Wednesday, November 4, 2009
And Now, On a Slightly Happier Note. . .
I'm going to see Andy Williams!
Well, I should say WE'RE going to see Andy Williams. Including my mother. Mr. Christmas! Brace yourself, Andy!
This picture is especially for Lisa, my cousin's wife, who loves Andy in his Christmas sweaters. Who doesn't?
The Williams Brothers. Andy got his start singing with his brothers before breaking out on his own. If you ever get a chance to watch the Biography Channel's Andy Williams episode, do. I own it. And once I accused Lisa of stealing it. She didn't. She would never do that. She loves Andy, too.
So how did all of this come about that we're going to see Andy Williams (and most importantly, how do people with tens of thousands of dollars in health care debt afford to go see Andy Williams? Two words: generous parents :))?
Many of you Finn followers will recall (because I'm sure that's what you do, spend your time recalling my Andy Williams obsession) that in 2005, we were still living in Ohio and I convinced Eamonn to go to Branson to see Andy. Finn was still on chemo and was only 3 at the time, so Mom and Aunt Kathy stayed with the boys so we could go.
I recall the trip's inception something like this.
Me: Can we go to Branson to see the Andy Williams Christmas Show?
Eamonn: Branson? Do you know how long it takes to get there?
Me: 10 hours and 56 minutes.
Eamonn: I see you've already done some planning.
And so we set off on a very fun adventure. It was the first, and only if I recall, time we were both away from Finn during chemo, other than the occasional night out.
On the Friday after Thanksgiving, we left the house at 6am. We rolled into Branson just before 5pm (you know, 10 hours and 56 minutes after we left).
The town was packed. We stopped at the visitor center to get the lay of the land. The woman working there was very helpful and asked what our plans were.
Woman: What shows are you seeing?
Us: Andy Williams.
Woman: Pause. And?
Us: That's it.
Woman: You drove all the way from Ohio and you're only seeing Andy Williams?
She laughed and agreed he was worth it.
And it was. I sat in the audience like a giddy schoolgirl, hands clasped under my chin and a silly grin on my face the whole time.
At one point during the show,
Eamonn: Are you crying?
Natalie: No. Yes. I don't know! Maybe!
And at the show, Eamonn said, "We're totally coming back here with the boys next year." Andy had the kids in the audience come on stage with him. It was so sweet. I could just picture the boys up there--Declan paying rapt attention to the show, Finn dangling off the edge of the stage talking during the whole thing. . .ah, such a picture.
Well, in 2006 we'd just moved to Colorado. In 2007 we'd just come back from England. Last year? Hmmm, I don't know what the heck we were doing last year. We weren't at the Andy Williams Christmas Show, that's for sure.
But this year, we will be. And I will be sitting like a giddy schoolgirl in the audience with my hands clasped beneath my chin. A silly grin on my face. And possibly a tear in my eye.
And now, the only thing left to do before the trip (aside from packing and planning my Andy Williams Christmas Show outfit) is to decide how I will let Andy know his Biggest Fan is in the audience. What do you think? A big placard? I wonder if those are allowed. A giant foam hand that says "Andy! I'm your biggest fan!"? Should I set off some sort of flare or firework? Find a Christmas sweater that matches his and see if he notices? Jump up, run to the stage and throw myself around his legs? I'll be careful--I don't want to hurt him.
Let me know if you have any ideas.
And now, as a follow up to yesterday's health care rampage, I don't feel so alone anymore. Thanks to all of you for your comments and e-mails. The Today Show hasn't called and I haven't been asked to testify before Congress (imagine that), nor has Anthem called and said, "Just kidding! We WILL cover all of that stuff!" but I feel a little bit better after getting all of that off my chest. Thanks for being such great listeners!