Sunday, June 2, 2013


Returning to this blog after more than a year of silence is tough. So, I'll do it the cheapest way I know how: with a flagrant summation of one of my latest celebrity run-ins.

It was my last week of work at the fancy pants restaurant where I managed events for about 4 years. I had coordinated a lady lunch fundraiser for a charity promoting heart health. There were a few events starting at the same time that afternoon so my boss asked me to stand as greeter outside the dining room. For a few hours I stood directing the parade of Christian Louboutins toward their table or nearest restroom. It wasn't the most glamorous post, but the occasional Katie Couric/Hoda sighting kept things interesting.

Per usual, an army of young black-dress-clad PR girls had been assigned to event check-in. The girl in charge was an insufferable thin British broad who simply couldn't stop complaining.

The raspberries in the champagne flutes aren't sinking.
The fire exit signs are ugly. Can we cover them?
The toilet seat in the handicap restroom seems too tall.

I spent the morning trying to avoid her breathy accented commands until finally she approached me with a request I could tolerate.

She asked if, on her signal, I could escort a guest to the nearest land line telephone (downstairs in my boss' office). A "very important" guest needed to take a quiet call. I obliged and waited. A few minutes later she frantically flailed her gaunt arms at me from across the room (the not-so-subtle signal). The crowd parted and Barbara Streisand came power walking toward me.

Barbara was arguing with another woman as they rushed over. I sprinted ahead and led them down a hall toward the elevator that leads to my boss' office. They didn't pause to acknowledge me until the elevator doors closed. "Thank you dear," Barbara Streisand said to me (to me!). I squeaked a your welcome and pressed the same button 6 more times. When we entered the office, Barbara immediately poured into my boss' swivel chair and let out an exaggerated sigh (exactly the way I hoped she would). She grabbed an unopened bottle of Perrier on his desk and pointed it at me. "May I?"

Of course! I dove across the office to grab her a napkin. The other woman (who turned out to be her agent) dialed someone from QVC on speaker phone. Barbara proceeded to do a 10 minute interview about her latest album. I waited outside as she chatted.

When she was done, she left the half full Perrier (which I kept like a weirdo) and asked me to guide her back upstairs. My coworker followed us back up. We were out of the elevator and almost back to the doors of the restaurant when (my new BFF) Barb let out a shriek!

"OH MY DIAMOND," Barbara Streisand screamed as she lurched forward to try to catch the giant pendant that had just fallen from her necklace.

My coworker and I fell to the floor like we were on fire. Something shiny and more expensive than our apartments had just skated across the room. When we found it (thank you baby Jesus) Barbara nervously begged my coworker to put it back on her. Once it was back around her neck, Barbara turned to me and her agent and asked if she looked alright. I nodded an immediate yes as her agent fussed with her bangs for a moment before sending her back into the party.

I like to tell people that Barb winked at me before leaving, but I'm fairly certain that's a lie. Either way, we saved her diamond and her half drunk bottle of water.


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