Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Oh What a Guy!!

We waited, and waited, and waited some more; for five hours, in fact.

But he was worth it. My own marriage aside, it was well worth the wait for my new secret crush.

Hint: he’s only been (back) on earth for six months, he’s one of the most celebrated sought-after Canadian/astronaut/author/all-round-great guys, he plays a mean guitar, he’s worldly, his mom lives not too far from me, and he would give me the moon if I asked (at least I think he would - he DOES have connections, and all).

If you’ve figured it out, I guess it’s not a secret anymore. Col. Chris Hadfield, back on earth for six months after being away for five, is my new….crush.

My friend Elizabeth and I camped out in the middle of Hillside Mall, Victoria, BC, armed with chairs, snacks, and things to do. Our un-cracked, un-read copies of, ‘An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth’ by the outer-worldly Col. Hadfield sat ready and waiting for signing – as we were so instructed. With at least 1,000 people waiting in line to meet the Canadian spaceman, time was of the essence when it would come time for the actual signing. There would be no time for chatting, or staged-photos, or flipping-around-of-pages in the book; “Have the book open to the correct page for signing, step up to the desk, have book signed, and move on” were our instructions.

After waiting 2 ½ hours, unlike many others who had been there since the crack of dawn, it finally came time and the line started to move! Carrying our chairs we shuffled along, following the ropes guiding the lines. Shuffle, shuffle, stop. Shuffle, shuffle, stop. We did this for another hour and half. Luckily we had each other to chat with and people to watch to pass the time - not to mention our warm juice boxes.

Finally we were escorted into the store where we waited in another line, 20-people deep. As we shuffled along some more, soon I could see the top of his head, and then before I knew it, the trademark mustache!

It was HIM! The man from the moon! The guy from outer space! The astronaut who stole our hearts and enraptured kids everywhere with what happens in a spaceship!

Finally it was my turn to step up to the now-retired astronaut. My book was taken from me and presented to him for signing. With the amount of people, assembly-line-book-signing was needed.

But wait! Was he shaking hands? He was! My friend and I each wiped our sweaty palms on our jeans, checked each other’s teeth, and I quickly powdered my nose.

Being away for 6 months, and not just out of the country but out of the earth’s atmosphere, has meant he has a lot of catching up to do. And not just with his family, but with humans far and wide. And maybe the earth’s gravitational pull has been too much for him but he sure didn’t listen to instructions that day. Despite what we all were earlier told – no visiting, no chatting, move along quickly - he chatted and spoke to everyone.

I sidled up to the table, and with a grip sure to squeeze the gravity out of me, Col. Hadfield shook my hand, looked me square in the eye, and after we did the formal ‘how are you’ rally, he thanked me – ME – for waiting in line so long. And of course, the polite person I am thanked HIM for being there.

We broke the rules. We had an interlude. We had an exchange. We shook hands and chatted.

I watched those who came after me in line and sure thing, he shook hands and chatted with every single person. Despite the waits. Despite the instructions. Despite how many people he had yet to meet. I guess he figured that we waited for him, so the least he could do was give us each a personal moment.

What a guy. Where I was charmed by him before, I was now hooked.

As we left carrying our books, giggling at the 13-second experience we had waited five hours for, we passed the last person in line waiting so patiently with her book, and knew, just KNEW, he would shake her hand, as well. No matter how long it took to get to her.

Later, exhausted yet elated, with his book on my lap I took a deep, contented, smitten sigh...and promptly nodded off. My secret crush was just too much for me.

Thanks for reading! Lisa


  1. So has Chris replaced Rick as your not so secret crush!

    1. (grin) No Pat, Chris hasn't replaced Rick as my crush.....but always have to have a back-up, I say! Thanks for reading! Lisa

  2. What a fantastic experience Lisa! So glad that you persevered in the line up. How wonderful that he was so cordial.

    The book will be unusual, that's for sure. A Canadian hero.

    1. Thank you, Jodie! Yes, in hindsight it was well worth the LONG wait. What an experience, to say the least! Great book, great guy! Thanks for reading! Lisa

  3. Replies
    1. Janelle - shhhhh...Don't tell Rick. But rest assured, he has not been replaced! Take care, and thanks for reading! Lisa

  4. I didn't think it was possible, anyone replacing Rick in your heart. Perfect guy to do it though!

    1. No, Ros, Rick has NOT been replaced! Funny, so many are concerned that that is the case :) But you are right - he IS the perfect guy, indeed! Thanks for reading! Lisa