It has just occurred to me that I have never written a blog post about Jay Buhner.
I love Jay Buhner. I have been loving Jay Buhner in a seriously unhealthy way since I was a very young girl.
When I was a kid, my Dad would take us to Seattle Mariner’s games a couple of times a season. We would often earn family tickets via the library’s Summer Reading Club. Yes I was a nerd, hard to believe, I know.
In our family, we each had a favorite baseball player, almost all of them Mariners. My Mom loved Edgar Martinez, my sister Patty loved Dan Wilson, my brother Dan was all about Ken Griffey Junior, and my baby sister, well she loved Darryl Strawberry……. not a Mariner, but he was a woman beating, cocaine junkie, but who am I to judge, it was the late 80’s.
I don’t think my Dad had a favorite, he liked to whole team, and I’m pretty sure that he was overjoyed that the family was so into it too.
I have every Jay Buhner baseball card that was ever made, even his rookie card from when he was a Yankee.
I have two bobble heads, several autographed balls. I even have a Bad to the Bone Tshirt and an inflatable Bone to match. On the wall in our bar at home is a giant, framed, autographed Jay Buhner poster, in which he is all leathered up (in a biker way, not in a dirty way, this is not that kind of story) and posing on a Harley.
Yep, it’s still true love.
Jay doesn’t love me back, and it’s quite possibly my fault.
Until 2002, Jay Buhner was unaware of my deep and sadly unrequited love for him.
In January of 2002, I was among the lucky individuals who carried the Olympic Torch. I was a Coca-Cola sponsored torch bearer, and was amazingly enough designated to run down the hill right next to my elementary school, Holy Rosary School, in Tacoma.
I thought that it would be awesome if Jay Buhner would come to Tacoma and be my biggest fan on torch day, in much the same way that I had always been his biggest fan.
I wrote him a letter explaining the matter in as justifiable a way as I could.
Now here is where my first relationship preventing mistake happened.
I worked in real estate appraisal at the time and I took advantage of my office’s MetroScan program. I sent a copy of that letter I wrote, to the addresses of each home in which he was listed as the owner.
There were at least five. I also sent the letter to the Mariner’s organization.
Jay Buhner did not show up on Torch Day and while I was heartbroken over it, it really didn’t ruin the day for anyone. It was still an incredible experience without him.
Fast forward to the summer of 2003. My friend Kerry and I had a date to go to Destination Harley Davidson for a special event. Jay Buhner was scheduled to be there to raise money for Seattle Children’s Hospital.
A special poster had been made, with Jay on a Harley (the very same above mentioned poster on our wall today). The plan was to get there early and get in line. Jay Buhner was going to be signing the posters for $10 each, and anything else that people brought with them for just an additional donation to Children’s Hospital.
I must take an aside here and mention that Jay Buhner is one of the most charitable athletes in the Seattle area, he still to this day makes appearances for charity, and for money I presume.
Actually, that makes me wonder how much money…… Maybe we can get him to come over for a BBQ this summer. 🙂
Kerry and I were shopping in the Harley store’s apparel department, when we noticed a familiar face coming down the stairs. It was our friend Pat, a local beer distributor’s representative. He had just been on the mezzanine level taking a beer to Jay Buhner!
Once we heard that news, it was difficult for me to keep my skin on. But alas, Pat did not take too kindly to our request to take us up to meet Jay. It may have been the last day I considered Pat my friend.
How dare he deny me a private audience with my favorite of all favorites? Rude!
We did not accept it lightly, but we knew that it wasn’t going to change anything, so we headed outside to get into the line that had formed since we had been inside the store. We were probably 15 or 20 people back from the front.
As soon as we got in line, I became a nervous wreck. When Jay Buhner came out to take his spot at the table, to the tune of “Bad to the Bone” of course, there was monstrous applause and I started to sweat.
There he was, Jay Buhner, not fifteen feet away from me! I was finally going to meet him. I was going to take pictures with him, he was going to sign the fifteen million items I had brought with me! I could barely breathe.
Then we waited, and we waited some more. Not only is Jay Buhner charitable, he is generous with his time and spoke with each person for several minutes.
On a side note, there was a guy behind us in line that had a Summer Sausage that he wanted Jay Buhner to sign…… What’s that all about? There were crazier people than me there that day.
Inevitably our turn came. Kerry was kind enough to let me go first (as if she could have stopped me).
I walked right up to his table, spilling baseball cards and half squishing my poster in my hurry to reach the front. I gave him a huge smile and the most seductive “Hiiiiiiiii, Jay Buhner” that I could muster in my light headed state.
I explained that I am a huge fan of his and chatted non-sensically for a minute while he busied himself with signing my stuff.
Then out of my mouth popped the show stopper. “Jay Buhner, why didn’t you come see me carry the Olympic Torch? I was really disappointed that you didn’t show up.”
He stopped mid pen stroke and I swear that there was terror in his eyes when he looked up at me. To give him credit, he did answer my question, and he didn’t mention the letters, but I could tell that he knew. “Well, sweetheart, I had to be at Safeco Field that evening when the torch was run through there, it was a mandatory team activity. I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to come to Tacoma that day.”
That didn’t make it all better, but at least I had taken advantage of the opportunity to ask him. By then he was done signing my cards and plaque, even my Buhner Tshirt and photo balls. He seemed ready to move on to my friend Kerry, but I wasn’t ready yet.
I asked him if he would take a photo with me. This was before cell phone cameras, and even before the average Joe, er…… Joy had digital cameras. Kerry and I both had regular old film cameras.
He agreed to take a photo and I headed to the side of the table. The weird thing was that he didn’t get up from the chair, so instead I squatted down next to him and he put his arm around me.
Kerry had a little trouble getting the camera going, and in that hot minute, with Jay Buhner’s arm around my shoulders, I felt a little faint, and that’s when I lost the squat pose and completely fell down.
Under the table.
That man is quick, he jumped right up out of that chair and looked at me with the fear of God in his eyes. I was so embarrassed, I’m sure that I was redder than a cherry tomato. But I still wanted that picture. He was kind enough to remain standing, put his arm around me once again and pose for a few shots.
Thus we had finally come to the end of my turn. Kerry was up, and I dutifully held her camera for a photo and she had a poster signed. Her turn with Jay Buhner went so smoothly.
Kerry and I bopped off down the parking lot to where we had left my car and put all of our Jay Buhner stuff inside, we ventured back to the main parking lot where a band was playing and there were free hamburgers (not unusual for any Harley store on a Saturday in the Summer). I was all aglow from finally meeting the target of my young adult stalking and felt very accomplished, fall under the table notwithstanding.
Once they announced that Jay Buhner was heading out and we all thanked him with a hearty round of applause, Kerry and I ventured back into the store.
Just as I was about to try on a new pair of boots an announcement rang out through the store. “Will the owner of a red, Dodge Neon, license plate XXX 123 please come out to the parking lot, the car needs to be moved.”
Gulp, that was my car! I abandoned the boots, grabbed Kerry and went running outside.
What was waiting for me, I wouldn’t have guessed in my wildest dreams.
My little car was blocking in Jay Buhner’s ginormous truck. He was standing outside the truck just staring at me, with shock in his eyes.
What luck I thought, good luck because I got to talk to Jay Buhner again for just a minute, even if it was to say “I’m Sorry for blocking you in”, but bad luck because it was at that moment I knew that Jay would never give me the chance to be his soul mate.
Yes, I know he’s married and has been married to his lovely wife for many years, I’m prettier than her though and would certainly fulfill whatever fantasies he may have.
Recently, my Rooster had a chance to meet Jay Buhner at a contractor’s trade show, which I am sure was an appearance made for money (brainstorming). While he was getting things signed, he told Jay Buhner about my fantasy of kidnapping him, and keeping him in a closet until he chose to play nice and live with us forever. He didn’t make that up either, that’s a real fact.
This was Jay Buhner’s response.
The moral of today’s story is that it does not pay to be a stalker, and that sadly some people cannot help but manifest into stalkerdom sometimes. If you have to have a stalker, I hope that it’s someone like me, who means no harm really.
Oh and that picture of me with Jay Buhner? The back of my camera got opened somehow and the film was ruined………. 🙁
Have a great evening! Thanks for reading my blog. 🙂