My friend and I were in a practice round for our upcoming golf tournament so we were very focused. But then we noticed a lot of commotion on the adjacent tee box. I looked up and saw him, my heart started racing and I walked away from a par Putt.
My partner giggled and I heard her say, “You are too funny, it’s Barack, there you go again.” And I knew she understood. When I walked over to get a closer look I was separated by golf carts and secret service. I had no intention of crowding his personal space so that was fine. He was teeing off. I stood deferentially distanced and watched. I think that’s what superfans do.
I used to tell my son, I never quite understood the superfan thing and it made me nervous to think there could be such a thing. But at his Timeflies shows I watched and was overwhelmed by the fans screaming and then lining up to meet him. And even wilder sometimes the fans would want to meet me and talk to me and even ask to hug me because I was his mom. I saw how sweet and excited they were. These were superfans. I watched him interact with those fans. He was humbled and grateful.
It turns out, in my 50’s I became a superfan and it wasn’t too late to adopt all the defining characteristics. I know how to give people their space and I don’t swoon. But I do blush. My heart rate does accelerate and like on the putting green, my priorities are unconsciously non-negotiable. I mean I walked away from a possible par putt. That says a lot.
When asked who I would have at my fantasy table of 10, you know the name 10 people you would invite from history to your dining room table. I’m good with a table for 2 or 3, with Barack or Michelle and Barack. I don’t need to fill the other seats.
This week, there’s been a lot of buzz on Martha’s Vineyard about Barack’s birthday. He’s throwing a party for his 60’th and it’s no secret. He is loved and the celebs are pouring in. Bruce, Oprah and Clooney and Alicia Keys to name a few and I couldn’t be happier for him.
And so, as I watched him quietly tee off from the green, he looked up for a quick moment, struck the ball dead center, hit a spectacular down the fairway drive, paused and then looked me right in the eye, smiled and waved to me. I waved back. And then he stepped forward still smiling with full eye contact. “I wanted to wish you a happy birthday and I hope you have a great celebration,” I said. And he graciously nodded and I he continued, “Would you like to come?”
Oops, well maybe that wasn’t exactly what he said. And then I snapped back into reality and what he was saying was, “Thank you.”
I was thrilled with the thank you. It was perfect.
And I thought what I would like to say to him if he lingered a little longer. I would say, “Happy birthday Barack Obama. I’m so glad you are celebrating on our beautiful island of Martha’s Vineyard. I’m so glad you are celebrating with your “A” list of super stars who I would love to meet of course. It’s so ok that I won’t be at your birthday party. I’m just glad you are healthy and well and I am forever grateful for all you have done for our country and the sacrifices you have made. You have taught me so much and now we share the same decade!
A toast to you Barack Obama. Life is truly Better After 50!