It was a very special occasion—his birthday. We’d agreed to meet at an intimate setting, just him, me and 4,500 other people. I learned long ago that I’d have to share Hugh Jackman.
My friend Sue bought the tickets and invited me. Her husband wasn’t too keen on going. “You’ll appreciate him more,” she said. Indeed.
In the lobby of the Dolby Theater, Sue contemplated buying a t-shirt with Hugh’s comely face silkscreened white against the black background. As we’re both 49, I didn’t think she was serious. Wasn’t that more of a teen fangirl purchase? Ah, perhaps I’m still feeling the burn from the day of mocking I endured twenty-two years ago when I proudly/stupidly sported my Air Supply t-shirt. It was yet another high school popularity violation. The curse of “All Out of Love” stays with me to this day.
“Should I buy it?” she asked. Oh, that irresistible face. Who says no to Hugh? I focused on the words instead. Emblazoned across the shirt: “ONE NIGHT ONLY”. I opined that sales would be greater if it said ONE-NIGHT STAND.
“True,” Sue said. But she joined the line of other middle-aged and senior women, eager to take Hugh to bed every night. During the wait, Sue showed pictures on her iPhone from when she’d sat in the third row in New York to see Hugh’s Back on Broadway act a year ago. Women crowded in to see Hugh in a gold getup, part of a tribute to Peter Allen. Hugh can get away with wearing anything. (Even, I’d venture to say, an old Air Supply t-shirt.)
We all had Wolverine claws for the after-the-show auction,
benefitting MPTF (the Motion Picture Television Fund).
Isn't he lovely?
Although she’s married, Sue out-stalks me. I chose the bar line instead of the merchandise line. I’m the type who needs a little something to relax before the promise of a single night of something special.
Waiting for the concert to start, I glanced around. Women outnumbered men three to one. There were some devoted husbands, dragged along as some sort of deal to get uninterrupted Sunday football time flopped in a recliner in front of an oversized television, but my most of the many triggered my gaydar. They drifted in two-by-two. Apparently the singles still prefer Saturday nights watching go-go boys in West Hollywood.
Like Bette Midler, Hugh is an honorary gay. I’m not a Wolverine devotee—too much facial hair obscuring his beautiful features—but the guy’s a doll in rom-coms and when doing a little song and dance. “He’s got a twinkle,” Sue said during intermission. I figure when you are that good looking, that talented and that successful, you can be a confident charmer.
Hugh & his wife on his 45th birthday. She's the
envy of so many middle-aged women...and me!
Whenever Hugh began to shake, Sue grabbed her binoculars to allow more focused ogling. I used them sparingly. To be honest, his dazzling smile, his gorgeous face and his pronounced pecs completely distracted me from assessing his talent. I am no better than the go-go boy gazers. I suspect Hugh was good, not excellent, but I left smiling. Surveying the crowd, so did everyone else. (Yes, you tag-along hubbies, start your countdown to game time!)
The trip home will feel longer. A one-nighter can leave a guy groggy. But, Dear Hugh, we’ll always have Los Angeles. I have no regrets.