blog post for personal blog

My Life Four Years Ago, Volume 1 [ed. note: Seven Years Ago].

Once upon a time, my typical weekday looked like this:

Work. Work out. Dinner. Facebook. Read. Bed. Repeat.

I had only one single friend in my hometown, which meant that my social life was the opposite of social. Being the mostly extroverted self that I am, I wasn’t happy about it, but thankfully, there was one thing that saved my sanity.

This thing was exciting, suspenseful, and even a bit emotional. A very special time in my week, clearly.

It was…dum-dah-dah-DUM…American Idol.

Yes, friends. American Idol was the highlight of my week. And not only that, I would make my parents (whom I lived with) watch it with me as I settled onto their bed, freshly showered, in my pajamas, wearing really thick glasses, and probably eating a bowl of ice cream.

I’d call my dad, “DAD. Where are you? It’s about to come on.”

“Mom? MOM. Hurry up! The commercial’s ending.”

Yes, I was twenty-two. But: free food, free rent and lots of doting. Gold mine, baby.

I had a favorite America Idol contestant. His name was Jason Castro, and I was smitten.

He sang. I swooned.

One day, shortly after the season ended, I heard some very exciting news via the radio:

Jason Castro was coming to a city near me to give private, guest list-only show.

What? Well, this is a no-brainer. I must go. I will go.

So, I summoned my friend and co-worker Robin. She was also a huge Jason fan, and since we’re both highly competitive and motivated people, I figured we’d be able to move some mountains.

So began the journey.

Every day, at 11:15 am, we walked out to her car in the parking lot (meetings were always scheduled around this time, of course). We’d tune into 105.3 FM and listen to the commercials and the radio hosts banter until it was time to call in. Our phones cued and ready to go, we’d call unceasingly, trying to be lucky, ticket-winning caller number ten.

Day 1, we couldn’t get through. Day 2, we were caller 4. Day 3, caller five. Day 4, caller seven (we used three phones that day). We just couldn’t hit ten. Defeat.

But then, A MIRACLE. The day before the private show, our workplace announced that Jason Castro would be visiting our company to play a few numbers.

After shrieking and hyperventilating and jumping up and down, we got down to business. Sure, he was coming to our work. But we still wanted to go to the private show we’d unsuccessfully tried to win tickets to. I mean, come ON. Private and a guest list? Yes.

Determined, we brainstormed long and hard after-hours. And then: a brilliant idea.

Both writers in one way or another, we’d write him a poem.

So, we bantered and chuckled, wrote and rewrote, researching his likes and dislikes, jokes he made on Twitter , and tidbits about his life. The next day, dressed to impress, we arrived at work, conveniently scheduling a “meeting” in the area where the show would take place.

Suddenly, there he was—just an ordinary, dreadlocked guy with amazing eyelashes and a winning smile, holding his guitar.

He sang. We fainted in our minds. And soon, it was time for the meet-and-greet. I looked around. Over a hundred people in line? Good-bye poem. It would be too embarrassing to read it to him with all our co-workers listening.

But, Karen, a seasoned publicist, pushed Robin and I to the front, announcing, “Hey, Jason, these girls have something for you.”


A hush settled over the crowd. We stood in front of him, wide-eyed and giddy, hearts plummeting out of our chests as he grinned at us, probably thinking we had—I don’t know—a poster for him to sign or something.

“HI!” I said, trying to keep my voice even, unaffected, and totally cool (Lowering your voice always helps with the squeaks.) “Um. We have a poem for you. Heh heh heh.”

“Cool!” he exclaimed.

“A rhyming poem,” I clarified, lest he was thinking of iambic pentameter or Pablo Nerudo.

Oh a whim, I reassured him, “Oh! And just so you know, we’re NOT HITTING ON YOU.”

It was a complete lie, but I’d heard reports that he had a girlfriend and there was no way I wanted to be confused with a starry-eyed, love-stricken fan. Vehemently, we shook our heads and looked back at him, levelly and confidently.

Jason threw his head back and laughing, motioned to his manager. “Hey…I think we need to get this on video.”

I took a deep breath. Alternating stanzas, Robin and I read with conviction and spirit:

An Ode

What’s up Jason, we’re just two fans
Just two girls who like your band
Michigan’s not Texas, we get lots of snow
So thanks a lot for playing a show

We loved you on Idol- our fave on the mike
Ukelele and dreads – an unlikely sight
Your album’s release approaches us soon
Soon millions of people will sing to your tune

Now listen…

We’ve tried to win tickets for the last week
Cuz your live show tonight, it’s gonna be sweet
Win them we didn’t, but then came the news
You’d be in our building – we’ve got nothing to lose

Now Jason, we have a proposal for you
We hope it’s something you just can’t refuse
You’re rumored to be a big fan of Crowder
What do ya’ know – he’s one of our authors

His book hasn’t dropped, but we have it in hand
One book for two tickets is our hopeful demand
Riverhouse Condos – the spot for the show
Is not far away – just a stone’s throw

We’re just Castro fans in this mitten-shaped state
Pure Michigan loves you – the show was so great
Hope this rhyme made you chuckle, grin, smirk or start laughin’
Best wishes, all the best – your two loyal fans, Nicole and Robin.

(Copyright 2009 Nicole Prince, Robin Geelhoed)

He loved it. We scored tickets to the private show, left work early, and enjoyed our last few moments with Jason. It was amazing.

Epilogue: Jason is married with at least one child. Robin is happily married with a toddler. I am happily married to a fine young fellow and no longer sit on my parents’ bed eating ice cream and watching American Idol.