Saturday, November 15, 2014

What's cool about living in LA

LA can be hectic, it can be a drag, it can be a rat race, but every once in a while something happens that makes you go - Hey, how cool is it to live here?

We were having lunch at a Santa Monica seafood restaurant, and a group of five sat down at the table next to us. Two couples and one child, a small girl, they ordered a bottle of prosecco that was clearly intended to be celebratory. We smiled at them and minded our own business.

As we ate our oysters on the half shell and dunked king crab legs in cocktail sauce, a plastic toy fell and then skittered on the wooden floor behind one of the women, beyond her view. I picked it up and put it on the table next to her, saying, "I think the little girl dropped this." She thanked me, with a beautiful smile.

A little later, their food came, looking delicious. As we were ready to order, [The Man I Love] asked them about one of the side dishes, and we took their advice that it was delicious.

How do conversations begin? A polite question about the celebration? A compliment about a well-behaved child? A shared enjoyment of salmon fillet or brussels sprouts? We started to talk. The older couple was from Austin, Texas, celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary.  My family was from Texas, too, we exclaimed. More smiles.

How did it go next? The younger woman, the child's mother, mentioned growing up in Rhode Island; [The Man I Love] said he'd gone to school nearby in Boston and had studied music. She said something about attending Julliard, and we asked if she was a performer, and she said she was. We introduced ourselves; they introduced themselves. She said her name was Viola.

Viola Davis.

Of course, now I recognized her. She is incredibly beautiful.

A great conversation ensued. We talked about working in the theatre, we talked about the work her husband was doing; we talked about a mutual friend, an artist she and [The Man I Love] both know well. We talked about projects she and her husband were working on, theatre projects and TV series and shows. I even confided my creative writing dreams.

She and her husband had brought a beautiful cake to celebrate their friends' anniversary, and they kindly invited us to enjoy it with them (it was delicious!).

When their party left, we all shook hands, exchanged cards, and Ms. Davis even gave me a hug. Wow!

I'm not usually star struck. In fact, I seldom recognize movie stars when I see them. But what really gets me feeling awed is when someone famous turns out to be a nice, caring, kind, generous, regular person. A lovely person. Like Ms. Davis.

Things like this happen in LA, when you least expect it.


Cheri @ Blog This Mom!® said...

That is LA. A close friend of mine once lived next door to Jimmy Smits. I ran into him regularly and we'd chat like neighbors. I lived and worked in LA most of my life, so I don't get starstruck either, but it was hard not to get cute-man struck. :-)

Claudia from Idiot's Kitchen said...

Neat. Nice that you could have a normal conversation about mutual interests. I'm sure that famous people appreciate that rather than the usual gawking. However, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have been as cool as Cheri. Gawking at Jimmy Smits would be the norm for me.