I was so looking forward to performing at the Hoboken Italian Festival, Friday, September 9, 2011! I love singing outdoors at free concerts...there is just a different vibe of joy in the air. Maybe because it's free? No. Because people love to gather and celebrate with music. I was specifically looking forward to it because some of the cast ot the Style Network's Jerseylicious were hosting the show: Anthony - hairstylist & "everybody's uncle", Tracy - beautiful hairstylist and Olivia's nemesis. I wish they would just stop fighting, but I admit it's somewhat entertaining to see them just hate each other. (Psychologically, I think they see in each other what they despise within themselves, but that's a whole other blog), Gigi -the most adorable hairstylist whom everyone just loves, and Doria, make up artist and part of my Chunky but Funky club..she sees things as they are. She celebrates her curves and I love it! I am a deeply intellectual woman who loves dramas, documentaries and anything pertaining to the spirit, however, watching Jerseylicious is my absolute guilty pleasure - I'm so hooked!
The Quiet One (who's still in the picture - we just celebrated our four month-iversary!) was going to come to the show, but he'd gotten back from work too late so he passed. But I was expecting some of my classmates from Zumba class, including our instructor, Jeannine Severino. As soon as I got there, the fierce enemy of all women's hair began it's attack on me: the Humidity Beast! It began its full-fledged attack on my hair a soon as I walked out of the limo. I immediately saw Cynthia, George Lamond and Fascination. Performing with them is like performing with family. I always know it's going to be a good show because we're in good company. I saw a man who looked familiar. "Heyyyyyy!! How are ya? What's going on? You look good," I yelled out to him. Then I realized, I feel like I know this man, but from where? Duh. Duh. It was Anthony from Jerseylicious, lol. That deja vu feeling was from seeing him on the show. I felt like an idiot calling out to him as if we were best buddies, but he took it like a champ. Anthony proceeded to tell me how much he loves my music and how excited he was to introduce me on stage. We took a couple of pictures together, and then I was introduced to Tracy, but I didn't see Gigi...I know I sound like a stalker, but it's all good. I have no shame. Tracy was very graceful, actually, she was far kinder than she appears on the show. I secretly wished she would fix my hair as I began to look more and more like Chaka Khan as the night grew.
...and so Anthony introduced me and there I was, frizzy hair and all. I brought my 80's goodie bag to show the audience. The bag was filled with Aqua Net, Drakkar Cologne, a Sony walkman, a cassette tape along with a no.2 pencil and of course, the prehistoric 12" record. The crowd loved it and I continued to sing. It was SO hot and humid on stage that I was distracted. All I kept thinking was, 'Oh, my God, it's so freakin' hot! Ugh, I can't even breathe, I can't hear myself either.' And then I could bear it no longer and removed my light jacket. The crowd howled - don't know why. I guess they enjoy seeing the wings of fat under my arms or the cute little love handles across my back, lol. Either way, it was a fun show.
Afterward I was invited by Jeannine & my zumba friends to go have a drink. I could have attended the afterparty,but honestly, my feet were killing me and I just wanted to sit. On our way to find a bar, a fan asked me to sing Stay to her. I was in a good mood, so I sang it to her, and she was so appreciative. It was a very sweet moment. And then I heard a very loud voice, "Judyyyy!! Girlfriend, you better not leave without saying hello." To my surprise, it was Doria from Jerseylicious, my chunky but funky new friend! She was SO cool. We talked about being plus sized and the challenges that come with it. And then she said, "Girl we need to get together and talk. You know that new show called Big Sexy? We need to get our own show, hello!!!" She was smart, sassy and I really liked her - we exchanged numbers and texted each other for an hour. Very cool. So then my zumba friends and I searched different places in Hoboken and finally ended up at Texas Arizona, a local Hoboken bar. There were about 6 women and 2 men from class and we all were talking. At one point, I looked around and we were all laughing. I just felt a real sense that I had made new friends. I love my close circle of friends, but it is always good to step outside of your comfort zone.
My one-drink-promise with them had been made, I was tired and I needed to get home. I had called the Quiet One to tell him I was stopping for a drink with my zumba friends and that I'd call him when I got home. A ride home was offered to me by one of the guys from class - he lives nearby me so I said okay. While he was driving me home, he asked me if my boyfriend would mind a man driving me home. And I said, "No, he would be fine with it...he's not the jealous type." At least that's what the Quiet One told me. When I got home, I called the Quiet One - it was almost 2 in the morning. I told him of my adventures and he listened half awake. The next day, when he was more alert, I told him everything, including the guy driving me home. He was fine. He was fine with it all. He told me, "I trust you, Judy. I will only get jealous if you give me a reason. you have the right to your friends, to have fun, to hang out with them, and you shouldn't have worried about getting home late. It's fine. We all need that sometimes." Wow. I realized that I have grown accustomed to the "Where the hell were you? Who were you with? Why didn't you ask me if he could drive you home? Why did you get home so late?". I realized almost once a week that I'm still shedding myself of my old baggage. I just remember laying my head down with a smile on my face. Life is good.