Really, I was.
But then again, what would it hurt to take one little photo?
Of Denzel, of course. I've got plenty of Jade.
"Are you sure he's coming this way?" I asked anxiously, as I elbowed my way into position at the entrance of Franklin Field, smartphone on and focused. The prospect of snapping Denzel as he walked that walk - you know, that shoulder-swaying mack-daddy strut - in academic regalia was just too good to ignore.
"Aretha and Jimmy Carter walked this way," Jeanne Leong of Penn's communications staff assured me, referring to past commencement speakers. "Denzel has to come this way. This is the route."
It better be.
I turned my head, and just like black magic, there he was, sandwiched between Penn president Amy Gutmann and provost Vincent Price, and surrounded by his fellow honorary-degree recipients: illustrious medical scholar Renée C. Fox, groundbreaking African philanthropist Mo Ibrahim; Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn; Nobel Prize-winning chemist El-Ichi Negishi; and acclaimed author Joyce Carol Oates.
Dizzyingly accomplished, all of them. Yet all eyes - and iPhones - were on Denzel.
See, for women, especially of my generation, Denzel represented more than the Sexiest Man Alive. He's the white picket fence, the 2.5 kids, and the big, slobbering lab.
Sure, Idris Elba is fine, but dangerously so. To me, Elba will always be Stringer Bell of The Wire.
But Denzel is safe.
And on Monday, while addressing 6,000 graduates, the veteran star of stage and screen conceded that even though his son, Malcolm, is a sophomore at Penn, the the occasion still made him nervous.
Only a real man would admit as much.
He quoted his wife, Pauletta, and Nelson Mandela in his speech.
"My wife has this saying: 'To get something you've never had, you have to do something you've never done.' "
Is there anything this guy does or says wrong? In real life, he's the perfect character.
Denzel urged graduates to step out of their comfort zones. "I have found that nothing in life is worthwhile unless you take risks," he said.
"Some people say that you always need something to fall back on," he told the grads, "but I never understood that."
"I want to fall forward. I figure at least this way I'll see what I'm going to hit."
Fall forward. How profound! An unforgettable adage to keep in the inspirational files.
After commencement, I caught up with Jade. She and her friends looked adorable - though how they walked in those five-inch platforms I'll never know.
I asked Jade how she liked Denzel.
"It was pretty exciting," she replied, reacting more to the pomp of commencement than to the man himself. "His son went to my high school (in Los Angeles) so I kind of knew of him already . . . it would have been nice to have someone different, but he was cool."
Talk about buzz kill. I tried again.
What was your takeaway from his speech? I asked.
"Uh . . . fall forward?" Jade replied impatiently, as she scanned the stands for her dad.
Oh, well. That's OK. Jade may have brought me crashing down to earth, but Denzel will always be the biggest star in my universe.
Contact me at 215-854-4986 or Ajohnhall@phillynews.com. Follow me on Twitter @Annettejh.