I was jealous.

I knew it made no sense, truly.  But I was jealous every day of other Rick Springfield fans.

No matter that I could email him and expect a response in a twenty four hour time frame.  No matter that I could call him on the phone if I wanted to (though I never did; I would never dream of calling him unless there was a Very Important Reason; I wasn’t going to abuse the trust he’d put in me).  No matter that before our last live chat we both joked about how each of our spouses were particularly cranky about the choices each of us were currently making.

It didn’t matter.  I was jealous anyway.

They were going in Vegas in droves to see Rick’s performance in “EFX Alive”, the Vegas musical spectacular that had been reworked just for him.  I hadn’t seen the show officially yet, but I’d gotten to get in on one of the rehearsals while I was out there for the Studio 54 show in January.

But everyone else was seeing it.  They were going and raving about it.  They were going and posting about it on our email list. They were seeing him in the show, they were going back stage for a quick posed photograph, they were spending time doing something that I couldn’t possibly do right now.

R was transitioning into his new position at work, working days that were often 10 or 11 hours in length.  Z was busy with soccer and band after school as well as Science Olympiad practices. Melinda was toddling about all over the place, prompting us to install baby gates and invest in cabinet locks.   And things were tight; with me not working and a new, more expensive house and a new baby at home, we couldn’t even imagine booking another flight and hotel out to Vegas right now. I knew better than to even ask.  It was simply impossible.

I knew I should be happy for all of these people making their dreams come true out in Vegas.  I chastised myself that I should be more than satisfied with the amount and quality of the contact I’d had with the Man of My Teenage Dreams.  I consoled myself that while all of these women were going to do all of these amazing things, they would happily trade those one or two minutes of time they’d had with him for the ongoing contact that I’d been lucky enough to have while working for Rick for the last year and a half.  It should be enough.  It should be more than enough to satisfy even my most crazy dreams from the mid 1980s.

But as I sat there slogging through hundreds of emails a week that asked “Where can I send Rick fan mail?” or “What’s the best way to meet him?” or “Where can I find his latest release?”, I grew frustrated.  Vivian had spent weeks out in Vegas last winter with her retired husband, hanging out in Rick’s dressing room and getting comp seats to the show every night. Elizabeth was planning a trip out to Vegas for the fall, and she oozed excitement as she nailed down all of the details.  I felt like I was doing all of the work and reaping none of the benefits.  I knew it was irrational.  I still felt it.  And then I felt guilty for feeling that way.

I didn’t like myself very much these days.  I was angry and short tempered with the children, bitter at all the time I was spending working on the website, feeling that the fans at large were certainly unaware and ungrateful for the amount of time and energy I was putting in keeping Rick close to them with all of my online efforts.   Fans were quick to point out the mistakes I sometimes made, but hardly ever made mention of the myriad of times I got it right; they just took the information and ran to make their own plans.

I actually compared myself to Rick (because I was just that far and away in The Land of Crazy), who talked easily about how disillusioned he’d felt when he’d achieved success in the music business.  “I kept waiting for it to fill the hole inside me, but it never did.  There always had to be more, it was never enough,” he would say.

And on some level as I clenched my teeth congratulating the fans who had returned from Vegas with their amazing stories, I knew that even if I did go, even if I did see him, even if he was as complimentary as he could be towards me, it just wouldn’t be enough.  Because he had done all of those things, more than once.  And here I was, seething behind my computer screen, always wanting more.

I had no idea what I was chasing during those warm, spring months of 2001, or even that I was chasing anything.  All I knew is that I was mostly miserable, all of the time.  I didn’t know when, or if, or how I would ever feel anything else.


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