I’m Growing Up, I’m 57!!! (said with a kick like Molly Shannon on SNL)

me with my dad, "Duke" at the beach house in 1992

My husband has heard my stories so many times he’s given each a number.   There’s the hilarious # 12, the poignant # 8B, and the surefire crowd-pleasers #2 and #33.  Rather than hear them again, at this point in our marriage he prefers I just call out the number.  This one I’m going to tell you is kind of a celebrity-sighting story – it doesn’t have a number yet, but here goes.

Eighteen summers ago when the show my husband had worked on was ending — well, not so much ending as the host was retiring —  he treated himself to a summer in the “bu.”  (Malibu, for those not in the know).   After all the years of experience with my dad blowing big wads of cash on summer rentals, I decided to help with the negotiations.  My dad would always start his rental on Memorial Day and end at Labor Day.  So, I suggested the same and we got the real estate agent to agree on a lower price for the longer term.  My husband moved into a wonderful home on Old Malibu Road the very night of the show’s last taping.

The summer of ‘92 on Old Malibu Road could have been its own book or at the very least a good short story.   Suffice it to say, it was a grand summer.

One of my BFF’s, Kimme, was living a few houses up the road and another friend, Billy, was renting a bit further up.  So, I would take walks and visit my homies.   One day, chatting with Billy outside his house, his front door opened and out stepped Richard Gere.  We were introduced and he was quite engaging and, well, he was Richard Gere!  I then remembered with horror the grotesque and enormous zit I was sporting on my back, a wicked thing that my dress didn’t entirely cover.  So I did the only natural thing, and I started to leave walking backwards, bowing Asian-style, and informing Gere that I had to spare him the hideous sight.  And that is when this handsome and funny movie star started to beg and plead that I reveal the big-ass zit.

I’m pretty sure I managed to escape without “sharing.”  Cut to today.  I’m flying home from New York, First Class.  I rarely fly in a seat number lower than 23, but it was my birthday and we had trillions of miles that needed using.

So, as I write this, I am enjoying United’s Red Carpet Club, one of life’s great perks .  And I’m taking full advantage, helping myself to all the water and Diet Cokes I can glom.  What can I say, I like free shit.  I’ve got all my little plates of snacks and opened cans of drinks spread out, a real Beverly Hillbilly, when suddenly, a man walks up and wants my table — not in any kind of obnoxious way, I’m sure he’d be happy to share it — but as I start to clean up after myself, I can’t help but notice that he’s Richard Gere.  I retreat to another area,  completely uncharacteristic of me, because I love to play “six degrees” and figure out what friends we might have in common.  Fortunately for him I have a memory lapse about our previous meeting on Malibu Road, and of the aforementioned zit.

Now, he’s on my flight, sitting right in front of me and I manage to get through the whole trip without ever accosting him with our shared history.  Had I done so, I might have offered this bit of useless information– that I think my husband looks a little like him, and I’m not totally delusional, other people have thought the same thing.  I’ve very recently outgrown the need to talk to everyone all the time and make connections that aren’t necessary.

Maybe I really am growing up!

Barnaby with his future step-brother Max on Old Malibu Road

Now, the mention of food, the most important part of any day and certainly of the flight.  I realize I was flying first class but do you think I can rely on the food tasting good? Someone else might, not me.  So, I was fully prepared as usual.  I had stopped at Zabars for the fresh whitefish salad, the best.  Then a quick trip to H&H for the best bagels in New York City.  Sliced the sesame that I would want to enjoy my whitefish salad on and I was set.  And when my tray was set with it’s white airplane sized tablecloth, I pulled out my stash and was a happy little first class flyer, sans the big mouth that has to make friends with famous people that I don’t “really” know.

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6 Responses to “I’m Growing Up, I’m 57!!! (said with a kick like Molly Shannon on SNL)”

  1. cathy says:

    Has the planet stopped spinning? Rivers stopped running? Sun stopped glowing?
    Maybe it isn’t that you are growing up but (to age myself) there simply isn’t room for one more card in the rolodex.
    I really enjoyed that blog and I can’t wait to tell you about the paletas (mexican popscicles) I ate in Santa Maria yesterday.

  2. Love your stories … and old Malibu Road.

    Richard Gere walked into my shop holding hands with Cindy Crawford … I immediately forgot whomever I was on the phone with and hung up, just momentarily bedazzled by so much beauty.

  3. cristi martin ulrich says:

    Home, Home and home! Sad to say no Richard Gere on my plane and OMG – no first class!!! Next time I’m going with you. Never had Zanbars whitefish salad – and I can’t believe that “DUKE” let a moment pass without one word!! Age – no, no just Freddee!! xxoo great post!

  4. Doreen says:

    What? This just doesn’t read like you without you doing the “do you know” thing and making connections that aren’t necessary….especially with such a great giant zit story to share. What’s happened to you? You can’t give that up!! Love you!!!!

  5. pauli moss says:

    Wonderfully written – love Zabar’s too. Wish I had known your Dad and would love see the documentary tribute that everyone is raving about. You should put it on IMDB!

  6. Susan H says:

    Hey Freddie,
    Lily told me that you were having a screening of a film you made?
    Is it over? I’m home and just read your great post…always love your stories.
    Lily and I had a fun breakfast in the 70’s , above a market ,,that I’m now forgetting the name of. But best sour cream waffle I ever had! I think you wrote about this market restaurant before. Damn what’s the name of it??

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