Now that I have picked myself up off the floor…
Yesterday I spent several hours at Canoe Studios on 26th street in Manhattan for a photo shoot that will appear in the December issue of Better Homes and Gardens. It was straight out of a movie or television show, exactly what you’d think a bright New York loft studio would look and feel like, everyone running around with Very Important Things To Do. And then I walked into the room, no make-up on, no product in my frizzy hair as instructed by the stylist, and was like HEY, Y’ALL! Anybody got some pork rinds?!
Which reminds me. WARNING: TANGENT FORTHCOMING. So Marlo chipped her tooth, right? And she’s constantly crawling around mumbling, “Bobo. Bobo. Bobo.” At first we thought she picked that word up at my sister’s house because her Beagle’s name is Bo. But then Jon and I were going through a list of words with her — mama, dada, deeda, cuck, shithead — and when we got to Marlo she’d say, “BOBO!” My chipped-tooth baby calls herself Bobo.
It’s time to prop up a tire-less pick-up truck on cinder blocks in her bedroom. And over her crib we’ll hang a poster of Chuck Norris in a denim shirt with the sleeves ripped off.
I got to spend the first part of the day getting to know the editors and stylists and make-up artists while the the photographer shot the woman who will be featured in their November issue. And during that time I tried on the clothes I’d be wearing, eventually ending up in a giant white bathrobe and fluffy white slippers to wear until it was time for my shoot. And that was exactly what I was wearing when one of the editors came running in to tell me that Gwyneth Paltrow was filming something next door, that she was at the other side of the building about to come down the hall. We had just been talking about her, about how I had been featured in a newsletter about postpartum depression on her website, about the fact that Chris Martin is at the top of my list, followed very closely by Brad Pitt and David Beckham if he promised not to open his mouth and say anything.
Some people have very strong opinions about Gwyneth Paltrow, and you may think she is snooty and totally out of touch, but I couldn’t disagree with you more. I’ve been an admirer of her for years and probably have too much of my brain space occupied by facts about her life, her children, the loss of her father, and the fact that she openly admitted to feeling lost and confused after the birth of her son. For a celebrity of her magnitude, that’s huge. And so generous to women considering her platform.
It was a once in a lifetime opportunity. That’s what went through my head as I ran out of the studio in my robe and slippers. I waited at the end of the hall for her to come around the corner, a jillion incoherent syllables jumping around in my brain, and when she appeared, when the blinding light from her blonde hair and towering frame came into view, I saw the terrified look on her face. Like: OH MY GOD. I AM ABOUT TO BE ASSAULTED BY PETER PAN IN A BATHROBE.
I must have looked like a complete idiot, like some crazed stalker with skinned rabbits on her feet. Can you even imagine what she was thinking? Because she was totally avoiding eye contact with me. I would have avoided eye contact with me. I’d have been like, Peter? Here, you can have my wallet! Here’s my watch! Just please don’t try to pick me up and fly out the window!
To stem any further awkward seconds of our life I quickly approached her and said, “I hate to inconvenience you, but I wanted you to know that I am the woman whose website you featured a couple of weeks ago in your newsletter, the one about postpartum depression.”
And it was like I had just doused a fire with a giant bucket of water. Her shoulders relaxed and she smiled like she does in the movies.
“You’re that woman?!” she asked excitedly. I wanted to tell her that if I had a dime for every time someone has asked me that exact question…
Then she asked if she could hug me.
Let’s just say that this hug made the act of teaching Kourtney Kardashian how to change a diaper seem very much like the act of teaching Kourtney Kardashian how to change a diaper.
And then we talked for a few minutes more about postpartum depression, how so much more needs to be done about it, how I successfully went on to have Marlo. And then we both thanked each other as we walked back to our respective studios. That’s when she said, “Life is kind of strange, isn’t it? That we’d both end up here on the same day? So good to meet you.”
I walked back into the studio where everyone was waiting to hear what had happened, and immediately my legs wobbled and I hit the floor: was she nice? Did you guys talk? Did she smell good? Did you tell her how you feel about Chris?
Yes, yes, yes, and are you out of your mind? Now that I’ve met Gwyneth I have to take Chris off of my list! THOSE ARE THE RULES. Brad moves to the top spot, now leaving room for Zac Efron in the top five. (He’s legal. I checked.)
The photo shoot? Let’s just say THANK GOD I haven’t ever missed an episode of America’s Next Top Model. I was smizing! I was fierce! I was remembering my neck! I was living a little girl’s dream standing there in designer clothes, a photographer shouting, “GOOD! GREAT! LOVE IT!” Never before have I had so much fun pretend-laughing over my shoulder!
This is going to get me in so much trouble, but the photographer David, he was incredible, had really great energy, treated me so kindly, and because of him I now have a new favorite joke: what do you call a lesbian dinosaur?