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Nothing compares to....

I would appreciate it very much if my favorite performers and artists would quit dying.

Prince passed away yesterday. So did the wrestler known as Chyna, Joanie Laurer. Earlier this month, it was Merle Haggard. Now, Merle Haggard was not young; he passed away on his 79th birthday. So that wasn't exactly shocking, but of course still quite sad.

Prince, however, was only 57 and Ms. Laurer just 46.

There have already been rumors that drugs may have played a role in both of those sudden deaths.

I'm not going to speculate on that, and even if that is found to be the cause for either or both, I will not pass judgment.

A couple of years ago I wrote up my "Bucket List" of musical artists I really want to see before they (or I!) die. Morbid? Perhaps. But it helps me to prioritize who to see, by keeping track of these artists' performance dates rather than just watching my local venue calendars. I'd actually never been much of a concert-goer until the last few years, and sometimes I have to force myself to work through my social anxiety to attend certain shows. Last year it was Tony Bennett with Lady Gaga at Ravinia in Highland Park, IL. I knew that show would be unbelievably packed, with everyone literally on top of each other on the lawn.... but it was likely going to be a once-in-a-lifetime event. So I pushed myself, saying if it was too much, then I'd only stay for a few songs.

Well, the weather was horrible. Overcast with a chill in the air and it rained for hours prior to the show's start. Then.... when Tony & Lady Gaga took the stage: and the skies cleared! We all came out from under our tarps & umbrellas for what turned out to be an amazing performance! I stayed for the entire show, and was so glad that I pushed myself to do it.

Now, I had to do it a certain way and have a few "comfort items" with me to not only cope, but to enjoy the experience!

People can't believe how much I cart in for just 2 or 3 people: chairs, small rolling table, tablecloth, candlesticks with real taper candles, a few battery-operated flickering candles, flatware, plates, wine glasses, serving dishes & bowls; plus lots & lots of FOOD! Oh, and because Ravinia allows guests to bring in their own alcoholic beverages: a bottle or two of organic white wine. My current favorite is Green Fin White Table Wine which I buy at Trader Joe's for less than $5.

Aren't you impressed? LMAO!

Yes, it's more "stuff" than the average person might bring but it makes me happy. And on that night, I really went all-out with a silver-plated candelabra, linen napkins, flowers, and my furry blankets to cuddle up in underneath the ugly blue tarp.

Sometimes, it really is "the little things" that can make all the difference in the world. In this case, the difference between my ability to enjoy the moment or feeling miserable and leaving before the first note was sung.

That's my approach to dates too. What some see as me being a "rules girl" or very regimented are, in actuality, what I need to be able to relax.

Because, to be completely upfront, I'm a high-strung person. Jumpy, even.

So I have learned throughout my tenure in this business, what works best to get me out of my head and into the moment. What seems non-conducive to sexy, spontaneous times are that which are necessary for my nerves.

Respect is very important to me. I respect you, your time, and your privacy. My favorite friends show me the same respect and courtesies. So when I ask you to send me a confirmation text by a certain time, and you disregard that, it can come across as disrespectful.

I also ask that you do things a very specific way upon arrival. That is a result of bad experiences: being shorted, ripped off, taken advantage of, or hurt in some way. I know that you are unlikely to do any of these things, but I didn't think that those who did them would have, either. ;-)

I mentioned in an earlier blog that I like to greet you with a kiss. This will immediately ease my tension.

But more importantly, if you pull away, that will have the opposite effect. So kiss me, you fool! LOL.

Then set down the donation and adjourn to the bathroom to wash your hands.

This serves 2 purposes for me: I get to check the necessary for any discrepancies (it happens accidentally sometimes, so please don't take it personally!) and I know your hands are squeaky-clean for...... later.

A regular routine is like water & air for me: completely necessary. Without it, I'm an overly anxious mess.

When you play along by respecting my requests & procedures, I feel reassured. Calm.

Hmmmm.... it seems I completely wandered away from my original point of this post. Typical! LOL.

Each and every one of us is unique, complex, and special in our own way. Nothing and no one is served when we judge a book by his or her cover.

That is to say, we don't know the story inside until we go deeper.

Prince and Joanie Laurer had very definite public personas, and each were singular individuals. What they gave to entertainment may be imitated, but it can never be duplicated.

Prince wrote the song "Nothing Compares 2 U" which was made famous by Sinead O'Connor.

Those words are so very, very true.

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