I live in LA, and I’m a tv writer, so celebrity sightings are about as common as red lights. Just this morning, driving across the 20th lot, I almost hit T.J. Thyne from Bones with my car because I drive a hybrid and they’re SO QUIET, and when you’re zipping around on a little bicycle, you just don’t know I’M RIGHT BEHIND YOU.
In the last ten years, I’ve had some fairly big sightings. Stephen Spielberg on a corner in Beverly Hills. Walter Matthau, also on a corner in Beverly Hills, but a different corner, and obviously that was a while ago, because he was alive. Cyndi Lauper just a few weeks ago. She looks GOOD, and seriously, ‘Time After Time’ does not get old. Leonardo DiCaprio at a party in The Colony (that was back in my assistant days, my oh so fun assistant days of scheduling pedicures and brushing dogs’ teeth). Tom Hanks (quick aside: I took my mom to see ‘Mission Impossible’ when it came out a hundred years ago, and I couldn’t figure out why she was all excited to go, because my mom doesn’t really like movies, and when it was over we walked out and she said, “Now, who in that movie was Tom Hanks?”). Gabriel Byrne. A bunch of American Idols. Suge Knight. Cuz that’s how I roll. Oodles of sitcom people. Colin Firth. I like him just as he is. All the Grey’s people. Ben Stiller in the elevator up to my old office. A few months ago, when I was leaving work, Hugh Laurie was right behind me on his motorcycle. I like him just as he is, too. Ice Cube, who was behind me at a gate going into a different studio. I could see his diamond studs in my rearview mirror. HUU-YOOGE. Katherine Keener and Dermott Mulroney (back when they were married and Daisy was a puppy and they wanted to pet her and because I’m nice I let them), Alecia Keyes, Nathan Fillion, Neil Patrick Harris, I have to include Felicia Day because I think she’s an internet genius, all the casts of all the shows I’ve written, Elvis Costello, Stanley from The Office, who gave me sunscreen when we were on strike and picketing in the hot sun…
I could go on and on until the internet ran out. It’s LA. They’re EVERYWHERE. In general, there’s that little moment of “Oh, that’s… whoever!” And maybe you relive a childhood memory or two, or do a spur-of-the-moment critique of whoever's last movie, then you go on with your day.
Yesterday was different. I recently (as in two days ago) joined the Single Mothers by Choice listserve on Yahoo! Pretty much just lurking at the moment, learning the ropes, trying to figure out the lingo (BFP? BBT? AAARRRGGGHH.).
So I’m reading away, gleaning all I can glean, and I read one particular comment, and I think, this woman’s story sounds familiar… Where have I heard this before? And her son’s name is Scott… and I go HOLY CRAP! This is Louise Sloan! Louise Sloan, who wrote “Knock Yourself Up!” LOUISE SLOAN, people!!!
Taking a moment.
Now. When I saw Walter Matthau on the corner in Beverly Hills, he was wearing a pale yellow linen suit, and I’ve never seen anyone or anything more magnificent. Truly. And I’m including the Grand Canyon and the Eiffel Tower at night. The man was a STAR. It emanated from his pores. He was old as the hills and doing nothing but standing on a corner, and he was absolutely riveting. My throat got tight. I can remember the feeling to this day. He died not long after that, but just having seen him made me feel a connection to a different Hollywood, a more magical Hollywood. Though he was barely twenty feet away, it may as well have been a million miles.
But Louise Sloan, who must be thousands of miles away, was RIGHT HERE. On the computer in my breakfast room. I could join an internet conversation she was having RIGHT THEN. I could ask her a question, just by pressing some little buttons that form words, and hitting send. This is why the internet is CRAZY. Because as cool as Walter Matthau is, he didn’t change my life. Louise Sloan kinda did. Reading her book was one of the key things that made me believe I could be a single mom. It helped me decide what path to take.
And I think I’ve decided. It’s been settling in slowly for awhile, and I think it’s here to stay.
So let me take this opportunity to say: Thanks, Louise.