I want so badly to be cool about this and blasé and jaded and say whatever, we met Betty Buckley tonight, it was fine. No big deal. But I can't.
Since I moved to New York City three years ago (!), I've been able to count on two constants: my good dear friend SarahB, and seeing Betty Buckley at Feinstein's. Lucky the twain shall meet: SarahB and I saw Betty perform at Feinstein's in 2009 (the year she sang "Meadowlark" to me), 2008 (the year we played bumpkins at the Regency with Ravinia Bob), and 2007 (the year it all started).
But in 2010 we cranked things up a peg, because this is the year, along with SarahB, that I met Betty Buckley at Feinstein's.
(Embarrassingly, this is the same shirt I was wearing two years ago, so you can tell I did not expect to have my picture taken standing next to Betty Buckley. Also, it's a hideous shirt, but now I can never throw it away.)
Can you tell how excited my face was?
Anyway. When I moved back to Madison from Chicago in 2000 (the year I turned 30 and tried convincing myself I wanted to lead a life I didn't actually want to lead), I listened to Betty Buckley sing "Meadowlark" every morning on my way to work. For six months I listened to that voice singing that song, and I won't say that it saved my life—it wouldn't be true, and nobody deserves that sort of burden—but it was a guidepost. Something in it, the combination of that voice and that song, helped define for me who and what and where I did and did not want to be, and to imagine that somehow a different sort of life was possible. And it turns out that it was.
To this day there are few singers whose voices I trust to tell me a true story more than Betty Buckley. And all I can say for that is thank you.