Today I’m going to tell you a story. Like, a real story with no moral. Because, frankly, at this very moment on this very night I’m really exhausted from thinking about tips and inspiration and information and doing things. Admit it; we could all use a little break.
And all I want to do is tell you a story. Is that so wrong? No. My cat tells me it’s not. He is my moral compass. He also runs around with poop stuck to his back leg, so let’s take that for what it’s worth.
This story is 100% true, to the best of my memory. It’s about the time I broke Lyle Lovett’s heart.
My first month living in New York, fresh from the farms of Kansas, I was wandering lost in Greenwich Village in search of the iconic jazz club, the Blue Note. Amongst the tightly sealed Jags and BMWs lining the street was a black car with a man standing in front, holding a map. He looked friendly enough, and – let me remind you – I was from Kansas, so every stranger was just a potential friend, y’all.
“Excuse me, sir?” I asked tentatively, “Is there any way you can point me in the direction of the Blue Note?”
He immediately smiled, popped onto the sidewalk with me, and started pointing to streets on his map and saying words like, “left right and then down and around past the bistro with the green chairs.” I nodded and smiled, even though I was really confused in my head. And then … suddenly.
Suddenly, a sweet, sweet voice spoke up behind me, all quiet with swagger and shyness. “D’ya need some help, ma’am? Maybe I can be of better service than my driver here.”
Turning slowly, I drank in the shock of hair and the craggy nose of none other than Lyle Lovett. Lyle Freakin’ Lovett. Giving me directions. And calling me ma’am.
I open my mouth to speak words. And that’s when it happened.
Not to throw you from the story. But at this point, you need to know that I have an ongoing love affair with Sting. In high school, I kicked my friends out of my car for saying “Sting sucks” when Roxanne was on the radio. They had to walk an entire mile back to school. I regret nothing.
My notebooks were full of “Mrs. Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner,” complete with hearts and the number 4 and the letter E mushed together. Written with a pink puffy pen, the seal of a serious relationship.
When I was 19, my grandfather died and we were all flown out for his wake. He lived on the tiny island of Montserrat (this was before the volcano, which laid waste to the island a year after I was there). It had housed a recording studio, where all kinds of legendary rockers laid down tracks. Elton John. The Rolling Stones. Jimmy Buffett.
If you’ve ever been to Montserrat, and I’m assuming you have, you’ll know that the “cab” was actually a minivan and the driver’s name was John. I asked John that first day, “You’ve driven a lot of famous people around, yeah?”
To which he replied, “Yah. Who you want to know about?”
“Ah, Sting. Very nice man. Sat right there where you are in the back of the van. Real nice.”
John did not see my head for the rest of the drive to my grandfather’s house, because my lips were pressed to the seat, locked in an impassioned embrace with the remaining skin cells from Sting’s butt. I have no shame.
Little did I know, many years later, I’d end up with a landlord who was former PR for Sting and The Police. No joke. My former landlord had actually touched Sting and his ripply, tantric muscles repeatedly while shaping his career. Completely professionally, of course.
She took this picture of him. Her finger pushed a button that made THIS WORK OF BEAUTY:
I love this man. He is the father of many of my unborn children, my husband in a thousand dreams. I fully expect a restraining order after this.
Now, about three months before I ran into Mr. Lovett on the street, on that fateful June day, I’d seen the two of them in concert in Kansas City. Together. Sting and Lyle Lovett and His Large Band.
Lyle and His Large Band rocked the house that night; in fact, after the concert, One-Eyed Fiona was on repeat in my car for weeks. But, as you’ve deduced, Sting was my main attraction. This concert gave my fantasy Sting-babies names and future careers (Esther would be a human rights lawyer and Jacob a geologist by now).
So when Lyle Lovett snuck up behind me and crooned sweet, sweet words in my ear on the streets of New York City that day, offering his services and help, this is what I said to him.
“Oh! Mr. Lovett! How absolutely lovely to meet you! I’m just, you know, trying to find the Blue Note.”
“Well, darlin’, you just walk down this here street and take a left. You’ll see it down the alley a ways. But you could always …”
Now. At this point, I like to think he was about to offer me a ride. Before I opened my mouth and ruined his life. He was going to usher me into his back seat and hum Road to Ensenada while whittling me a little flute to keep as a reminder of our time together. That’s what would have happened.
Instead, the words spasmodically vomiting from my mouth, I blurted out:
“I just HAVE to tell you! I saw you and Sting in concert a few months ago.” His eyes brightened ever-so slightly and he tipped his head, waiting for the compliments. The compliments that went like this.
“Yeah. Sting. Wow! He was so incredible. Seriously, blew my mind. I’ve never seen anyone in concert quite like him. Oh my gosh, Lyle Lovett. It was so good. Sting. Was. So. Good.”
His mouth turned down, and the bottomless pit of my faux pas hit me. I took a deep breath, and he tipped his head toward his driver, who immediately got into the car.
And with a frown and no further words, Mr. Lovett turned around and slid into the vehicle, his chiseled visage disappearing behind the black of the windows.
It’s my unwavering belief that I broke his heart that day. Pulverized his spirit. Drowned his joie de vivre. I take full responsibility for this, and in light of my soul-crushing thoughtlessness, I offer this.
Mr. Lovett, I am terribly, terribly sorry for what I said to you that day. I’m sure we can work out a solution that brings closure.
In fact, I’m proposing that you call Sting and set up a meeting, just the three of us, and we can work it all out. I’ll make right the pain I caused.
You may wonder why Sting has to be there. You may think that’s totally unnecessary. Well, Mr. Lovett, it is not. He played a role in this catastrophe, too. He should bear some of the responsibility.
In that meeting. With the three of us. You, me, and Sting.
If you’re busy that day, I totally understand. Sting and I will work this issue out. Together. Alone.
It might take us weeks, Mr. Lovett, hammering out the details of our apology to you. We might have to be holed up nose-to-nose in a tiny hotel room, just the two of us, without another soul in sight, but understand that it’s only out of respect for you.
But it’s the least I can do. Really.
You’re welcome, friend.
lol thanks for making me laugh on a terrible day. I just found your blog, and I love it. I found the article about DIY’ing with water. I was so glad for it. I just started making my own homemade everything and I found a recipe online for hand soap. I made it about 3 weeks ago. I wish I had found your blog first. But I boiled the water per the recipes instructions at least.
This is the BEST STORY EVVVVVEEEER! 🙂
oh, betty. You’ve got ruby lips and emerald eyes . . . and Sting on your mind . . . so sad!
*LOL* *LOL* *LOL
HA!!! This is such a funny story! I must say that I probably would’ve said the same thing and then followed it with….”so, what happened to you and Julia Roberts!” and then I would’ve inserted foot into mouth. hah ha a! Poor Lyle! He sure seems like a nice guy.
I just lolled. I totally understand. Sting is hot. Even now. & im 26. Theres just something about him thats so cool & sexy
Thank you for this!
If you and Sting are busy, I would be more than happy to show Lyle around several of our wonderful local music clubs…
Very, very funny! Also love that your cat is your moral compass!
Loved this story! And the picture of Sting is smoking hot. However, I’ll take Lyle Lovett – he sings real purty to me! And as fate would have it, I was at Texas A&M the same time as Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen!
And if he could bring along Bono, I might be able to help you, completely from a theraputic standpoint. We’d get our own room, so as to not disturb.
I hear ya Janell!! Bono (and all of U2 for that matter) and just hunks! 🙂 Here’s a link to a great U2 song that I posted on my blog about “lemons.” I’m sure you know what song I’m talking about! HA! http://www.thrivequickdish.com/2012/04/17/lemon-cupcakes-with-a-lemon-curd-filling/
OMG this made me laugh so hard! Great story for a monday!
What a great story!
Awsome story for grandkids!
Oh, sexy-beyond-compare Sting, former English teacher, helper of the rainforest, subject of so many school girl fantasies (and older women too). I, too, had a crush on him for years–ever see Brimstone and Treacle? OMG. Okay, now I’ll go back to being a faithful 40-something married woman.
Lyle is our hometown boy here, just north of Houston. Being the Southern gentleman he is known to be, I’m sure he holds no animosity toward you. Loved your story and would have loved that concert.
How that sombrero has not burst into flames is beyond me, what with that SMOLDERING face beneath it. Yowsa! Great story. Hope Lyle reads it and begins to heal. 🙂
Thank you for starting my Monday off in a great way! I thought I was the only one who’s thought process worked this way! BTW, I have no problem attending the meeting to give you moral support! 😉 Thank you again for the laughs!
I do totally understand the Sting thing! I sort felt a crawly sensation at the bottom of my spine as I joined in your embarrassment. I remember meeting the actor Peter Finch at a party years and years ago. It was in flat in London and for some reason I was in the bedroom where all the coats were dumped. In came a 50ish PF with a couple of 17-year-olds clinging to him, draped in furs. I said – and I will never forget it – “Are you really Peter Finch?” to which he replied “I certainly am”
My reporte? “How super!” I cringe about even today. I am NOT that stupid – most of the time.
Too… too… funny! I ,too, used to love The Police and Sting… but… somewhere along the way, hip stylish bad boys ceased to impress and Lyle stepped in and charmed me with sweet honest truth and beauty… and continues to do so with every amazing album he puts out. So you can have Mr. Sumner all to yourself… I’ll take the long tall Texan, if you please… ma’am 🙂
I didn’t realize our cats are related!
Heather :) :) :)
Oh, I just can’t stop laughing 😉 🙂 🙂 FOMCLOL ) 🙂 🙂 Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather 🙂
Ok this was so definitely food for my soul! Brightened a gloomy British day. Thank you so much!
OMG I laughed out loud, skin cells on the seat..This was a fantastic post..I too love love Sting. What a great pic of him..yes an appt. with all three of you, or two at most is a must..
LOL, I needed that giggle and you certainly provided it! Great story – what a treat to meet him, anyway – even if I don’t really know who he is, he, he – but Sting, I certainly know. Off to search for Lyle Lovett now… and yes, I AM serious – but I do live in England. Thanks for the laugh x
Did a lot of crushing on Sting in my youth and somewhere out there is a poster he signed just for me even though I never met him. BUT… Lyle Lovett really. I think now I’d step on and over sting just to hear him live. Some of you may think me insane but a true trubador he is and I’m not afraid to say “Sting who?”
Thank you so much for this wonderful story. I needed a laugh today and this has made my day.
Fantastic. Helped start my Monday morning with a laugh.