Philadelphia Elvis Fest… confronting the existential question of why my best friend lives so far away.
Let us recap what you know about me:
I have an old house.
I like fancy stuff.
Let me introduce you to something you don’t know:
I love Elvis Presley.
A LOT, a lot.
On Thursday afternoon last week, Paul called me… He said— hey. Do you want to go to The Philadelphia Elvis Fest?
And I was like– WHAT?
He said—I just drove by a giant sign that says: Ultimate Elvis Contest.
And I was like– WHAT?
Paul said—so that’s a yes?
I was like—are you asking me if I want to go to a competition where people LOVE Elvis? And sing Elvis songs?
And DRESS LIKE ELVIS?
That’s a question you have about me?
Because it shouldn’t be.
The only question here is whether it’s too late for me to enter.
And WHY I have not been preparing a routine.
And also, WHAT WILL I WEAR??
Why do I not own an Elvis jumpsuit? I mean, that’s just a staple of any wardrobe… Why am I always so deficient and failing to plan ahead?
Paul said– you probably don’t need to dress up if you’re not actually in the contest.
I was like, how can you even suggest that I go to Elvis Fest not in some kind of costume?
This is an ELVIS contest. WHY would I go to an Elvis contest as NOT ELVIS?
That’s me, getting on Elvis’s airplane at Graceland… If you read my post about my road trip to Texas with my best friend, you’ve seen this photo before. And I appreciate that you never asked me why I’m wearing mom jeans.
After Paul called me, Thursday was lost… I spent an hour googling Philadelphia Elvis Fest and being disappointed at the lack of consumable information.
I also spent time reading the regulations governing Elvis Tribute Artist contests.
I like to know these things.
Then I spent another hour trying to find a seller on Amazon who offered same-day delivery for a surely-disappointing, but still hugely-tempting Elvis jumpsuit. Also, Amazon took it one step further and suggested an Eagle cape. Which? You may see me wearing in a future post.
When Friday came, I was totally depressed at the thought of going to Elvis Fest, NOT wearing something appropriately expressive of my enthusiasm…
But when I opened my closet? I realized that actually, I DID have something to wear to an Elvis Festival…
So now is where I tell you what else I love, besides Elvis: my best friend.
On our trip to Texas, we collected t-shirts… I have t-shirts from Nashville, and Beale St, and The Alamo, and someplace in Arkansas…and about 50 places in-between.
But Lara got the best t-shirt… it was the only one on the rack, and I’ve been jealous for going on thirteen years.
A year ago, she mailed to it me.
Are you ready?
I am unable to make a normal face for any picture I am excited about.
All my photo albums are full of me having a fantastic time… and looking demented.
Most of my wedding photos are totally unusable because I look like an alien.
Lara is the very definition of a best friend… Someone who is there for you, an entire year ahead of time.
Someone who mails you the Elvis Rocks t-shirt.
I appreciate her SO much… that I won’t even mention how she didn’t TELL me that she shrunk the life out of it.
Or how when I put it on, I was like– why did Lara only send me HALF of this shirt?
On the way over, Paul tried to manage my expectations. Probably because I was saying repeatedly– this is going to be the most fun EVER.
Paul’s feeling is that I need everything to be a trip to Disneyland… Covered with glitter… And if it’s not, I will just make up the difference in my head. And sometimes this leads to me being horribly disappointed when confronted with reality.
Paul thinks that I should wait and see what actually happens, before deciding that something is going to be the epitome of my entire existence.
But we walked in, and I was like—NOPE!!!
I was TOTALLY right.
This is the GREATEST. DAY. EVER.
I understand that you think I’m exaggerating… Overenthusiasm and hyperbole are my normal setting.
But in this instance, I am not kidding at all.
If I could just live in an Elvis Tribute Artist contest at all times? It would solve every single one of my problems.
Everything is so well-defined. And full of rhinestones and suspended-disbelief.
Where has this been all my life? I HAVE WASTED SO MUCH TIME.
I have spent entire years going to the grocery store and brushing my cat… While OTHER people are going to events titled Ultimate Elvis Festival, and Night of 100 Elvises.
And ELVIS WEEK. Which is in Memphis, at Graceland… and is the culmination of ALL Elvis contests.
It is unbelievable to me that I did not know about this… Hello? I could have MARRIED one of these guys.
Paul was like—I can see I’m not stacking up well here.
I was like—you have NO idea.
The only part that wasn’t awesome? Was my lack of participation.
I need to be able to insert myself into any proceedings that I find irresistible… and it’s magnified a thousand times if there are costumes involved.
It was actually PAINFUL to me, to not be center stage, dressed like Elvis.
To watch OTHER people. And their collars!
And their belts.
And their rings.
And their hair.
And their karate moves.
How I have failed to orchestrate this in my own life?
WHY IS THAT NOT ME?
Plus? You haven’t seen me do “Are You Lonesome Tonight?”
It is the very definition of awesome.
So when they had intermission, I said—I think I should go up there.
Paul said nothing. Which is his usual response to any idea where he is afraid to resist, and therefore cement the appeal.
Apparently, he does not know that I find his silence evidence of a truly superior idea.
So I said—Yes. I should DEFINITELY go up there.
I was JUST getting warmed up… I hadn’t even begun to do any of my really good moves…When security showed up.
I guess they’re pretty serious about the costume requirements… and I respect that.
But I’ll be back next year. I’m going into training full time… so that I’ll be ready.
These people are my kin, and I need to be among them.
April 24, 2013 @ 2:35 pm
I’m just gonna leave this right here…
Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
April 25, 2013 @ 12:30 pm
An Elvis JUMPSUIT pen!! I need that!!!!!!
Then I was like what????? $2,000??? I guess I’ll take this as proof that loving Elvis is more highbrow than I thought? I mean, how many people can this be the target-audience for?
I’m sure Paul will thank you when I tell him what I want for Christmas.
May 10, 2013 @ 9:24 am
You’re hilarious! I actually write Facebook posts about you. And talk about consumable information..we want more posts here! So great! And also? I live in a small condo, but does it have non-sensical marble flooring? Yes. Antiques? Of course. Because I also like fancy things.
Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
May 10, 2013 @ 3:29 pm
I wish there were a way to describe how much I love you. You ABSOLUTLY made my day.
I would love to just turn this into a blog where I tell you anything that comes into my head… and never bother with another garden or bath-remodel post.
But it’s hard for me to gauge what percent of my readers are here for the information about toilets… and who is here for my sparkling personality.
Happy Weekend! Amen to the fancy things!
July 13, 2013 @ 9:39 am
From all the comments on every post, I would gauge that most of us are here for your sparkling personality. On any topic you choose. This pyramid thing has gone viral. I have passed the word and gotten quite a few people hooked on your blog and likely on you, and the idea we have of the wonderful Paul. Exponentially, I see much higher numbers in your future. I mean, really, just the kingdom mirror post has a ridiculously high number of comments!
I know there’s only one of you, but hurry up with another post. Please. I really, really need it.
June 25, 2013 @ 9:57 am
I have a 4×6 postcard of a nice portrait of Elvis framed and sitting amongst other family photos. (Well, it was there in the old house, in the new house I only have 2 of 3 of my children’s baby photos on the wall and none sitting anywhere. Maybe I should be unpacking instead of reading blogs…nah) ANYWAY, I had many people say “Oh, who’s that?” and then give me a quizzical look when I told them. If anyone ever recognized him, they never said anything. If I didn’t just fall in love with you/your blog this morning after I found it, this post would have sealed the deal.
Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
June 28, 2013 @ 12:38 pm
I’m pretty sure the internet was invented for the only purpose of giving you something to do OTHER than what you should.
I think I need to frame a picture of Elvis. Actually, no. I’m CERTAIN.
June 26, 2013 @ 11:48 pm
Girl, you just crack me up. If I had half the enthusiasm and humor that you have, I would be rocking it. You will love to know several things. 1/ after seeing your Craigslist mirror post on facebook, I am now a subscriber. And 2/I named my daughter Lisa Marie! No Kidding! Come by and visit me at my blog…but I might just be too tame for you!
Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
June 28, 2013 @ 12:36 pm
I named my (girl) cat Elvis… not quite the same dedication as a real child, but still.
Going to check you out now… xo
June 30, 2013 @ 4:10 pm
Okay, Victoria, don’t die of jealously, but I married a guy who does an Elvis Act – with his own white jumpsuit. We ADORE Elvis! One of our first dates was watching him do this performance at a dental convention (in real life he is a dentist) in a gold lame suit. He ALWAYS sings “Can’t Help Falling in Love” directly to me during his performance. You would LOVE my man, but you can’t have him – he is mine? 😉
Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
July 1, 2013 @ 1:55 pm
WHY DID YOU COMMENT HERE AND RUIN MY DAY?
I’M HAVING MY FIFTEEN MINUTES OF FAME AND NOW YOU DESTROYED THEM.
YOU THINK I AM KIDDING BUT I AM NOT.
Also? WHY do you not have a blog where I can go and stalk you? Please start one. Immediately.
Are you going to Elvis Week? We’re on vacation that week… and Paul says we cannot cancel. (Another reason ETA’s are way more awesome than regular husbands)
If you see me outside your house tonight, don’t call the police. I just want to be your friend… and steal your husband.
July 4, 2013 @ 10:22 pm
With you, the fun never ends, my younger soul sister/mate. I live in Memphis. I think I had the first 45 record of Hound Dog/Don’t Be Cruel….. before any of my friends. I may still have it. I’ll have to see if I have an Elvis item to give you. I saw him in Vegas. Magic. People went crazy. Saw him in Memphis once or twice. As I said, I am your older fan. He was wonderful as a young man. We all grow old. Must have been so hard on him. Poor thing. People from all over the world really do come here for Elvis week. Amazing.
And you and Paul are amazing. I’m becoming addicted to the blog.
July 6, 2013 @ 4:13 pm
Ah, Elvis. One of my friends is a total Elvis fan. He goes to Elvis Expos and meets ETAs (Elvis Tribute Artists) and befriends them. So then we start going to a local dive bar to see the ETA, and befriend him on FB. It leads to my friend and his wife, my hubby and I going to Memphis last December to Graceland for a pre-run for our car club’s trip in April, where I again go to Graceland. And that leads to going to the ETA’s birthday party where 4 more ETAs show up. Five Elvi at one party, not in costume, but they all took turns singing. It was fabulous. We have also gone to Vegas for one night for a show to see “The Metal King and the Monsters of Rock”, which is Elvis mets heavy metal. ???? you ask. Trust me, it totally works. Check out “The Metal King” and listen for yourself.
Love your site here, just found it the other day. You’re having quite an adventure. Oh, and I did so enjoy the story of you and Lara’s friendship and your trip to Texas.
July 13, 2013 @ 9:41 am
Rereading is just as much fun as the first 7 times….or 10, or 20.
July 16, 2013 @ 3:19 am
I share the same birthday with Elvis! It is seriously my claim to fame. I remember sharing this info with kids in gradeschool who had no idea who he was. I’ve always felt it made me connected with him even though he was dead long before I was born. Every year when someone wishes me a happy birthday I can’t help but say- Thanks! It’s Elvis’ birthday too 😉
March 24, 2014 @ 7:41 pm
A bunch of Elvises (they say “Elvi”) get together every year to appear in Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans, kinda Shriner style. Except on scooters instead of dune buggies. And there is way more alcohol and chest hair. My landlord was a Rolling Elvis. They are hilarious and sheer genius.
January 8, 2016 @ 11:33 am
This is totally awesome! I love that you love Elvis so much! You are such a crack up and it’s why we all love you! I definitely think you need to go to the Elvis WEEK.
January 8, 2016 @ 11:56 am
I can relate about obsessions a tiny bit. My husband took me to see The Harry Potter exhibition while in Seattle. It would take a normal person maybe 40 minutes to tour it. It took me hours.
I’m still waiting for my letter from Hogwarts. I’m willing to overlook the fact that I’ve already graduated from college last century …
January 8, 2016 @ 12:19 pm
Ummmm did you know they devote entire cruises to this (or section anyway?) The last cruise we went on there were 12 elvis on board and they all had their own wing, with decorated doors and 2 shows a day. Girl…you should be there!
January 8, 2016 @ 1:37 pm
I love reading about all your adventures. This one makes me think of when I was a teenager. Elvis came to Little Rock, Arkansas. But, my sister and I didn’t want to see him because we thought he was old! We went to see the Bee Gees! But, you can catch great Elvis impersonators in Branson a lot of times at the Legends shows. Keep rockin!
January 8, 2016 @ 2:34 pm
Turning up the cray with a little Burning Love, are we? I must confess my love-o-Elvis as well, but it runs a distant second (third, fourth, 85th place?) to yours. From my own personal vault – while I’m lucky to NOT to be old enough to be your mother, I got to see Elvis live in concert (at the tender age of 9 in 1973). It was a night of capes and pelvic thrusts and rhinestones and unforgettable fabulousity. The tickets were 7th row and cost $14. That’s enough to make anyone’s eyes water.
January 8, 2016 @ 7:24 pm
I loved Elvis as a kid but strayed to others until Elvis did the TV special with him in black leather with his gang. Fell into infatuation all over again. I bought the tape of the concert and played the last song over and over…I believe Elvis was really invested in its message and we could use that message today. If I can dream of a better land where all my brothers walk hand in hand..tell me why…oh why can’t my dream come true……………………right now
January 9, 2016 @ 3:08 pm
Yes, you should come down for the night of 100 elvises. They do not mess around. You will be in heaven.
December 5, 2017 @ 4:02 pm
I’m sorry to have to say this, given your infatuation with Elvis impersonators, but Paul is at least ten million times more attractive than any of them. You can tell him I said so.
April 6, 2018 @ 1:58 pm
Down here in New Orleans, we have lots of parades. One for every holiday (Mardi Gras, St Patricks Day, Easter, Running of the Bulls, July 4th, etc… ) And we have marching, or rolling, groups that participate in them, one of which is “The Rolling Elvi” – yes – a bunch of guys (and a few gals) dressed up as Himself, on scooters, bicycles, tricycles, or anything else that rolls along, throwing beads and trinkets to the crowds. You would be in heaven. http://rollingelvi.org/