I think the thing to do is to enjoy the ride while you are on it. ~Johnny Depp
There are times in our lives when an opportunity presents its self and for some reason, despite the screams from your inner self, you just cannot convince yourself to ignore it. Sometimes, these opportunities end up turning into complete disappointments. Other times, these opportunities turn into something that you had never believed could happen to you. Luckily for me, I was able to experience the latter.
When a friend, to whom I owe a debt of gratitude, posted on my YKIHAYHT Facebook wall a link to a message board about the possibility that Johnny Depp would be in Oklahoma on Saturday for the Comanche Nation Fair, I immediately knew that I had to go. It isn't as if I have hidden my feelings about this man. Something inside of me demanded that I go and despite some lively discussion not only with myself, but Farmer Bob as well, I made all the appropriate arrangements with my cousin (who from here on out I feel obligated to call the "enabler", E for short) to load up at the crack of dawn and drive four hours to Lawton, Oklahoma in an desperate attempt to lay my eyes on one of the most famous people on the planet. Never did I imagine what this day would do to me.
I don't know how, but I was able to sleep the night before. Neither myself nor E could ever be accused of being morning people, so you should know that I would not get up at four o'clock in the morning for just anyone. After throwing on some clothes, a re-check from E (are you SURE you want to do this? Um, are you really asking me this?), we jumped in the car and away we went. Nothing starts off a road trip like a super healthy breakfast, so we dined on coffee, dry Honeycomb cereal, and Diet Dr. Pepper while cruisin down the highway. Along the way, we figured that we would apply our makeup and with the help of an adapter, I would attempt to do something with my hair. There was no way in hell I was going to see Johnny and not look presentable. When the adapter failed to work, E and I had no other option but to beautify ourselves in a truck stop bathroom. It was here I realized the unfathomable...I didn't have all my makeup. SON OF A BITCH. Powder and mascara do not make for a completed me, and on this day that was just not acceptable. You may ask, why couldn't I just use E's? Well, since she is a fair skinned, dark haired, Irish girl and I am a red-headed (cough, cough) Cherokee, our skin tones don't quite match up. Fortunately I was able to dig through her collection, find some items that would work, and was able to put myself together while trying not to stab myself in the eye with the mascara wand every time E hit a bump.
Upon our arrival, you could feel the energy in the air. After asking around a bit, we discovered that there had NEVER been that many people in the 20 years of this event. It was at this point that I just knew in my gut that this was more than speculation. I was going to SEE him with my own eyes on this day. I didn't care that I had been up since 4:00. It didn't even matter that it was raining and my truck stop hair was ruined. I was actually going to lay my eyes upon a person whom I admire so deeply not only for his looks, but for his talents and his mind. It didn't even matter if I was able to talk to him, or touch him. Just to be able to look, observe, and snap a few pictures was more than I had ever imagined would happen to me.
We chose our parade station carefully. There was not an overabundance of people there, so we were able to get a prime spot right on the curb at the starting point. The parade started about 30 minutes late, which I blame Johnny for just because I can. I should be pissed at him for leaving us in suspense for so long, but I think he was just making sure that he looked just right for me. It was then we heard the first screams, I felt my heart rate increase and climb into my throat and then I saw him.
Heart, please return to chest. Thank you.
Now, if you have been following me for any amount of time, you know that at this moment, I just about died. I am certain that my eyes about popped out of my skull and it is a miracle that I didn't pee my pants. It was shortly after this that his car turned the corner that we were standing by and stopped. STOPPED. HOLY SHIT I say. We venture (aka RUN) over, get front row center and I am able to capture this:
I just know he's looking at me behind those glasses.
You guys should know that by now that I am suffering from some serious heart palpitations. Unfortunately, but understandably, security is everywhere as you can see in that pic. That guy was dangerously close to getting a knee in his man jewels. He would not stop standing in front of the effing window so I consider myself lucky to see what I could. Mr. Jewels finally stepped aside for one shining moment and I was finally able to catch a money shot. Not as in, hey this pic is gonna score me some major money, but as in this...
Cha-CHING! Don't mind me while I wipe the drool from my chin.
It is at this point that he is swallowed up by his security and moved to a convertible. I was beside myself at this moment, so I did not get any snaps. If not for Mr. Jewels I do not have a doubt in my mind that I would have been able to shake his hand. This my friends, should have earned Mr. J a swift kick in the bag but in an effort to remain out of prison, I opted to keep my feet on the ground. I had been able to observe Johnny for a good 10-15 minutes at this point and had snapped some really great pics, so I was golden. Would I have loved to shake hands? Absolutely. Something about just being there though, seeing him, watching him, I was happy. So damn happy. Shaking happy. The parade ventured on their route and we started venturing up towards the main grounds. We had the pleasure of watching some tribal dancing and being able to witness so much tradition and history was so beautiful. So wonderful. So intriguing. We then realized he was coming back around. Sweet...another chance.
As I watched the people swarm around him, I couldn't help but feel horribly bad for him and his security team. I know that he has chosen this life and that he should just expect it, but it kind of made me sick for him. I mean, this guy probably can't even go to the liquor store for a bottle of wine by himself if he so feels like it. People were swarming him like flies on a pile of manure, it was so bad that they had to instruct people to get out of the road, to stop standing in front of his car. Despite all the screaming women, it was amazing to me that he made the extra effort to talk to the children. He shook a few hands, but if there was a young child close by with a memento that they wanted signed, he stopped the car and signed it. It was so refreshing to see someone who is so well known make the extra effort to interact with the kids.
Signing a Captain Jack Sparrow hat for a little boy! So sweet he is.
Once he had passed us for the last time, we continued our trek up towards the main grounds. I did get to enjoy being whistled at by some much younger gentlemen (thank you for that boys, it's good to know that momma has still got it), and people watching is something that it always enjoyable and entertaining. We were told that people were lining up at one of the buildings for what we had the impression would be an autograph/photo opp session. Sweet heavens, this was going to be my chance. At this point my hair was shot due to the rain, but I just didn't even care anymore. We line up waaaaaaaaay at the back of the line and prepare for a long stint of standing. As we are standing, they make a general announcement that only kids 18 years and under will be allowed inside. WHAT??? Of all times for me to leave my kids at home. Shit.
Thanks to my slightly stubborn disposition, I was NOT going to give up my place in line just yet. We started making friends with the family behind us. She had 5 kids (not all belonging to her), so we figured she had some to spare. We spent the next hour or so talking with them. The mom was a Comanche princess and her father, grandfather, great-grandfather, all Chiefs. She was so kind to entertain our questions and we used this time to learn more about their culture and enjoy some wonderful conversation with this wonderful family. They then decided to divide the kids into two lines, 10 and under and 11 and over. It had been announced that if the kids were 10 or under, they could take one adult in with them <light bulb moment>. I needed a kid. Mom had gone to take some items to the car and the 9 year old daughter (we will call her "L"), was unsure as to what to do. Myself, being the kind woman that I am, asked L if she would like for me to stand in line with her and my heart did a little pitter-patter when she said yes. I took L over to the appropriate line and we stood there for another good hour just talking. She was so sweet and polite, and I learned that she likes to play Sorry and Scrabble, she loves Taylor Swift and George Strait (smart girl), and that she loves Twilight and The Hunger Games. I consider her my adopted Comanche daughter since I was able to learn so much about her. Then we were hit with the devastating news, Johnny had to go. Son. Of. A. Bitch. Come to find out, he was not signing autographs, instead he was giving all the kids that had been fortunate enough to make it inside a motivational speech. While we were left out in the rain, I couldn't help but forgive him and my heart softened just a little more.
While somewhat sad that I didn't get the personal interaction that I had hoped for in my heart, I was pleased as punch that he was making such a point yet again to address the children. If there is one way to get a stalker admirer/momma such as myself to love you just a little bit more, it's to set an example and show the children that they are important. That they can make a difference. That they can succeed. <excuse me while I slow down my heart rate> *DEEEEP BREATH* <fans self> Now, where was I?
What exactly did I get out of this adventure? Oh boy, how to summarize that. I guess in the words of Johnny himself, I learned to enjoy the ride. Good gravy I enjoyed this ride. I am eternally grateful to E for coming along with me. If not for her, I don't know that I would have done it. She is amazing and the best enabler I could ever ask for. I was also reminded of how much Farmer Bob loves me and that is something that I can never be over appreciative for. How many husbands would approve of their wives to leave them with five kids for the day so that she could attempt (successfully thank goodness) to see another man, especially Johnny Depp? Bob is nothing short of amazing, and I am simply one lucky lady. <dabs tears>
You may be wondering what Farmer Bob thought about all of this. Well to be brutally honest, I am quite certain that he was considering throwing me in a straight jacket and sending me away to a padded cell. I am very fortunate that I have a husband who accepts me for me and knows well enough that I will never pretend to be something that I am not. "But he's just a guy" he said to me, "I don't see what is so great that you need to drive 4 hours just to see him". I honestly had not response to this. I could offer no logical explanation other than I just felt so compelled in my heart to go. That this was a once in a lifetime opportunity in which the only regrets I would have would be if I would not have gone. While he did not understand, he was still supportive and for that, I will always be eternally grateful. I love him.
As I reflected and thought about this entire experience when writing this, I am brought back to how impressed I was by him. Not just by his looks (which I must say, he looked exactly how I see him in most pictures, totally dreamy), but through observation I was able to learn more about him as a man. This was not a publicized event. He did not want to draw the attention away from the Comanche tribe by his appearance and to me, that shows respect.. Self-awareness that while yes, he is one of the most recognized people on this planet, this wasn't about him. I believe that he was there to show respect and gratitude to the Comanche people and he did it with class. He, in my honest opinion, is a true gentleman who also just happens to be pretty easy on the eyes. I also was reminded that sometimes it is alright to seize the moment. That sometimes moments present themselves to you for a reason and if you let it just pass by, you risk letting that one moment go that could change your life forever. Even if all it consists of is pictures.
Just so you know Johnny, my invitation still stands. You are welcome here any time, no need to call ahead.
All images used in the blog post are the property of me. They are mine and they are priceless. If you attempt to use them for your own personal use or gain without my permission, I will not hesitate to come after you with legal guns a blazing.
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