Have you ever watched a movie or TV show and asked yourself; “Oh how I wish I could meet that star? I think he’s so amazing! He should marry me, not that toothpick-esque starlet he’s dating.”
But what if that dream came true? What if you were faced with meeting someone you admire but don’t really know? How would the reality match up with the fantasy? Could anything live up to our wildest imagination? What would happen if it exceeded our dreams?
Many of you know I live a very quiet life. I’m home most of the time and often go days without even venturing past my own front door. I have much to do with the cats, with working and writing, but in my heart I yearn for more. I feel restless, perhaps brought on by a cliché mid-life crisis? I want to get OUT of here and go on a vacation, see something new, just put my everyday life behind me for a while or maybe move away. I gotta stop watching House Hunters International, it just makes me feel itchier.
I launched Facebook. Like many of you, I’m on there all the time. I saw that I had a message waiting for me and I tried to guess who it might be from before I looked at it. I wasn’t expecting anything, but just assumed it was from one of my girlfriends.
When I saw the “reply to name,” my heart stopped and my mouth fell open. It was from Jackson Galaxy. Jackson, the sassy-Cat-Daddy from Animal Planet’s “My Cat From Hell.” What in the world would Jackson have to say to little old me? Sure, I interviewed him and we spoke on the phone a time or two after that, but I couldn’t think of any reason why he’d write me.
It was a short note, letting me know that he was going to be in Connecticut to do the voice work for the audio book version of his new book, “Cat Daddy: What the World’s Most Incorrigible Cat Taught Me About Life, Love & Coming Clean”
…did I live nearby the recording studio? Did I want to maybe get lunch?
Who me?? Get lunch? With YOU???!!!!
Then reality sunk in…oh my God he’s going to be here in a few days. I do not have time to:
• Loose 50 pounds • Get some sort of plastic surgery • Think about important and/or clever things to say • Buy a new outfit • Become a dazzling new person all-together as I’ve seen happen on made-for-TV movies
I basically had time to get my car washed and maybe buy some new mascara since I’d been meaning to do that anyway. But, wait..JACKSON GALAXY wants to meet for lunch! Even if it never came to pass, he asked me! I felt a wave of adrenaline wash through my body. The somber expression I’ve worn these past few years vanished. I was ignited with energy from the sheer idea, alone, that this could come to pass.
Wow. I had to sit down. I WAS sitting down!
I’m glad I’m a Buddhist because I realized very quickly that my mind was spinning out of control and I needed to s-l-o-w down. Take a deep breath. Relax. Think it through. Robin, he’s just a man, just like anyone else. See? Your heart can slow down to a normal rhythm now.
Jackson was due to arrive to Connecticut on Monday and was going to leave on Wednesday or thereabouts. Of course, on TUESDAY, when it might be best for lunch, I found out that’s when Kitten Associates was going to get an incredibly huge and generous donation of canned cat food from HALO!
I had arranged for some of the local press to be at my home to interview me about the delivery so there was no way I could skip out and meet Jackson if he chose Tuesday as the day for our meeting.
But why did he ask me to lunch? Well, of course my mind started spinning again. I really had to stop letting my mind take off with various scenarios, I had to focus on getting things off my plate so I COULD go see him should the opportunity present itself.
As usual, I over-think everything. I realized I might be too enthusiastic about getting together and, in truth, Jackson IS a real person (right?) and from speaking with him a few times before, I got the sense that he was a very decent person, someone I respected. I didn’t need to feel awestruck.
So, as women tend to do, I decided to write a SHORT note, telling Jackson that I didn’t want him to worry that I was a freaky-fan or that I considered every moment of our time together to be an interview. Yes, I would write about meeting him—how could I not?
I’m all about the journey. Jackson trusted me enough to offer this meeting. I wasn’t going to blow it by trying to dredge up painful facts about a private person just to get hits on my blog. I just won’t do it. So, no interviewing, just hanging out.
Then I started to worry that I said too much and I didn’t look at my email again for the rest of the day. I was afraid of his reaction. Maybe I should have just shut up?
There was a message for me on Facebook. Low and behold it was from Mr. Galaxy. He changed his mind about us meeting for lunch. He offered to meet for dinner instead! Breathe, Robin, BREATHE! But when? Tonight? Tomorrow? Jackson was in communication lock-down while he was recording his audiobook so I couldn’t reach him to get the details sorted out.
There was a time in my life when if I didn’t know exactly what was going to happen and what time and where I was going I would get really annoyed. I found that the challenge of having to stay on my toes, not knowing if I needed to be ready to drive 50 miles or put my pj’s back on and watch tv that night was exciting. Gee, The Bachelor wasn’t on any more since Ben picked that creepy Courtney, so I had an extra reason not to want to stay home.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Maggie, my super-stylist, getting into the photo, while I grab a shot of my curls. She and I like to call this my “porn star hair”-perfect for meeting celebrities, right?
So I got busy. I got my hair done. I got my car washed. I got my glasses fixed…hey, they were falling off my head. I stopped myself from doing too much. Around 4pm I got home and got ready to go. I had a load of laundry running and my jeans were in the dryer. I put on some makeup and looked at my old face. I thought about all the cool women Jackson must meet who wear heavy eyeliner and lots of eye shadow. They probably have cool tattoos, too, whereas I have only some freckles. I went through that neurotic thing many of us all do, we don’t think we’re good enough just being ourselves. When I realized that, I stopped worrying. I’m fine the way I am. This is me, love it or not. I trusted that Jackson would appreciate me for my heart and my mind, even if everything else was a bit worn down.
At 5pm I got a message from Jackson. Did I want to meet for dinner that very night or Tuesday? I wrote him back, a bit worried he would be jet-lagged and told him I would do whatever was best for him and I was flexible (my mind was screaming to tell him I wanted to go now! not wait! but I didn’t want to be pushy)
He called me a few minutes later and said if I was up for the drive we could meet for dinner or not. He wasn’t ambivalent, but maybe the reality was kicking in for him, too? We spoke for a few minutes and immediately started to have a very energetic conversation. It was very apparent to me that we needed to meet and meet that night.
We started joking around and I told him I was going to get in the car and be there by 7:30pm. Then Jackson asked me if I was sure, realizing it was going to mean a late dinner (which, by the way, I hadn’t eaten a thing all day I was so nervous). I told him I wouldn’t sleep if we put it off for another day. He innocently asked me why. I just said; “Are you [censored] kidding me? I’ll be there as soon as I can!”
I ran up to the laundry room and my stupid jeans were stupid-wet! Ugh..I finished getting ready, while I tried to get my jeans to dry. Clearly they were going to need at least another 30 minutes so I just put them on. It was a disgusting feeling, but I didn’t care. I didn’t care it was 37° F outside and that it was incredibly windy, either. I’d crank the heat in the car and I’d forget about my jeans. I gotta go! I have a…meeting? What do I have? It’s not a date? Oh geez..there goes my mind again…next!
It’s 50 miles to the top secret location where Jackson was staying. He’s in a “Ye Olde Typical Connecticut Inn.” He even told me his room number! Yikes! He was really trusting me not to call ALL my CT cat rescue peeps and tell them where I was going. I wanted to tell the WORLD where I was going and who I was about to meet, but I didn’t dare do that. I didn’t want to be that sort of person. I hoped that Jackson and I could be friends and friends don’t betray their friend’s trust. Okay, I DID tell a few of my girlfriends I was going to dinner, but that was IT. I was in a purposeful news blackout online.
On I-95, a very dangerous stretch of highway, I almost got taken out by a Porsche rounding a turn in New Haven. Although I had the tunes cranked and was running through a million scenarios of what was about to happen, I drove very carefully and was able to get out of the way of the over zealous driver in time. It would be just my luck to get into an accident and never see Jackson in person!
At last I saw the exit I needed to take and got off the highway. My GPS said it was only 3 more miles. Just think, Jackson Galaxy is sitting in a hotel 3 miles from where I was at that very moment and I was one of the few people in the world who knew that.
I arrived at the location and my stupid jeans were still damp. It was windy as Hell and I didn’t care if my hair got messed up. I had a smile plastered on my face. My cheeks were sore from smiling so much. I walked into the hotel. I said hello to the woman at the Front Desk and asked to be directed to Jackson’s room since I knew the number. I was so excited I walked right past the elevator she pointed out to me.
Once I got to the correct floor, I walked right past Jackson’s room, not realizing it. I thought I was close, so I decided to text him: “Knock, Knock” instead of knocking on his door for real. I noticed I’d gone too far and turned around, trying to get to his door before he opened it. As I reached his room, the door opened.
There stood Jackson Galaxy…brushing his teeth.
…to be continued...