Mini Me and I flew back to Atlanta from Boston on Saturday, August 8, to get ready to leave for Nashville the next day. We were bouncing off the walls. Only 20 Vault members won the contest. Each winner got to bring one guest. This meant that there would be 40 people, plus The Dead Weather. Oh. My. God. I kept trying to calm myself down. On Sunday, the weather was nice in Atlanta, so I got on my giant round float in my pool for a couple of hours before we left for Nashville. I thought the down time would be good for me. I could relax and center myself. Not happening. I was so excited I could not see straight. Mini Me and I left Atlanta around 4:30, which was 3:30 Nashville time. We made it in under 4 hours-record time for even a lead foot. We were staying at the downtown Hilton, which is not far from Third Man. We were exhausted. The traveling from Boston to Atlanta the day before and the driving from Atlanta to Nashville had worn both Mini Me and me out. We ordered $75 worth of room service for dinner. ( I told you I absolutely loooove room service, dahling. It’s easy and I don’t ever have to leave the damn room. ) If we were going to party with rock stars, we may as well party like rockstars! We made our plan to get up early so we could primp and look perfect to meet the one and only Jack White, then we went to bed.
In the morning, Mini Me got ready quickly. He doesn’t really need to primp. I changed clothes 5 times. I finally decided on something hip yet not too old, with Mini Me’s help and a little eye rolling. My heart was starting to beat faster and I was starting to get nervous. I am an extremely star-struck person. I am not sure why that is. I have always been this way. I always wanted to be a star, but every time I would go out on stage, I got this same feeling and I would shut down. I took a breath and decided that a second cup of coffee was not the answer. We packed up our stuff and called for the car and headed downstairs. We would not be coming back to the Hilton after Third Man. We would be driving back to Atlanta. We were a little early to Third Man. They had re-done the store since we were last there, and it was larger and there was more to look at, so we walked around and looked at things we might buy after the listening party. Somehow, Mini Me and I ended up being first in line to enter the listening party, and our photo was put on Third Man’s official Instagram page. One of the employee’s came up to me and asked me if I minded if they put our photo on their Instagram page. I said, “Of course not! Please! It’s not already on there?!” We were treated like rock stars. The guys and girls who work for Third Man walked around and made sure that we had everything we needed at all times. Did we need something to drink? Something to eat? Our wish was their command. We got a full tour of Third Man Records, which was a lot like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. I have never been in a more fun place in all of my life. When it was time to listen to The Dead Weather’s new album, Mini Me was first in line to enter Jack White’s famous Blue Room. This room has a giant elephant head hanging on the wall. Jack White was on the show “American Pickers” and that is where he found this elephant head. The Blue Room is where you can occasionally go hear live music at Third Man Records. I was not with Mini Me when he entered the Blue Room. I had befriended a girl from Birmingham, Alabama, and her 7 year old son, as well as some other people, and I had been chatting with them. When Mini Me walked through the door of the Blue Room, Jack White was standing there to shake his hand! He shook Mini Me’s hand and said “Jack” as to introduce himself. Well, you know that Mini Me’s name is Jack too. So Mini Me shook Jack White’s hand and said, “Jack” back to him. This kind of stunned Jack White and he did not know what to say. We think he thought Mini Me was being a smart ass. Since I was not there to interject, “He means his name is also Jack”, nothing else was said and there was just awkward silence. So….we moved on into the Blue Room and all sat down. There were bean bag chairs and sofas and other chairs. They had a bar set up in there. It was 11:00 in the morning, and nobody was really drinking–like heavily drinking. So we sat. And we waited. And oh yeah, they had taken my purse and our phones at the door. We could take no photos or anything since the album was not going to be released until September–they could not risk anyone having a recording device in the Blue Room. So we are awkwardly sitting there with no devices to play on. How weird that is. Anyway. I think it may have been Ben Blackwell, Jack White’s cousin and right hand man, who introduced the album and it started playing. Then Jack White started circulating and talking to people. The music was really loud. I looked over at Mini Me and said, “Are we dead?” He said, “No, Mom, I don’t think so.” “Okay”, I said. I smiled at him. My heart was still racing. The next thing I knew, Jack White was standing in front of me, handing me a glass of champagne. As of August 7, 2015, I have been sober for 13 years. When I first got sober, I made deals with myself. Ridiculous deals like “I will stay sober until something horrible happens like……” and so far, nothing that horrible has happened. Another deal happened to be, “I will stay sober until my favorite rock star hands me a drink”….Well….fuckety fuck me. Here I was. This was never supposed to happen. Here I was, sitting in a bean bag chair, with Jack White the Beautiful, staring me in the face, handing me a glass of fucking champagne. I had very little time here, people. VERY LITTLE TIME. Like less than 20 seconds. You have NO idea what things were going through my head. Yes, I will tell you. Things like: He is NOT hitting on me. This will not end that way. Yes, he is in my top 5 freebies. Hell, he is 4 out of 5 of my top 5 freebies, but this was not going in that direction! It was 11:00 in the morning. Shit. I had totally not expected this. My KID was sitting RIGHT THERE for the LOVE OF GOD. HE WILL BE A TATTLE TALE. And OH MY GOD NO! I CANNOT DO THIS! I DON’T WANT TO DO THIS TO MY FAMILY OR MYSELF!!! OK. I really knew the answer from the minute I looked up at Jack White, but, the reality is that all of that really did go through my mind because I am HUMAN. But WAIT!!! should I take it and say thank you and set it down beside me and just leave it? Hell no. That was not the answer either! I looked up at Jack White and I screamed “NO THANK YOU” because the damn music was so loud, he could not hear me otherwise. He gave me an oddball look, but took his champagne and moved on. I was completely deflated. I absolutely must find a way to let him know the reason why I could not accept the champagne. I could not let him think he had a Bible beater in his coveted Blue Room! Don’t get me wrong. I am a spiritual person, but I would rather Jack White know that I am sober than think I am a Bible beater any day of the week, and I will not apologize for that. A little while later, I got my chance. Since Mini Me is a musician, he often looks like one too. That day, in August, he happened to have on a black leather jacket. So did Jack White, by the way. Jack White came and sat down by Mini Me, which put Mini Me between myself and Jack White. The music got a little quieter and I knew it was now or never. Jack White had his right arm around Mini Me and was leaning in, talking to him. I put my left arm on Jack White’s arm and leaned in behind Mini Me’s head. “I NEED TO TELL YOU SOMETHING” I said as loudly as I needed to. Jack White leaned in so closely I could have kissed him if I had drank that damn champagne. Well, if I had drank the whole bottle of it, maybe I would have. (Lucky for everyone involved, I did not) Anyway. So I said, “I HAVE BEEN SOBER FOR 13 YEARS!” and with that information, Jack White threw his head back and laughed and he looked at me and said, “AND OF COURSE I WOULD BRING YOU A DRINK! I AM SO SORRY! BUT I AM SO PROUD OF YOU! HANG ON JUST A SECOND, ” and with that, he got up and walked over to the bar and brought me back a Coca Cola. The can said “Sis” on it. I thanked him and he and Mini Me chatted. I do not normally drink regular Coke, but you can bet your ass I drank that one. I also brought that damn can home with me and it sits next to my side of the bed. Jack was posing for Polaroids and Mini Me and I got one with him. I then took the opportunity to tell Jack that Mini Me’s name was also Jack. He started laughing, remembering how Mini Me greeted him at the door of the Blue Room. He asked me my name. When we were getting ready for the picture, he said, “Well, we will call this one ‘Two Jack’s and a Jen’ “. A little while later, I had the chance to talk to the girl I had befriended from Huntsville, Alabama. I was telling her about the champagne. She asked me why I gave it back and I told her. She said, “Wow. Just Wow. Well, I have 3 months sober. I saw you give it back and I knew then that if he brought it to me, I could give it back too.” Then it was my turn to say, “Wow. Just Wow.” With 13 years of sobriety, I don’t really think about it all that much sometimes. Especially when I am off doing stuff with my kids. That entire day had been completely off the chain. I was so glad that I had been able to give the damn champagne back to Jack White–not just for me and my family–but for that girl and her family. It just goes to show that my actions do affect others–no matter where I go. I need to remember that. Mini Me and I rode back to Atlanta that day on an adrenaline high that got us almost all the way home, then reality set in and we all know that reality bites hard.