It was 5:17 pm when I got a call from W*, my poker buddy, former ad salesman and local music magnate. He was on his way to a meeting with JR, and asked if I wanted to come along. W's sneaky like that.
He'd emailed me a few days prior, extolling the virtues of young master JR and casually mentioning that the poor boy was having a bit of trouble getting shows together. I tried to ignore the bait, as I generally do when I hear that valid but common complaint, and I busied myself by going over the 419 things I needed to get done for my current clients. But then, as I was innocently checking my MySpace messages, I ran smack into an email from JR's friend/manager-type-guy, chock full of links to JR's debut album. Curiosity got the better of me, and I clicked. I listened. I promptly sent an expletive-laden email back to W., cursing him out for having the gall to drop a really, really talented songwriter on me. Now what was I supposed to do, say no thanks and watch him wander off to another agent who would recognize his talent and set up a 50-city tour but pay no attention to whether or not he owned a decent parka?
So when W called, I was torn. Not only was I unsure if I could commit to another artist, but I also had to get to my daughter's PTA meeting half an hour later. The wardrobe decision alone was nearly enough to keep me at home - how could I possibly find something to wear that would suit both scenarios? Was there anything in my closet that simultaneously said "culturally aware" (read: young) and "maternally responsible" (read: able to locate Band-Aids in less than 3 seconds)? But I threw caution - and my mom shorts - to the wind and agreed to meet W and JR for coffee.
From the minute I saw his bedheaded silhouette, I knew I was done for. Maybe if all songslingers didn't look like 8-year-old boys, I'd have an easier time telling them that no, they'll just have to take care of their careers themselves. The meeting itself was as fruitful as possible, considering the normal level of awkwardness between two people who've never met yet have had other people trying to hook them up for the last week. Considering JR and I are both married, that's not a situation we're accustomed to these days. W earned his nickname of The Great Facilitator (okay, I don't know if anyone calls him that, but they should) and somehow managed to plan out the next six months of our lives, all in the course of one bottle of green tea. Of course, maybe he didn't realize he was planning out that far, but that's how long it takes to set up a decent tour. Just as I was about to issue my slow sigh of contented resignation, I realized it was time to pack up my briefcase/diaper bag and head off to the PTA meeting.
Life lesson of the day: the PTA doesn't recognize "club time"; they actually start meetings when they say they will. It's hard to be a very secretive agent when you're creeping in the squeaky front door right in the middle of the cookie dough fundraiser briefing.
* Look, I'm still deciding how anonymous to be, or at least how much privacy to give other people. Give me a week and I'll probably be giving names, cell phone numbers and SAT scores.