A Non-Dating Tale : Meeting Beyonce’s Mama

{{ Part 1 }}

There are always lessons to be learned, if we’re willing to be open to them & take time to reflect.

Here are my take-aways from meeting Tina Knowles on Tuesday (That’s right!  I just dropped that on you!):

1) A lot of life is about timing. When we’re doing what we should be doing, life sends us signs that we’re on the right path. For me, this usually means a sighting of a beautiful butterfly. On this particular occasion, it happened to be Tina Knowles – who is basically a beautiful butterfly.

2) When we want something to happen in life, we gotta have the ovaries to do it. (Yes, you read that right. I mean seriously, why would I need the “balls” to do something when I already have the ovaries working for me?) Oftentimes, we’re the ones stopping ourselves from making what we want our reality. We need be brave & bold as we create our lives.

3) While it’s the passion (aka the fire aka the crazy) inside of us that motivates us, it’s essential to maintain our inner & outer calm as much as possible. I really did have to tell myself to breathe & stay grounded during my multiple interactions (!) with the lovely Miss Tina so I didn’t scare her away. Thank goodness for my morning meditation practice with Deepak & Oprah!

4) The skills listed on our resumes can come in handy in real-life situations. I knew I could be strategic, but WOW, I took this one to a whole new level! My ability to assess the situation, be a creative problem solver & apply my presentational skills from when I was a teacher – eyeball contact, assertive voice, confident posture – were all very well played, if I do say so myself!

5) Always have a business card on hand. $hit. This is the one thing I didn’t think of. They were in the bag, but not in the hand. In the spirit of moving forward…

HOLD UP! Hold up! Let’s start at the beginning to get the full juicy-ness of this delicious story!

{{ Part 2 }}

We all have those things on our to-do list that we end up putting off for a looooong time, right? After 2 years of various excuses for putting  it off, I finally go to the bank to set up a business account.

Upon working with a young woman at the bank for a few minutes & explaining the nature of my work with massage & dance fitness, I could tell she’s helpful as well as interested.

She is also a bit distracted.

When I inquire about what was going on after a few employees pass by us with snippets of information, she informs me that it is an employee’s birthday that day. Then, she leans in & lets me in on the rumor that there may be a celebrity coming.

Now, here’s something you should know about me: I am a big fan of celebrities.

I used to subscribe to US Magazine (before it turned it’s focus to so many young reality stars that I don’t recognize). When visiting a dear friend in LA, I am notorious for wanting to visit The Grove in order to see if anyone I know is being taped on Extra with Mario Lopez (who, by the way, wears a lot of foundation & what appears to be mascara…although, maybe his eyelashes are really that long?).

While I realize celebrities are just people, too, I really, really like them. I talk about them in my dance fitness classes as if I know them. Rihanna could use a little therapy; Nicki Minaj needs us to send her some loving thoughts; local singers Ledisi & Goapele should be invited to come take Shimmy Pop with us at Hipline…

For as much love & energy as I have for celebrities, I have never actually ever seen one –not even Fabio when he was in Whole Foods Oakland. But, maybe he doesn’t count.

So, the thought of actually seeing a celebrity is very, very appealing to me.

When my banking is done, I park my a$$ in a chair in the waiting area. I send texts to two of my girls to explain the potential reality I am about to experience. I also call & cancel my car appointment for that afternoon. I am ready for action.

Only, 1.5 hours is a loooooong time to wait, & I am not the most patient person. I am, however, an efficient person. So, after the novelty of waiting the first 10 minutes wears off & I’m wondering if perhaps this is all a hoax, I make the bank my mobile office, sending texts & emails. I am so wrapped up taking care of my business, I almost forget I’m waiting.

Then, I feel an energy. Call me woo-woo, if you want, but I feel it.

Looking up from my phone, I see these amazing, dope-a$$ shoes (that I will soon be getting a version of as my reward for finishing my to-do list of business items): super cute kicks with a built-in heel. Black. Super fly & fabulous.

My eyes travel from the shoes up to some cute-a$$ fitted leather pants, a fine-a$$ top.  A bank employee comes over to assist her & the woman removes her cool-a$$ sunglasses, showing her amazing eyes.

Holy $hit. It’s Beyonce’s mother.

{{ Part 3 }}

As I sit there, I think to myself, “Well, that’s that. I have my story. It’s a fabulous celebrity sighting indeed!”

Then, the thought occurs to me that I could actually wait for her to finish her business & approach her!

I immediately reject this idea, however. I don’t want to be that fan; you know, the one that says something like, “You’re Beyonce’s mom!” (She has her own identity after all!) or “I am so excited to meet you!” (I’m sure she hears this, or something to this degree, quite frequently.)

Yup, I most def don’t want to be that fan.

So, I walk out of the bank, (mostly) content.

I venture to Peet’s to get my favorite Assam Golden Tip tea with a smile on my face & find myself getting lost in a swirl of thoughts:

If I did talk with Beyonce’s mother, what would I say? Well, she’s just a person. I’m a person. I would just talk to her as if she is a regular person. I wonder how often she gets accosted by people. Gosh, I would never want to accost her. Does she like having people stop her? She must like having some of the attention she gets. Although, it would be hard not to be able to do normal things without people all up in your business! It must be hard for stars when they have attention with so little privacy. I wonder if that’s why there are so many celebrities with addictions & issues. People need to deal with their $hit. Shoot, I need to deal with my $hit. Wait! That’s what I’m doing. That’s why I saw Beyonce’s mom. Oh my gosh! I saw Beyonce’s mom! AND, I bank with Beyonce’s mom! That’s sure a good sign for my business! Hayyyy! Moving on up, world! Haha! I wonder what it’s like to be in the spotlight. Hmmm, she didn’t have a body guard. I wonder what it would be like to have a body guard. Strange. I think I would handle my own if I were famous. I could brush off my Tae Kwon Do skills if I really needed to. Hi-yahhhh! With my fabulous shoes. Haha! I wonder how many pairs of shoes she owns. Her shoes were so dope! I’m totally gonna get a pair!

I fix my tea, with the perfect amount of raw sugar & cream, realizing that I have complete monkey mind.

I take a deep breath. Then, another.

I think about my morning meditations with Deepak & Oprah. I giggle to myself, thinking about how I greet them out loud with “Good morning, Oprah!” and “Hayyy, Deepak!” each day as the meditation begins. I really do like celebrities.

Alright, feet on the ground & heart in my chest. I am good.

I cross the always busy Piedmont Avenue.

As I turn to walk down the sidewalk in front of Cesar’s, I see Tina Knowles walking directly towards me.

What’s that saying about letting go & if it comes back, it was meant to be?!!

Here is my chance! My golden opportunity!

She’s a person, I’m a person.

{{ Part 4 }}

Just as we are about to pass, I assert myself, voicing, “I love your shoes, girrrrl!” as if I were talking to (or perhaps purring at) one of my dancin’ Shimmy Pop ladies.

My mind says: Wait! Did I just say “girrrrrl” to Beyonce’s mother? $hit! It was spoken out of total love; I sure hope I didn’t come across as disrespectful!

Miss Tina looks up from her phone, makes direct eyeball contact with her gorgeous eyes, smiles at me & kindly replies, “Why thank you! You know, they are actually quite comfortable!”

Whew! She is not offended. Miss Tina & I are cool.

I smile at her.

She’s a person, I’m a person.

- Moment over. -

She walks into the fabric store.

I freeze.

Literally, I freeze. I am frozen, standing in the very spot that my feet somehow stepped into after passing Miss Tina. I. Cannot. Move.

My brain kicks back in, monkey mind style: That was amazing. Her eyes! So beautiful. Her words! So sweet. That was amazing. Wow! What a story. I can’t wait to share with my ladies! WAIT! I’m not done talking to her! What am I going to do? Holy $hit! Did that just happen? Is this a dream? I want her shoes! What do I do?

As I am standing there, frozen as if an icicle on a winter’s day somewhere very cold (aka, not Oakland), Miss Tina walks back out of the fabric store.

I do an about-face & head into A.G. Ferrari & buy some caprese salad as my cover, then look out the window to see where she is headed.

The man helping me with my mozzarella balls comments that I seem very distracted.

Internal monologue: Umm, hello? I am trying to keep track of Beyonce’s mama! Can a girl get some privacy as she is working her Nancy Drew skills?

I see her trying to cross the busy Piedmont Avenue at a crosswalk. Two cars do not stop; they drive past her without even slowing down. It takes all I have in me not to run out & put my hand out as if I am Beyonce in one of her videos with some serious sassy-a$$ queen attitude.

She walks into a clothing store that I have been into before. Amazing! We both like to shop. She’s a person, I’m a person.

As I pay, I suddenly realize, much to my own horror, that I might be stalking her.

I am not a stalker.

As I walk out of the store, I decide I can’t be that fan.

So, I venture back into my car, put my girlfriend on speakerphone as I excitedly tell her (aka yell into) the phone all of what has transpired.

As I pull out of the bank’s parking lot back onto Piedmont Avenue, I see Miss Tina now standing outside of the store.

She is now talking on her phone. Probably to Beyonce.

{{ Part 5 }}

Upon spotting Miss Tina, I tell my friend I need to go & that I will call her back.

After all, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

As I park my car, I hatch a plan for how to approach her without seeming cray cray.

Yes, I do realize at this point that I am acting a bit crazy. Seriously, though, what’s a girl to do?

I walk towards the store.

She is still on the phone outside.

I deliberately do not make eye contact, walking in as though I am there to shop.  I look at the shoes I have no intention of buying.

Then the brain starts up again: What are you thinking? You are being ridiculous!

Then my fire-y heart kicks in: This is going to happen!

I decide that I cannot wait in the shoe store forever, so I walk out, eyeballs in a different direction from the fabulously radiating Miss Tina & go into the store immediately next to it. It’s a store I have never been into, although I am not sure entirely as to why.

I walk into the store & BAM!! There’s the bag I’ve been looking for for 2 years. Black leather, plenty of pockets, & gold accessories (Can I say a bag is wearing accessories like I wear my bangle bracelets? Sure, why not?!) It’s sitting on the shelf, waiting for me. It is destiny. (Plus, it’s $50!)

Beyonce has led me to my new bag.

I notice that Miss Tina is still outside chit chatting on the phone, so I focus on my bag.

As I walk to the counter to make my purchase, BAM! There is the new wallet I’ve been needing: mustard color, gold accessories & plenty of pockets.

Amazing!  Beyonce has let me to my new wallet!

There’s a woman being helped by the owner of the store at the counter, so I stand next to her in line. I can vaguely hear Miss Tina on the phone, so I turn my focus to my bag, trying to pretend to be normal.

What will I do once I pay? I can’t interrupt her? Hmmm.

Just as my mind begins to rev it’s engine again, I see Miss Tina walking into the store.

She is walking towards me.

Oh. My. Goddess.

This is it! This is my big moment.

She’s a person, I’m a person.

Bracing myself for the mild white lie that is about to come out of my mouth, I take a deep breath & turn to face her.

{{ Part 6 }}

“Excuse me,” my mouth somehow opens & closes to get the words voiced.

Miss Tina looks at me. Those eyes again! Mesmerizing.

My feet are on the ground. My heart is in my chest. Go, girl!

“Excuse me,” I repeat, as I tilt my head to the side & slightly furl my eyebrows. “You just look so familiar to me.”

I pause momentarily, bracing myself for what I am about to say, reminding myself I’m doing this out of a sense of respect for her being a star & my own strong-a$$ desire to connect with her.

“Have we danced together? Have you been to my Shimmy Pop class?”

Did I really just assert that??!

Miss Tina smiles. There’s a bit of mischief on her beautiful face.

“No,” she responds, “I don’t think so. Shimmy Pop, huh? That sounds like fun.”

Oh. My. Goddess. I just led Beyonce’s mom to bless Hipline by verbally airing the words “Shimmy Pop.”

Magical.

She pauses & then playfully shares, “I think I just have a familiar face.”

She seems amused, perhaps somewhat thankful I didn’t start serenading her with Usher’s “Spotlight” or, more appropriately, Jay Z & Beyonce’s collaboration of “Hollywood.” Perhaps appreciative that I did not start flashing my hand back & forth to show no ring on the finger for all the “Single Ladies” or doing my marching strut like I’m staring a revolution with “Who Run’s the World?”

<Umm, GIRLS! Hello? Oooo! Hello! Another Beyonce song. That is why she is queen. Just a person. And, also a queen.>

Miss Tina walks past me to her friend, the woman purchasing a few items at the register. She’s standing so close to me that I could lean over & give her a hug. I tell myself firmly, “Do not touch her. Do not smell her. Do not do anything else. You are done.”

I am truly grateful that have not *completely* lost my marbles in all the excitement!

The owner of the store helps Miss Tina’s friend, calmly & professionally.

Meanwhile, I remind myself to focus on my already beloved new bag & wallet, the ones that my love of Beyonce led me to – as well as my new shoes that I would soon be ordering!

With the business interaction complete, the owner says on the down-low, “I just want you to know that I have so much admiration for what both you & your daughter are doing. And, I wanted to say congratulations on the new baby in the family as well!”

Miss Tina is very humble, thanking the owner for her kind words & telling her it means a lot to her.

As these two beautiful ladies turn to walk out of the store, I marvel at their natural grace & the deep confidence they project, from within, for all the world to see.

Just as she passes me, Miss Tina smiles softly & gives me a wink. Just like we practice in Shimmy Pop.*

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Heather Alaine is a “Jane” of many trades. Most recently, she has taken on the beautiful adventure of writing a book about her search for love. What began as a joke while telling dating tales to her girlfriends over cocktails, is now very much an exciting reality, as her book is in the final editing stages. She hopes that the Tale of Bey’s Mama has tickled your fancy as you get ready for a book filled with laughter, depth & of course, heart.

Please note: {{A Non-Dating Tale : Meeting Beyonce’s Mama}} is an authentic piece written by Heather Alaine. All rights reserved. Sounds so official, right? Basically, give me a shout-out if you’re gonna share.

If for some reason Beyonce’s mama aka the FABULOUS Tina Knowles reads this: Please know that it was all out of complete love & awe. AND, I would love you to come Shimmy Pop any time! I can totally get you a free class pass!