Of all the things I’ve garnered from Twitter over the years — great friends, an amazing social media career and lots of laughs — none of them will ever compare to meeting my Queen Diva, Mariah Carey.
As a late 20something, I literally can’t remember a time in my life without Mariah; her songs have become the soundtrack to my life and can instantly take me back to a particular period or feeling. I remember singing “Always Be My Baby” in the car with my dad (with no shame, mind you), crying to “Butterfly” when I went through a painful breakup and blasting “Honey” whenever I wanted to be transported to a place of happiness and warmth. Anyone who truly knows me knows that meeting Mariah Carey has always been at the top of my bucket list.
When I became the Senior Social Media Editor at Entertainment Weekly a little over a year ago, things started to look up. Whenever we’d cover Mariah, I’d volunteer to write the Tweet and Facebook post promoting that story in order to add a little fan-flavored #Lambily flair. Pretty soon, we noticed that she would Retweet our posts, and I was ecstatic that I was one step closer to someone who has brought so much comfort and joy into my life.
But it wasn’t until I was sitting in the audience at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on May 17, waiting for Mariah to take the stage, that I thought I could actually get the chance to meet her (she is an Elusive Chanteuse, after all).
Earlier that evening, Mariah had performed a career-spanning performance at the Billboard Music Awards and we wrote it up for EW.com as a part of our coverage of the program. Naturally, we Tweeted it out to our followers and moved on to the next story. Mariah then Retweeted us (yay, another small win!), but then also Tweeted a personal thank you note at us for the first time.
My heart instantly skipped a beat. “This is my chance!” I thought. So I tweeted this back at her:
Seconds later, I received a Direct Message from from Team MC on Mariah’s account asking me where my seats were located for the show. I responded right away, not wanting to miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
And then, silence. When I hadn’t heard anything by halfway through the show, I figured her schedule may have already been booked and that it just wouldn’t happen for me this time. But during “Don’t Forget About Us” — 17 No. 1s into the show — one of Mariah’s team members came to my seat and pulled me aside. “So, you’re going on stage in 30 seconds,” she said. “Just do everything Mariah asks of you, and have fun!”
Two young women in maid outfits suddenly appeared and walked me arm-in-arm down the aisle to the stage. Shaking and smiling and sweating like crazy, I walked up the steps to a grinning, cooing Mariah. We shared a fleeting greeting and then I was blindfolded, placed in pink, fuzzy handcuffs and instructed to get on a circular bed on stage.
I couldn’t see anything and I could barely move — but I could hear the crowd erupting and Mariah’s sweet voice serenading me to “Touch My Body.” I was handed a Polaroid picture (“If there’s a camera up in here, then it’s gonna leave with me when I dooooo!”) and sent back to my seat. After the photo developed, I realized what had happened: My favorite musician of all time had just sang one of my favorite songs directly to me in front of thousands of people while ever-so-subtly tickling me with a feather. And it was captured on camera.
I woke up the next morning and rushed to the airport, beaming from ear to ear when I realized that she had Retweeted my personal Tweet about the experience—and that it wasn’t all another dream spent hanging with my idol.
I can now die a happy Lamb.