>Last night I had planned to meet my friends at Life (the club) and have a good time with them and catch a glimpse of Donnie on stage. As usual, the night had different plans for us. Angela and Kimmy came by my house yesterday afternoon to hang out and make plans for the party since my mom has a really difficult time managing my wheelchair and me by herself anymore. They promised my mom that they would help her with the wheelchair lifting and stuff so we could both go and have a good time. When people work together, it makes all the difference in the world!
Pre-party picture after makeup. I don’t like wearing a lot.
We all met at the club, which had no handicapped parking and valet was $20, so we self-parked in the strip mall next to the club to avoid the staggering drunks. Trust me, there were a lot of drunk girls. Johnny was walking around the line outside and of course people were trying to butter him up to get to Donnie. We didn’t though. I pretty much smiled and said hello and he cleared people out of the doorway so I could get inside. We all got drinks and staked out a spot along the railing by the stairs to keep people from standing in front of me so I could have a good view of the stage. This is after we got settled in our spot.
A lot of people came up to me saying they know me from Twitter and my blogs and stuff. I really, really tried to remember everyone to say hi today but as the night went on, I kept getting stopped and I couldn’t remember everyone. I’m sorry! I love meeting all of you though!
While my mom went outside for her cigarettes, one of the hostesses (I think she was a hostess) came up to us and gave us the VIP wristbands. It was a shock because we hadn’t gone to the party with the intention of trying to have facetime there but for whatever reason, we were given the chance. As soon as other staff saw the wristbands, they took Kimmy, my mom and me to the front of the line where there was a room Donnie was using for pictures with the fans. Robo was back! He was checking wristbands and grabbed my hand and pretended to pull on me and teased, “Gimme that wristband!” Robo was there for my very first show and brought Jon to me in Utah and used to call me Jessica Simpson so it was really nice seeing him again.
Robo led us into the room and Donnie was finishing up with the fan ahead of me. When he was done with her, he motioned for me to come to him and said, “Come here, baby girl.” Remember my mom was pushing my chair and she’s not much bigger than me so she can’t always see how far the front sticks out. Well, Donnie was coming toward me and I was coming toward him and bam, the lump under my wheel was his foot. He laughed and joked, “Oh you ran over my foot!” Me? Embarrassed. My mom and Donnie? Laughing about it.
I have always been intimidated by Donnie (and Jordan too). Donnie can be somewhat aggressive with women and I have never quite been able to figure out the inside of him, not the entertainer. I was nervous about one-on-one time with Donnie without Jon being there because Jon always comes at me with his own agenda and I never feel pressured to think of clever things to say and I don’t have to be an extrovert around Jon like a lot of Donnie girls can be. This time, though, Donnie was not all “on” like he is in big groups. He gave me a good long hug, got down on my level and talked to me in a low voice, which calmed my nerves a lot. He asked me how I was and there was some small talk. I asked if he remembered me (Jon does tend to monopolize my meet and greet time) and he said, “Honey, all five of us will always remember you.” It was babe or honey or something to that effect.
Then he started pulling up his sleeve and pointed out a bracelet among other bracelets. I peered down at the little yellow bracelet and read the letters “JONATHAN”. My face burst into a smile and he was waiting for that reaction and he smiled the same way and said, “See, I’m the biggest Jon girl.” I cracked up and said yes he was. The photographer was taking pictures and the flash was distracting but Donnie asked if I was okay and if I was set up in a good spot. I had a flashback of being in Nashville and Jon asking the exact same thing, if I was okay and if I had good enough seats. I realized that those two men might be more alike than I thought. I told Donnie that I was set up by the railing and I wasn’t sure if it was a good spot but it would be okay. In my head I was thinking that the railing was as tall as I was and I wasn’t going to see over it very well but I wasn’t going to say that to him. He said he was going to take care of me and set me up in a good spot and he started yelling for Robo. We were getting pushed out by then but when Robo came, I heard Donnie tell him (paraphrasing), “She’s one of the most loyal fans we have. Set her up. Take care of her. There is another fan in a wheelchair too and I want you to make sure they are set up good.”
We went back to our spot at the railing because Robo was still working facetime security and wasn’t able to follow Donnie’s orders at that point. A club staffer came by and asked if we could get me down the steps to the floor and be right in front of the stage but she said it could only be me and not the rest of my party. I said no to that offer because I had no interest in being separated from my friends even if it meant being front row to see the action. My friend Angela (whoppers4Jordan on Twitter) started frantically texting me saying Donnie wanted me in VIP or something (it was dark and I couldn’t read it very well) so we hauled ass back to the other side of the club to see what Donnie wanted or whatever the issue was. Security led us through VIP and set us up on the left side of the stage if you looked at it from the audience perspective. I was not too far from the DJ booth behind the black couches. While we were dancing and drinking (well, they were dancing and I was drinking Coke), Johnny passed through a few times and touched my shoulder and smiled at me.
The show started and Donnie saw me pretty much right away. I made eye contact with him a lot when he was toward the back of the stage. At one point, a woman squeezed right by me and I realized shortly after that it was the lady from The View. She had a back rub, which I’m told was a lot dirtier in Chicago than Atlanta. And then when Jordan came out, the club erupted. It was deafening. I’m usually not a screamer but he was really close and revving up the crowd. Those Knights, I tell you, they make women do things way outside of their normal personalities. I lost my voice because of Jordan. He looked at me several times but I’m not sure if he realized he follows me on Twitter or if my wheelchair just naturally drew his attention like it does for everyone.
All in all, the party far exceeded my expectations not only with Donnie, who really is an extremely thoughtful and considerate man, but because I got to spend the night with my girls. Angela, Kimmy and Jess are the best! The only thing that would have made it better was if Jon and his Frankenfeet could have been there. It was a little strange being at one of these things without seeing him there and I missed his smiles and blown kisses from the stage but the way Donnie took such good care of me was reminiscent of Jon being there too.
Now I’m off to get ready for Jordan Idol. If anything good happens there, I’ll blog about that tomorrow, but I’m really just going to support Angela who is auditioning.
I want to say big thank yous to Angela, Kimmy and Jess for sharing such a cool night with me and for being there to make my mom feel welcome. She hasn’t been out to do anything like that in months and months and she needed a break from rebuilding for six weeks after the flood. If Donnie ever sees this, I hope he knows how grateful I am for his care and concern. He made the night extra special, especially for my mom, who is a Donnie girl (yet told me when I was little that Jon was a bad influence on me — explain that one LOL). Donnie, I may have been intimidated by you in the past but it took one-on-one time to understand you better. Jon may have a little competition now! Thank you for everything! Kisses! Get me on Twitter — JJ9828 🙂
Update: Here are the official pictures from meeting Donnie. In the first one, he is showing me the Jonathan bracelet he was wearing and in the second one, it’s our group shot.