is back in town playing at a Washington DC venue called the Birchmere. My boyfriend at the time, John (now my husband – he was okay with this whole “lurve” thing) came with me. We had some beers and split a pizza and I was pumped to say the least. Kris ended her set, and another artist took the stage.
As we turned to leave, we walked out through the concert hall’s gift shop. And that is when the stars aligned (or didn’t) and my heart just crashed in my chest.
There was my true lurve. Standing right in front of me in her awesome man pants.
“Oh my god, oh my god, oh my GOD?” I said to John through clenched teeth. “What do I do!?”
“I don’t know. Go ask her for her autograph?” He asked dubiously.
As if it was just that simple.
“No I need to have her sign a CD!” I was frantic now. What if she left? What if my true lurve walked away?
I looked at John.
“Go buy a CD! Hurry!”
“But we have one in the car,” said John. Why does he always try to sabotage me?
“GO GET A CD NOW!” I said in my best Linda Blair voice. I am fairly sure John thought my head was going to start spinning, so he hurried off to get the CD.
I tried to play it cool, idly looking through a bunch of other CDs from other musicians, leaving pools of sweat from my palms all over the poor artists’ heart and souls and CD covers.
I was a mess. A hot one, because my palms were so sweaty.
John came back with the CD and we casually (?!!!) walked over to get her autograph. She was talking in her totally chill manner to a couple, with her hands in the back pocket of her man pants. I was enamored.
Her pants were just as unflattering in person as on her CD.
And then she was done. She smiled at us and reached out to shake our hands, reaching also for the CD to sign it.
Like Eminem says, “You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow, this opportunity comes once in a lifetime, yo.”
So there I went. Seizing that opportunity, yo.
“Oh my god, I just wanted to let you know that I am such a fan of yours and I saw you open for Dar and then I went to Iota and Jamming Java a few times, and oh my god, I just want to let you know that you are one of the reasons I picked up guitar and I just love you, even your pants and if you ever, ever need a back up singer, you see – i am a singer too – and I can do backup vocals for you and we would be great together – it would be magical.”
I looked at John. He seemed bemused. To his credit, he did not blush or deny that he was with me, though he seemed to be few feet further behind me.
I don’t think I let her get a word in edgewise as she tried to collect herself. She probably wanted to know where I got my pants from.
But I wasn’t done.
I reached into the pocket of my own non-man pants and pulled out my business card.
Yes, people. I used to have a singing business card.
She reached over as I threw it in her hand – she really had no other choice as I crammed it into her non-suspecting hands.
“SoAnywaysJustCallMeorEmailMeandMaybeWeCanJam (did I say that?)TogetherIfYouAreBackInTOwn.OhGreattoMeetYou.BYE”
And I ran out of the store so fast. I couldn’t believe it.
I actually spoke to Kris Delmhorst.
I turned to John (who did NOT look embarrassed at all) and said, “Well, how do you think that went?”
“What do you mean? Kiran, you gave her your card. How do you THINK it went?”
Oh. Was that kind of weird? Was I NOT supposed to do that?
Suffice to say, she NEVER did call.
Here is a performance of one of my favorite songs. Man pants or not, I still lurve her. Listen and you will know why.
“But sometimes I take your picture and I turn it to the wall
You are still a cliff and babe, I still know how to fall.”
– Kris Delmhorst, “Broken White Line”
I wonder if she still keeps my card with her and turns it to the wall. I guess I will never know.
P.S. John has been asking me for years to write this post. It is one of his favorite moments of mine where I look like an asshole.