CINCINNATI — It's that magic moment. Imagine Prince Charming slipping the perfect-fitting slipper onto Cinderella's foot. Suddenly, all is right with the world, and Cindy is going to be better than OK.
That moment for me came Sunday night, when I walked into PNC Pavilion in Cincinnati, took my seat in the exact center of the front row and watched as Daryl Hall walked on stage. OK, John Oates also was on stage, but all I saw was Hall.
He gave me a nod and a laugh after reading a sign I had brought with me, and then launched into the Hall & Oates classic Maneater.
I had waited more than 30 years for this moment.
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I've been a Hall & Oates fan since the late '70s, but I didn't go to my first H&O concert until 1984. Since then, I have seen the duo at least a dozen times, most recently last September. But Sunday was my first time sitting in the front row.
It was different than the other times I'd seen H&O. I often found myself standing still, mouth agape at what I was seeing and hearing.
But then I would be snapped back to reality by Hall pointing at me or tilting his head and smiling in my direction. I think he got a kick out of me being in the front row. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it.)
Let's remember, Sunday was Mother's Day. I am a mom of three, ages 8 to 14.
But I had left my favorite trio for my favorite duo, which I said on my sign: "I left my kids on Mother's Day to be here." My kids were horrified. I was overjoyed. I love my kids but, let's face it, I see them every day.
Besides, I had worked for those tickets. As a member of the H&O fan club, I got online March 27 with two computers at the ready, waiting for tickets to go on sale at exactly 10 a.m. In about 15 seconds, the best seats in the house were mine.
(I didn't choose electronic tickets. I ordered honest-to-goodness paper tickets — the kind I got autographed when I ran into Hall — OK, stalked him — before a concert in Louisville in the '90s.)
Sunday's front-row crowd wasn't what I imagined. With the exception of one fan, I was easily the youngest by a decade. Many said they would sit due to bad knees or bursitis or some other late-middle-age ailment.
I wasn't going to let them bring me down. I claimed my spot at the edge of the stage and jumped, danced and sang my heart out. By the show's end, I was a sweaty mess.
My husband, Paul, enjoyed the show, but his primary job was to hold my stuff. Hall must have noticed, because he tossed the only guitar pick he used directly to Paul — probably as a reward for putting up with my antics.
When the concert was over and the band was saying its goodbyes, Hall looked in my direction, walked over to me and grabbed my right hand. His 67-year-old grip was good and strong. I was so excited, I almost threw up.
Sunday night was pure bliss. I'm betting this euphoric feeling follows me around for a while.