They say…

I’m about to write a sentence many of you probably never thought I would write on my beloved blog.

I met He Who Must Not Be Named on Friday night.

Introducing a 24-hour continuous loop of alternating angry chick music and “They Say Love Don’t Come Easy” (which is actually titled “It Don’t Take That Long”) on my iPod, I was able to see straight through his charm, charisma, bad boy tattoos, perfectly yet casual coiffed hair, jeans that fit in all the right places, aw shucks grin, rugged good looks…

Where was I going with this?

Oh right. Loathing. Unabashed loathing.

It all started with a sweet birthday shout out from my dear friend Some Guy in Austin:

The second special shout out this week goes to my good friend, Lincee Ray, the delightfully funny author of www.ihategreenbeans.com. November 4 was her birthday and she was overwhelmed with joy when I presented her with her gift. What was it? Well, nothing but the best for my friend, Lincee. Thanks to my immeasurable generosity, she is now the proud owner of two tickets to see Wes Hayden in concert.

Where, you ask? Toyota Center? Reliant Stadium? The Astrodome? Nope. Finger’s Furniture Store on the Gulf Freeway in Houston. That’s right. Wes is playing a furniture store on the side of the freeway on Friday, November 12 from 5-7 in order to kick off their “Main Event” sale. Oh, and it’s also a free show. Don’t believe me? See for yourself.

http://www.fingerfurniture.com/?pg=news&newsId=8.

Amazing what being on a reality dating show can do for a music career, isn’t it? Good job, Wes. Congratulations on your furniture store gig and congrats on being the prequel to the main event, which happens to be a furniture sale. You’re welcome, Lincee. I’ll look forward to getting your birthday gift to me next month. Have fun.

Isn’t he a dear? What thoughtful gift. I will cherish the sentiment forever. He definitely raised the bar. It’s going to be hard to top a free concert. I’m thinking paper table coasters from Chili’s or my impressive ketchup packet collection from Chick-Fil-A. Perhaps I’ll have a ball that says “2011” drop from Time’s Square on New Year’s Eve in his honor. Decisions, decisions. I’m sure I’ll think of something brilliant when December 4 rolls around.

Let’s start the story in the parking lot, shall we? After fighting an hour of north bound Friday afternoon still adjusting from the time change can’t drive in rain traffic on 59, I turned onto the Gulf Freeway and was greeted to this glorious sign on the horizon.

Due to the grown-up obligations of my 8 to 5 job and the hour long commute of crazy drivers in Houston, my friend Keri and I had already missed an hour of the show. We bustled inside Fingers and were greeted by a spunky sales girl who immediately asked us if we were there for the Wes Hayden concert.

Confused and a tad bit irritated by the assumption, I looked at my friend and down at my attire. What? Was I just SCREAMING reality show groupie or something? Did the denim jacket and worn boots give me away as some He Who Must Not Be Named fan club president? I’m from East Texas. This is the uniform they assign us in first grade to wear the rest of our lives.

I was just about to tell the spunky sales girl that no I was NOT in the mood for an acoustic concert by some random wannabe country artist. I was concocting a response that involved an overly priced bookcase, abstract works of wall art and a red pleather sofa when Keri pointed to the camera around my neck and black Sharpie in my hand. Yes. We were indeed there to see the man on the marquee.

She ushered us down some stairs which deposited us into the Fingers Furniture mega showroom. Low and behold, among a sea of barcaloungers, sat He Who Must Not Be Named in a lone dining room chair beside a wooden accent table from the classic living section of the family room department. He was holding his guitar and drinking what appeared to be wine from a clear plastic cup. There was a rather large “WELCOME WES HAYDEN” sign above his head, but I was more distracted by the cartoon people who were painted on the backdrop to look like average Joe paparazzi.

I hang back a bit, assessing my surroundings. There are two girls on a sectional sofa who have Wes Hayden t-shirts on. I’m going to guess they are his cousins. One girl knows the words to the song he’s singing at that moment! Clearly, she’s a sister. Another has the equivalent of a bridesmaid dress on with the same cool shoes that Carrie wore when she was going on her last New York date with Mr. Big but was later called away because Miranda was in labor and then her water broke on said cool shoes. I’m guessing this is his agent or publicist.

He finishes a song from his third album (who knew he had three?) when he asks if anyone has a request. Before the “crowd” can answer, he says, “Because if you do, write it on the back of a $20 and we’ll play it.”

Bah dum bump.

A sweet little old lady in the front asks if he knows “Don’t Close Your Eyes” by Keith Whitley. “I sure do.”

Then he plays a song from his second album. And another one he wrote a few days ago about his ex-girlfriend.

A quick transition of chords and we hear the familiar twang of the closest thing we have ever come to a Bachelor theme song, excluding Jeffery Osborne’s “On the Wings of Love” of course.

HWMNBN intros his number one hit in Chihuahua, Mexico by saying that this particular little ditty helped pay the bills and the rental fee on his portable shed for several months thanks to the producers making him sing it over and over and over again on the show.

I was in awe as I watched the audience that consisted of literally dozens of people swaying to the tune. I found a fake ficus tree and pretended to dry heave in the leaves. The bridesmaid did not find this amusing.

He closed to a smattering of applause. I refrained from rolling my eyes and he again asked if anyone had any requests.

It was either the dementia setting in or the little old lady was full of pluck because she asked him again if he could play Keith Whitley’s haunting tune. Wes gave her a high wattage grin, apologized for not singing it 20 minutes before when she had originally requested it.

I was distracted by the lady who had just walked up with a new born and was wondering if she was going to ask HWMNBN to sign her baby. Even in that moment of not really paying attention, I realized that something was not right.

Keri is an aficionado of all things country music. Within two notes, she was already shaking her head, embarrassed for the major furniture store and their one night show star.

HWMNBN: “Wait. This is George Strait’s THE CHAIR. Sorry. I don’t know the Keith Whitley song.”

Hayden laughs it off, winks at the old lady and then asks the audience if we want him to play another or hang out with him for a while. Bridesmaid lady (aka agent) wants him to sing. I will have none of this. I wolf whistle and shout that we want autographs, Keri chants “meet-n-greet” and the girls wearing the Wes Hayden t-shirts join in.

I’m not about to leave this place without a picture to put on my blog.

He laughs, puts his guitar down and meanders over to the product table.

I grab my camera, Sharpie and the hand of my friend and we wait in line. That’s when my throat got thick and I began getting hot and sweaty.

What was I going to say? “Hi! My name is Lincee. I write a blog. You are pretty notorious. In fact, I refuse to use your name! I pretty much loathe you. Will you take a picture with me?”

Perhaps I should use an alias? Should I mention the name of my website?

It’s my turn. I walk up to him. He’s tall, dark and handsome. And he freaking smells good.

This does not bode well for the loathing plan. I take a deep breath…

“Hi! My name is Lincee. I write a blog. You are pretty notorious. In fact, I refuse to use your name! I used to loathe you, but you redeemed yourself in the Bachelor Pad. Will you take a picture with me?”

“Sure darlin’. I’d be happy to.”

“One more question. Do you mind posing with this Dr Pepper?”

“Well that’s a strange request. Anything for a fan!”

Now I’m giggling like a school girl. HE WILL NOT SUCK ME IN WITH HIS CHARM! I REFUSE TO BE BRAINWASHED!

Back in the car, I channel my inner Alanis Morissette during her Jagged Little Pill years. There’s nothing like a mash up of “They Say Love Don’t Come Easy” and “You Oughta Know” running through your head all night long.

And a year’s supply of Dr Pepper thanks to Wes Hayden is not going to help with the loathing efforts.

I’m totally going to win my own contest.

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