Bethany’s story – December 17, 2010

My best friend (and Penguins partner in crime) Meggie and I were lucky enough to meet Kris when he did a signing at the Macy’s at Ross Park Mall on December 17, 2010.

We got to Macy’s a little later than I’d wanted to due to traffic, and there was already a line winding its way through the store an hour before Kris was supposed to arrive. Meggie had just found out from the small print on the store’s advertisement that only the first 200 people there would get an autograph. The line looked huge so we panicked a bit and ran off to buy something for him to sign. (Macy’s was requiring everyone who wanted an autograph buy at least $50 in Winter Classic merchandise first.)

We paid for our merchandise, got into the giant line, started chatting with the people in front of us and then were horrified to learn that they had been given a ticket with a number on it – and we hadn’t. Apparently you had to check out at a specific register to get a ticket, but no one bothered to tell us that. Meggie and I held our place in line while her mom and my husband dashed off to try to get us tickets. The people ahead of us had tickets numbered in the 180s, so it was clear that there might not be any tickets left and I was on the verge of tears as we waited. How embarrassing would it be for a 27-year-old to burst into tears in the middle of a crowded Macy’s because she can’t meet her favorite hockey player?! But we were lucky and ended up with tickets – numbers 196 and 197!

My turn finally arrived after waiting in line for over an hour and even though our little encounter was over in the blink of an eye, it’s a moment I will never forget. This was pretty much how it went:

Kris: Hi.
Me: (giving him my commemorative Winter Classic ticket to sign) Hi.
Kris: How are you? *signing the ticket*
Me: (tries to respond but nothing comes out of my mouth for a moment until he slides the ticket over toward me) Thank you so much.
Kris: (smiling) You’re welcome.
(We lean in closer to each other so my husband can take our picture, and I almost start to walk away without my autograph but Kris gets up out of his seat and brings it over to me*)
Kris: (smiling and looking me right in the eyes in that way that some people have that makes you feel like you’re the most important person in the world in that moment) Happy holidays!
Me: Same to you!