That time I met Our Host Chris Harrison
It was a warm, Tuesday night. I was sitting in my red and white gingham chair, my TV recapping place, waiting for Undateable to start. As I scrolled through my Instagram feed, something caught my eye:
— Chris Harrison (@chrisbharrison) May 19, 2015
I do not live in Austin. But I know Some Guy who does. I immediately texted him an adamant “WE HAVE TO GO” message. Using all caps conveyed a sense of urgency that was met with a flurry of responses from both him and the Mrs.
We were all on board. The goal? Meet Our Host Chris Harrison, convince him to come out to the Broken Spoke honkey tonk with us after his book signing and become the best of friends.
If we believe, it will happen.
I ran to my closet to consider my wardrobe choices. I had to play this carefully. My outfit needed to say, “I’m totally awesome” without looking like I tried too hard. I decided on two of my favorite standbys—a summery orange top with white shorts or a chevron dress. Then I did what I always do in moments like these. I called Natalie.
I’ve learned that having a friend who makes people feel good about themselves for a living is quite a perk in my life. Before I even left for her house, Natalie informed me that I would not be wearing shorts to meet Chris Harrison. Noted. I arrived, eager to see which necklace/shoe combination she would choose for my dress. Upon seeing me in the dress, Natalie smiled graciously and pat me on the head before running to her closet to choose something way more cool straight off her own hangers.
We all need a Natalie in our life.
The next day, I made my way to the hill country. Some Guy in Austin (SGIA), Mrs. Some Guy and I grabbed a quick bite before heading over to Barnes & Noble. Mrs. Some Guy suggested we take a little time to figure out what we wanted to say once we were face-to-face with Our Host. SGIA did not need to think about it. He would invite Harrison to The Spoke and buy him a Lone Star. Case closed.
I was another story. Do I remind him of my name? Or iHateGreenBeans? If I say my name, he may think I’m a “Lindsay” vs. Lincee. That won’t help. Website it is. But what if he doesn’t know my website and just knows me by Lincee? Maybe I do lead with my name. A combo? Will I be able to speak? What if I get lost in his eyes? Will SGIA know to step in and be my wing man so I don’t look like a fool? Is it hot in here? What am I doing? What will he smell like? I have to remember for my readers! THERE’S NOT ENOUGH TIME!
That dialog was internal of course. My dining partners never knew I was on the verge of hurling. It’s now or never! Off to Barnes & Noble!
We arrived in two separate cars. Mrs. Some Guy and I entered the establishment first, carrying both books. When SGIA sauntered in, I shout, “HEY SOME GUY! I HAVE YOUR BOOK OVER HERE FOR CHRIS HARRISON TO SIGN!”
His face turned a shade of crimson that was soooo pretty.
We headed upstairs to a landing where about 40 people were sitting in chairs in front of a podium. We lingered in the back, but were quickly ushered by Joe Book Store into an overflow area on the side by. He told us that we will have a better view of Mr. Harrison from the side instead standing in the back. I casually asked him if he has seen Mr. Harrison yet?
Joe Book Store: Yes.
Lincee: What did he smell like?
Joe Book Store: Uh…I don’t know. Do you want me to go check?
Lincee: I’ll smell for myself. Tell him Lincee says hi.
Joe Book Store rolled his eyes and ran off to fetch our favorite host. Within minutes, he escorted Harrison through the crowd up to a podium. Harrison had noticeable swagger. The suit, no doubt from his own collection, fit him perfectly. His button down was open, with no tie, and his jeans were flawless. His tan was nowhere near Dancing with the Stars caliber (thank goodness), but was subtle and screamed, “Golf anyone?” His teeth gleamed, but not in a Ross Gellar way. His smile was mischievous and his eyes sparkled from 20-feet away.
Hello Mr. Harrison.
For the next 48 minutes, Our Host spoke about his new book, as well as the franchise. The majority of the evening was Q&A. Let the record show that Harrison never picked me to answer my Q,, but he did pick darling Emily (an IHGB reader!) who was standing right next to me. Emily asked the question of all questions:
“Are you dating anyone?”
A hush fell over the crowd. Harrison knew that if he even mentioned a previous bachelorettte whose name begins with “D,” he would have a riot on his hands. He said something generic and safe. Bottom line: He claims he doesn’t have time to date.
Harrison had us in the palm of his hand. He is as smart and witty as we all want him to be on the show. There were several times he had the audience laughing hysterically. Since I take my job seriously, and I know some of you need SERIOUS details, I recorded the entire exchange. I will share my findings in a post later this week.
After indulging his fans, Joe Book Store grabbed Harrison and serpentined him through the masses to a tall table in the back of the store with a wall of The Perfect Letter books behind him. A woman screamed for us to get in line based on the color of our wrist bands. Because Mrs. Some Guy is so savvy, she knew to come to Barnes & Noble BEFORE the event to secure a wristband so we wouldn’t be last in line. SGIA and I stood a few people back from the front of the queue. A woman made us write our name on a Post-It so Harrison would not have to waste precious time asking randos how to spell their weird names. I watched the people in front of me and became very nervous because the line was moving really, really fast. The PR ladies worked the line like there was no tomorrow.
Suddenly, it’s my turn. PR Lady #1 grabbed my phone for picture taking. PR Lady #2 grabbed my book and walked it over to Harrison. I followed my book. Harrison’s head was down because he was already scribbling “To: Lincee” before I even made eye contact. I chose this moment to transition into legitimate dork mode.
Okay, let me stop right there. I opened with “hi” because I didn’t know what to call him. Harrison was on the tip of my tongue, but it felt too casual. Mr. Harrison felt lame. So in a clutch decision, I decided to drop all names and just go with a generic “hi.”
Lincee: I don’t know if you remember me. I am the blogger? I Hate Green Beans?
Harrison’s head jerked up and he squinted at me. HE SQUINTED! Even through slit lids, I could tell his eyes were mesmerizing. I pushed through, even though my knees were a bit weak, and started to full on babble. The squint concerned me. Something wasn’t firing for him, so I kept rambling.
Lincee: You invited me out to Women Tell All a long, long time ago with Travis Stork?
Harrison: Uh-huh… (Still squinting, looking at my name on my Post-It.)
Lincee: I also came out to Women Tell All and was in the green room with Groban? You may know him as Ben?
Harrison: Right, right…
It was obvious that Harrison was trying to place me, but he couldn’t. Suddenly, I knew what’s stumping him.
Lincee: I wrote your book review for The Associated Press!
Harrison: YES! IT’S YOU! We were talking about you in the limo yesterday!
Apparently, Harrison’s entourage was confused by my name. Was I the girl who wrote the AP review or the girl with the green bean blog? I’M BOTH! Harrison’s eyes were twinkling. I leaned against the table for support. SGIA may have offered me his arm. I’m not sure. The moment was too surreal and a little overwhelming. Especially when he wrote this in my book:
And if that wasn’t enough, Our Host says this:
Harrison: I thought you lived in Houston.
Shhhhhhhhhuuuuuuuuuuttttttttttt uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuppppppppppp. He knows where I live?!
Lincee: I came to Austin to have you sign my book. I’m staying with my friend Some Guy.
Everyone shakes hands and makes small talk. A HUGE THANK YOU to Mrs. Some Guy for snapping her own pictures of the blessed event, because PR Lady #1 was officially dropping the ball.
I handed Harrison an IHGB t-shirt to sign. He scribbles his name right under the logo.
Lincee: Great. Your autograph is directly on my right boob.
Harrison [laughing]: So sorry. You can tell people I signed your boob if you want.
Lincee: Thanks for the permission, Harrison, but I was already going to tell people that.
We hugged it out, snapped a few photos and I drank in his aroma. He smelled of tobacco, peppermint and adventure. Then we brooded once we learned Harrison had plans to paint the town with Hotter Than Crap Brad Womack. No doubt they painted it beige.
I tried to slip him my digits, but PR Lady #2 was watching me like a hawk. I decided for one more quick hug, sniff and then a hearty wave. I was a giddy mess after. This is me and SGIA after the meet-n-greet. You can’t tell, but he’s trying to get me to calm down.
The night ended with live music at The Broken Spoke. I danced. I sipped. I basked. It totally filled my bucket.
Thank you to Emily, Betsy, Noelle, Jane and KD for seeking me out at the signing. Meeting each of you was one of the highlights of the night!
Thank you Mrs. Some Guy for talking me off the ledge moments before entering Barnes & Noble, as well as taking so many pictures to document the night. I love this one of me and my BFF Chris Harrison solving problems of the world.
Thank you SGIA for a great after party.
And thanks to everyone who shared my excitement through social media. It’s a day I’ll never forget! Chris Harrison will forever be Our Host!