March 16, 2005

face recognition

Yesterday I took Damian to the pediatrician. He's had a fever and cough since Saturday; we wanted to make sure he wasn't harboring an infection. But traffic was mindbendingly horrible: a twenty five minute drive took close to an hour. At three p.m. This, my friends, is what happens when an ever-growing city doesn't think ahead to create a strong mass transit infrastructure (or dismantles the one they have, a la Who Framed Roger Rabbit, which was a colorfully clad rant about the death of the Red Car trolley system).

Anyway. As a result, I lost the appointment time and had to sit in an overstuffed chair in the waiting room reading a kiddie science magazine cover to cover as my sick boy snuggled in my lap and discussed volcanoes and magma with me. People came and went, those with check-ups and sick-kid appointments that they somehow managed to appear for at the allotted hour. This is a very desirable pediatrician, progressive and intelligent, with a warm way with kids and an embrace of the alternative but not the quack. (In fact, he was just written up in the LA Times.) I always feel like the poorest person in the waiting room when we go but it's kind of irrelevant. So what if everyone else lives in the Pacific Palisades and sends their kids to private school? He's a good doc and not a snob.

Anyway. A woman came in, elegant and lovely, beautifully put together, poised. She came with her teenaged daughter. I looked at her, then looked again. She looked so familiar, why? Oh, of course! I knew her in college, didn't I? Not well, we weren't in the same communities, but then I saw her last year at a classmate's reading. Yes, that was it. I remember being struck then by the sadness beneath the poise, the pain under the rich gloss. Yesterday at the doc's waiting room, I regretted my own state of, well, un-gloss (sick kid, y'know) and tried to catch her eye. Meaning: I kept glancing at her, hoping she'd remember me.

A minute or two went by. I thought maybe I could say something as she sat down. Tried to remember her name. Did. Along with her name, I got a clear image of her the last time I'd seen her.

Um. Not the same woman. Similar affect, but not the same. Why had I had that flash of recognition, then?

Duh. Because I did recognize her. From the MOVIES. I'd been spending the last five minutes staring fixedly at Renee Ru$$o.

When you live in and around Hollywood, one crucial thing you DO NOT EVER DO is make a celebrity feel overexposed. It's as uncouth as you can get. What did I do in that doc's waiting room? Yeah.

Boy do I feel like a dork.

Posted by Tamar at March 16, 2005 04:31 PM | TrackBack

Been out of the business awhile, eh? Forgot you live in a company town?

Posted by: Chris at March 17, 2005 06:00 AM

An embarrassing story in a new way...when That Thing You Do came out, I found out that Steve Zahn had gone to my college. He was a couple of years older, was a senior when I started, but he was so familiar so I knew we'd taken a class together. I even figured out which class, where he sat, etc.

Then I found out he dropped out after a semester. Duh!

Posted by: Rachel at March 17, 2005 06:50 AM

My variation on this: Darin and I are standing outside of our hotel in Westwood (before we even moved down) and I see this guy come out who's dressed head to foot in Nike gear: t-shirt, shorts, socks, shoes. He's got wild flailing hair, and a limo pulls up for him.

I'm on the verge of saying, "Another goddamn Andre Agassi clone"* when Darin says, "Diane, that *is* Andre Agassi."

*Cf. Laurie Anderson.

Posted by: Diane at March 20, 2005 07:30 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?