The following is an absolute true story. I wouldn’t believe it myself, if it didn’t happen to me. My now daughter-in-law can vouch for what is going to sound like a story from a movie.
Jenny, my daughter-in-law, and I were sitting with our feet up on our suitcases with our jackets draped across our cold bodies in a Dallas, Texas, airport, waiting for our flight to California. As we sat we noticed an actor from an old TV show but couldn’t recall his name. (And no, that is not the famous person this story is about.)
“Who is that guy?” I said, trying to retrieve his name. And suddenly, out of nowhere, this famous movie star was standing in front of me. He said, “Who me?”
I am not going to reveal who it was because I just don’t feel it would be right, but I will tell you he is a huge movie star with many box office hit movies, including a current release.
“Who me?” he said. I am thinking “I can’t believe it! I can’t believe who is standing in front of me right now!” Very casually I said, “No, not you. I know who you are. I love your work. I am talking about that guy over there. I think he was in a cop show.”
“Chips. The show was Chips,” the guy sitting behind us chimed in.
“That’s right!” I said with excitement finally figuring out the puzzle, “Chips! But I still can’t remember his name.”
Then the famous guy standing next to me looked up the actor’s name on his phone and revealed to us the other actor’s name. I responded with what could be considered a small cheer for the retrieval of the news.
“You look better in person,” he says to me. And we started a conversation.
“What’s your name?” he asked me.
“Lu,” and I shook his hand.
He asked where we were going and why. I told him that Jenny was marrying my son and we were on the way to L.A. for a shower that my friend was throwing her. I asked him if he was married.
“Divorced, three times.”
“Ohhhhhhh, what happened?!” I asked.
“Ohhhhhhh,” he says making fun of me, smiles and replies, “It’s fine.”
But from the smell of alcohol on him I knew it wasn’t fine.
Random people were stopping by to get a picture with him. But as soon as they took the picture and said good-bye, he continued talking to me.
“Are you married?” he asked.
“Yes,” as I thought about my husband at home anxiously waiting for me, “Thirty years, and I’d marry him again.”
He handed me his phone showing me pictures of his kids, numerous pictures. We talked more about his children and other random stuff.
When it was time for him to board, of course, he was in first class and first to board. He waved to me as he walked toward the plane. He was graciously accommodating and kind as many were taking pictures of him.
“He was totally hitting on you!” Jenny said with enthusiasm, “I can’t wait to tell my friends that [famous person] was hitting on my mother-in-law!” (I loved that the wedding was three weeks out and she was already calling me her mother-in-law.)
“Nahhh” I said.
While in coach, at the back of the plane, I couldn’t help but think about the famous star in the front of the plane, sitting in first class. Yes, he had a better seat with food and all the perks that first class brings, but I kind of felt sorry for him. He was going home to an empty house, (one of his ex-wives had custody of his kids). There would be no, “Yea, Daddy’s home!” Maybe that’s why he was drinking.
Thinking about how happy and excited I was to be returning home to my husband—a man I adore, respect, and admire—I felt beyond blessed for my amazing life. Nobody wanted to take my picture as I boarded the plane, and the only thing offered to me from the flight attendant was a non-alcoholic beverage, but I had an incredible life waiting for me back home, fantastically-filled with family and friends, three amazing kids, and the sweetest “new daughter” who would make any mother proud. I have a privileged life, one for which I am truly grateful. (The biggest “glitch” in my charmed life is that my son lives in Texas.)
Nevertheless, at the top would be my husband who, is the absolute bomb, flies me to Texas regularly so I can see our son, loves me beyond measure, and whom I love waking up to each morning! (…when I am not out-of-town or hobnobbing with famous people).
At the end of the day—or in this case, the flight—the biggest star I ever encountered would have to be my husband. Can I get applause? Get it, movie star, applause? Nevermind.
And that’s my story! My real-life, true story that felt like a movie.