Like a lot of other first times, I wanted this one to be perfect. I could just imagine it: the lights, the music, the energy and thrill of it all. But also like a lot of things in life, things didn’t exactly go according to plan.

The show starts at 11:00, and one of my favorite bands, Florida Georgia Line, is opening. So I text my friend Rob around 9:30 “You ready to go?” You could have written a book in the time it took him to reply. Finally, he texts back:
“Car broke down. Might not make it. :(“

For a sample of this awesome band, check out this video

Are you kidding me?! How can anything possibly go wrong tonight, of all nights? So, I decide to call Rob and tell him I’ll pick him up. No answer. I call again, leave a voicemail, and finally hear back from him around 10:15. At this point, I’m trying hard to bite my tongue and all but grinding my teeth to dust with anxiety.

So, I get in the car and manage to drive to Rob’s house. By this point, it’s 10:30 or so, and any chance of tailgating outside with the FGL guys is pretty much gone. I punch the pedal, and we end up rolling up into the venue around 10:45.

“I’m starving,” Rob whines.

You could be dead, I think to myself, quite easily. I give him a granola bar mom made me put in the car three days ago when I went to sleep at a friend’s house. “For an emergency,” she said. I am so glad I reluctantly listened.

So, we get inside, and Rob is just moseying on in, taking his time, like nothing ever happened. I am somewhere between grumpy and just plain inconsolable when the most amazing thing occurs. I see a bunch of people huddled in the distance, and they’re all cheering for something–or maybe someone–in the center.

“What’s going on?”

A tall, thin guy with no hair turns and looks at me. At first, I think he’s going to push me away from whatever awesomeness is clearly in the middle. But then, he answers in a gravelly voice.

“Florida-Georgia Line. They’re signing autographs. Not for much longer, though.”

I half-walk, half-push past bald guy, and try to get me some huddle action. In the middle, Tyler is standing there with his signature long hair and signing this teenage girl’s merch. I finally get to the center…and realize I have nothing to sign. Well, this is embarrassing.

“Um, hi. You sign this granola bar wrapper?”
No lie. This is actually how my sentence came out. Well, more or less. I was too wrapped up in my own clumsiness and stupidity in the moment to remember verbatim. Anyway, my embarrassing moment aside, Tyler just laughs and smiles as he takes the granola bar wrapper.

Why couldn’t I think of anything better to sign? Or to say? Of course I would blow my first major interaction with a celeb. I sighed and decided to just take things as they came that night.