Friday, December 7, 2012

Toya Loves Cool James: Toya Meets LL Cool J in Nashville

Umm...I need a do over.

I know, I know.  This picture is perfect! I don't have a wonky eye. He looks like he is actually glad to be standing there with me even though I could barely get a hello out. But I still need a do over.  Why? Because I wasn't exactly at my coolest when I met LL Cool J Wednesday night. I was a ball of nerves.

When my friend Melissa asked me Saturday night if I had entered the Meet 'n Greet contest to meet LL, I quickly replied no.  Uh uh. No ma'am.  I understand that I want to interview people for a living and work in the entertainment industry but the fact of the matter is that to me LL Cool J is the most beautiful man alive.  Period. I don't care who you put him against.  On top of that he is a music legend with 30 years in the game.  I'm such a fan of what he has accomplished. Still even with that aside, he could be bagging groceries at Publix and I still would be tongue tied around him. I'd also spend half of my paycheck at Publix.

I entered my name anyway and to my surprise, both Melissa and I were selected to meet LL at Club Rozay (Yup! That's an actual name of a club.).  This is where I went wrong: I kept saying I was nervous. I was so nervous about being nervous that I didn't try to NOT be nervous.   Anytime I have met someone I admired, I have always come up with something clever to say to break the ice. But this time *Sigh* not so much.

Photo credit:

When LL arrived at the club and I saw him?  Oh. my. God. Oh I'm not using the Lord's name in vain. I had to call on Him! That face!  There was 30 years of hip hop history standing there!  I've been a fan since Krush Groove!  I turned to Melissa with tears in my eyes going "I can't do this. I cannot do this!"  It was just too surreal.  Melissa looked me dead in my eye.  "Ma'am. Get your life.  You are a blogger. You have got to get over it."  We walked over to the VIP section and got in line with the other people who had been selected to meet him.  I turned to Melissa and said "Can you please take a few pictures of me talking to him?  My camera is dying and I can't get the setting for this lighting right."  "Sure" she said. "Then when you are done, take my camera and take a picture of me." I waited with my stomach in knots as the person ahead of me took their picture with LL and then it was my turn.  The walk towards him felt like walking in a mile long wind tunnel. When I finally got to him, my shoulders hunched up around my ears as I somehow managed to muster the only thing I could get out to say to him. 

Me: *In a high pitched squeal* "Hiiiiiiiiii"
LL:  "Hi. It's nice to meet you."
Me: *Nods* Starts thinking "Hug him with one arm Toya. ONE ARM.  Do not reach over and touch his stomach. Just look at the cameras."

I lightly put my arm around him and smiled for the cameras in hopes that the picture would not reflect all of the topsy turvy emotions going on inside.  I then faced him and thought to myself "What am I going to say now?  Hurry! Quick! Say something!!!"

Remember in the movie A Christmas Story when Ralphie finally met Santa and sounded like his tongue had tripled in size? All he could do is sit there and stare and nod? It was kind of like that. Except I didn't get to sit on LL's lap because the Lord is merciful.

Toya: *blink* *blink* *blink*
LL: "Glad to meet you."
Me: *stare* *blink* *blink* *blink* *stare*

LL then takes my hand in both of his and looks into my eyes and says "It was really a pleasure to meet you". I started thinking "Oh my goodness are we about to have a moment?!?!?! Are we having a moment?!?!"

No fool.

It was then that I realized that LL Cool J is probably one of the most gracious people I have ever met. Because looking back that was his sweet attempt to end our time together so he could move onto the next person.  I just stared into his eyes and nodded wide eyed.  I then  hunched my shoulders around my earlobes again, turned around and tried to remember how to walk with the same feet I have been using for almost 38 years.

It wasn't until I walked out of the VIP section did I remember that Melissa and I had made a deal for me to take her camera so she could have a picture.  Once I realized that I had dropped the ball I yelled "Melissa! Melissa give me your camera!!!" By then she was getting her picture taken by the professional photographers hired to take pics to show up online the next day. Oh no! I couldn't believe I did that. When she walked over she said "I was calling you but you never turned around to get my camera!"  I didn't hear her. I couldn't hear anything.  Apparently I had become temporarily mute AND deaf at the same time.

"Well I didn't get a picture but you did. Here's your camera."  Melissa handed me my camera and I felt awful.  I later assured her that I wasn't going to post my picture until she got hers the next day.  She really wasn't upset at all but I was.  The next day I looked online and all of the pictures were up.  And when I saw mine,  I screamed.

"Why don't I remember this?!?!" I screamed! I don't remember being that close to him at all and I SHO' NUFF don't remember having my head on his chest!  How did I miss this moment?  People have asked me how he smelled, how his arms felt...I don't remember a thing.  All I know is that he is sweet as pie and has High Definition dimples.  He is one miracle of a man. Thank God this picture does not reflect what was happening with my nerves.

Even though I flunked in coolness this time around, next time I got it in the bag.  I will greet him again in my bamboo earrings (just one pair though. Those things are heavy!) with my baby hair pumpin' and lip gloss a shinin'.  I will tell him how proud I am of his accomplishments.  I may even ask him about how his daughters handle him being a sex symbol.  In other words, I will handle it like my normal self.  All in all, I regret nothing.  Everyone should be allowed one geek out moment in time and this one was mine. It couldn't have happened with a nicer guy. You never know what you are going to get when you finally meet your favorite celebrity.  I am so glad to say that after finally getting to meet LL Cool J, I can definitely say that I still and always will love Cool James.

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