Maddie And Mark Meet Lauren Alaina At The Southern Christmas Show
My step-son Mark has a touchy stomach, much like his brothers and when it gets out of whack things tend to get ugly. Tuesday we arrived at the Southern Christmas Show (or as I like to call it Extreme Waterboarding) about 10 in the morning ready to make a day of it. This show is designed to help the Scrooges among us cavort in ecstasy at the very thought of Christmas to come.
I'd just as soon go to the dentist, but Mark loves it and since he is handicapped I go every single year so he can go .... and I never complain. Right.
We all ate an early breakfast and Mark had oatmeal which normally holds him a long time. Unfortunately, not long enough. I drank coffee all day, but about three or so I got a "puff dog" from a vendor and split it with him. A puff dog is like a pig in a blanket but three times as large and six times as greasy. Thirty minutes later Mark was hot and sweating. By four o'clock we were out at the van in the parking lot taking a second look at the both the "puff' and the "dog" if you know what I mean.
After the festivities had subsided, Mark lay back in the seat and took a nap. I was about to join him when I heard the barking. That's the ring tone I set on my phone for my wife's calls. That ringtone was hilarious for about a year until she called me once when I was right behind her in the mall. It seemed to lose it's tickle factor pretty fast. Anyway.....
"How is Mark?" she asked.
"Asleep right now," I said. "Thanks for the crappy advice about feeding him the puff dog."
"What? I can't hear you," she said.
"I said 'thanks for the advice, he's sleeping like a log'."
"That woman is here, from American Idol, you know the one....."
"Paula Abdul?" I asked. With my wife you never know.
"No, idiot. The one who almost won this year, Lauren Alaina." She's so sweet when I tick her off. "Maddie's loving it!"
Maddie is our middle granddaughter and really, really liked Lauren on this years show.
"I guess Mark's not up to coming back in?" she said.
She was wrong, he would have gone back if the place had been on fire.
So here we go, Mark back in the chair, then I run through the parking lot pushing him to the doors where I show my ticket stubs and we'e back in ...... on the lower level and THEN I ran up the ramp to the area where the stage is and the crowd is so dense Mark can't see a thing. Rats!
Mark can stand with my assistance and he was able to briefly peek through the crowd but really it was pretty bad. I moved him around and finally found a spot where he could sort of see, and when she finished the song a line formed to get autographs.
As the line inched forward, flashes lit up the area and I saw a woman I originally thought was Lauren having her picture made. I decided that she looked older than she did on TV, then realized I was looking at Lauren's mom. Duh! I watched her interact with the crowd and she was very personable with all the folks in the line.
Eventually, I realized that Lauren's father was at the head of the line watching over his daughter. Good for him, she's only 17! I noticed someone from the show, or possibly the local radio station talking to him. I've learned to read lips because i don't hear so well and so I figured out what went on. The person talking to Lauren's father wanted to cut the line off somewhere behind us but well shy of the end.
He was having none of that and I clearly read the words "No, I feel sorry for the people who are waiting in that line...." I don't think they stopped the line, I saw no evidence of it.
As Maddie and her father got to the front, I grabbed my iPhone.
"Maddie loved you on American Idol."
"Oh my God, she's so cute!" Lauren said.
Lauren and Maddie made the above photo and Maddie's father said "And this is Maddie's Uncle Mark." I rolled Mark in and turned him around for a picture.
"Mark is not feeling well," I said as I put him in position. "In fact we were already in the car when he found out you were here and he had to come back in."
"Mark," she said. "That's so sweet." She bent down so I could get a shot.
I stepped back in to get Mark and she hugged him, twice. I know you're not supposed to judge folks, but I often do judge people by the way they treat Mark. Mr. and Mrs Alaina have done an excellent job with their very talented daughter and they are great role models. You don't see that all the time.
On the way out Maddie agreed to one more celebrity photo op. Not sure who this guy is but he sure doesn't seem to be having a Blue Christmas!