It was Saturday, May 14th. Finally. A night off - first one in months. You see, I usually have club gigs and concerts on Saturdays, and when I don't, I sing with the band, Mirage. So I had a couple of invitations: one to see France Joli at Eve Ultra Lounge in S.I., and the other to see George Lamond perform at Euro Lounge, in North Arlington, NJ. France is one of my favorite singers! To this day, whenever I hear "Heart to Break the Heart," I still can't hold the note as long as she can, lol. She and I became friends when we had a show together & she found out I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis - her sister was diagnosed with it too. I wanted to see her, but since the friends I was supposed to go with never called me, I decided to keep it local.
Frankie Vasquez, Euro Lounge's deejay, invited me & promised me tapas (Spanish hors d'oeuvres)...how could I decline? When I got there, I sat and enjoyed my tapas, chatted with Frankie, and the proceeded to the bathroom. The bathroom is always such a fascinating place to me. I know it sounds so wrong on so many levels, but either I find answers to my questions in life while I'm there, or I find inspiration for writing a new song...or I hear things that I wouldn't think of ever hearing. For example, I've gone to clubs to sing and have had to use the bathroom, and after all I am human. I'd be in the stall with the door closed and hearng things like, "Oh, my God, I can't wait to see Judy Torres perform!" or "What the heck was she wearing?" - it's a cool place to be indeed.
This particular night, I was in the stall, and heard the following comments:
"Oh, my God...look at this hair! Ugh!"
"God, I wish I wore I different bra...look at this!"
"Well, I'll have to wear a jacket over this, look at this flab."
I couldn't take it anymore. I bursted out of the stall. Okay, I opened the door, but I wanted to bust out. And I told the women, "This is crazy foolishness. I have heard nothing in the last five minutes but women dogging themselves, putting themselves down. Why? Why do we do this to ourselves? I bet you the men are not standing at the urinals saying to one another, "Oh, my God...look at my t-shirt. It doesn't even match my eyes. And ugh, these love handles!" Did we not put in the extra effort to make ourselves look our best? Are we not here to have a good time?" The women laughed, and we began to exchange stories about weight loss surgeries, and make up. Before you know it, a few women were around me as I showed them the secret to getting the perfect smokey natural eye, lol. And you know what? I was having a ball in that bathroom. Why? I needed the girl banter, and it was because no one knew it was me...I KNEW that we were just a whole bunch of girls having fun. And then a woman walked in.
"Oh!!! Oh, my God."
I'm thinking, 'Nooo...noooo don't say it.'
"It's Judy Torres! I love love you!"
My cover was blown. LOL.
I am thrilled by her reaction. Please don't get me wrong. It always feels wonderful to be recognized (as long as I'm not in yesterday's hairstyle, throwing out the garbage) - but that night, I just wanted to be Judy. Either way, she was a cool person, and invited me to hang out with her friends. I thought it was actually a nice idea. She bought me a drink. I told her not to - they'd give it to me for free, lol, but she insisted. As I drank my raspberry cosmpolitan, we were introduced and began to chat. The music was GREAT, and when music is great, I cannot stay in my seat. So we got up to dance, and I secretly prayed my straight hair would not betray me and go curly. I had to take a moment and sit because I knew my hair was beginning it's Chaka Khan transformation, like the Incredible Hulk when he is angry. So as I sat down, I looked around & see this woman's tag from her dress just screaming for attention. I believe as women we must look out for one another. If there is toilet tissue on the bottom of the shoe; if the zipper is open, if the tag is hanging outside when it should be inside...tell her!! That goes for men too, actually. so I walked over to her, and whispered in her ear. "Don't worry. Just fixing the tag." She thanked me and I walked away. Shortly after, I noticed one of the gentlemen who was with my new-found bathroom friend, was dancing while sitting in his chair. "Why are you dancing sitting down?" He smiled and shrugged his shoulders. I got up, took his hand. "Come on, let's dance."
The music was great, and I really didn't want to sit down. I was gratefull for the shoes I'd chosen to wear. They were kind to my feet, and my feet were eternally grateful. I was able to dance...and dance...and dance. As he and I were dancing...oh, I forgot I've got to give him a name, huh? I'll call him the Quiet One for now. I began to wonder if the Quiet One was dancing with me because he was just indulging my request, or if it was that he was really enjoying himself. I asked him a few questions here and there, and went to get another drink. We sat down. A man walked up to me and handed me a rose. "Judy, this is to thank you for your music." Awww...that was so sweet. Just then the women at the table said, "That is so cool...don't you love that?" I responded, "Yes, it's pretty awesome, but it's been a long time since I've gotten a rose just because." I know everyone thinks I have men in line for me, but that is so the antithesis of the truth. Antithesis...such a great word! Ooh, I'm mildly excited, lol. Big words excite me, lol. Okay, I strayed. Back to the subject.
George Lamond finally arrived and I went to the back to say hello. "What are you doing here?" I laughed and told him I had a night off. "You're looking good, Judy! What have you been doing?" My answer: "Zumba..it's all about Zumba. I am addicted! I love it!" I appreciated the compliment.And yes, since I believe the end of March or so, I have lost 23 pounds. I lost this weight because I love Zumba - NOT because my manager insisted on it. And yes, I have a lot to go, but I'm content with me right now. I have great cardio stamina, more energy..and knowing I have multiple sclerosis...I feel better that my health is in a better place. George asked me to sing Don't Stop Believin' with him. YES!!! I love singing with George - he is a true vocalist. And I love harmony...the harmony in that song is sick (sick in a good way)!
The time came and he called me up onstage to sing...and my stupid microphone was not working. Ah, man!!!! Darn. George was gracious (he's a gentleman always) enough to share his mic with me. During his performance, a few people asked to take pictures with me. I told them I would but after his show. I consider it highly disrespectful to take pictures while someone else is performaing. Everyone was so kind. The people who go to Euro are just wonderful, mature and open people. As I went to the bar to get water, this guy says to me, "Please take a picture with me...wow, my girlfriend is going to be so jealous." So I take the picture and ask him, "Why didn't you bring your girlfriend here?" His response? "Because I knew I was going to meet you." Wowwwww...lol.
The night was sadly coming to an end. Last call for alcohol was announced, and the lights came up. The woman who's tag I tucked back into her dressed thanked me again. She made me laugh when she joked that she would always remember that Judy Torres fixed her tag. We are now actually communicating on facebook...which I think is pretty cool. So the Quiet One walks up to me. I'm wondering if he'll ask me for my number.
"Well, Judy, it was so nice to meet you."
Ask me, come on...ask me.
"Guess I'll see you around?"
Nooooo...don't go without asking me, idiot!!!!
And then I did what I promised I wouldn't do anymore: I sugggested. I hinted.
"Maybe we can do coffee sometime?"
"Yeah, that would be cool. What's your number?"
Ding, ding, ding...and the crowd in my mind cheers!
Although I was happy, I wondered if I "forced" something to happen, and that's the last thing I wanted to do. But he did contact me the following day, and we are going to have our first date very soon. I'll keep you posted. All in all, even if that didn't happen at all, I have to say I had Saturday Night fever...and I had so much fun! Thank you, Euro Lounge people!! (www.euroloungecafe.com)