Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Christopher Meloni, A Towel and Me

For a long time, two things remained constant in my life; Christopher Meloni (Law&Order, Oz) and dry skin. Why did handing Christopher Meloni a gym towel 20 years ago, when I worked at a gym where he was a member, lead to a lifelong connection that he knows nothing about? That towel was the beginning of a twenty-year one-sided romance.

When I met Christopher at that gym, a million years ago, he wasn’t the Christopher Meloni that he is today. Back then he was just another hot struggling actor. He’d come in almost every day and he flirted with me each and every time.

ME: Towel?
CHRISTOPHER: Sure.

You could cut the sexual tension with a knife. There were many events, coincidences and incidents over the years, that linked us together. I believe the most significant one came when I was traveling around Europe, after leaving Los Angeles.

My friends always stayed vigilant when it came to CM sightings and how they might fit into my life. I received an e-mail at my hotel in Krakow, Poland, from a friend who told me that CM was starring in the play, A View From The Bridge, in Dublin, Ireland. So close. Dublin, Ireland here I come!

When I arrived in Dublin, I immediately took a bus to the theater, where a jolly lolly woman in the box office said that the show was sold out. Are you f’in kidding me? I came all the way from Krakow! She suggested I get to the theater at seven o’clock for last minute cancellations. Done jolly lolly.

I couldn’t meet Detective Stabler wearing my torn and tattered sneakers. I looked like a bag lady. It had been a long way to Tipperary. I found a cheap Irish department store, filled with drunks, their shattered dreams and synthetic blends. I bought a pair of inexpensive high-heeled plastic and rubber puke brown boots. They weren’t comfortable either. 

I returned to the theater at 6:29p and sat my tight and tired ass on the cold concrete steps. I took out my tacky boots from my sassy backpack and began the footwear switch, when out of the corner of my eye, the man, the myth, the legend, Christopher Meloni, was heading towards me.

My face turned crimson and my palms began to sweat. The side zipper snagged my ratty athletic sock, and my foot hung limp from the boot like a flacid cock. I lowered my head and pretended to read my David Sedaris book, Dress Your Family In Corduroy and Denim.

What was I supposed to do, say hello, while pulling on my boots? Yes, because that’s what sane people do. Maybe I should’ve said, “Towel?” and waited for a reaction. I felt him glance over at me but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t in a, ‘hey, who’s the hottie in the plastic boots’, kind of way. I wanted to scream, “I’m not a homeless person who likes theater!”

Christopher had his, ‘an actor prepares’, hat on and quickly disappeared into the theater. I kicked myself with my plastic boot for being such a pussy. I couldn’t let it end there so I decided to write him a note inviting him out for a drink after the show. Of course I’d explain our mutual connections so as not to scare him.

I ripped out a blank sheet of paper from the back of my book and started writing. The only thing that I can remember about the note was that I mentioned a friend of his, who was a friend of a friend of mine, who had died in 911. This was sure to endear myself to him.

When I walked into the theater, I handed my note to jolly lolly in the box office and asked her to give it to Mr. Meloni. She looked up at me, then down at the folded paper, and then back up at me. I knew that as soon as I walked away she’d read it, pee her pants, and pitch it in the trash. I wasn’t naive. 

After an hour waiting in line, I got a ticket. My seat was in the very last row. The blokes sitting next to me informed me that I should thank their friend Rory whose seat I was sitting in. At the last minute, Rory had to fly to Croatia on business. Thank you, Rory and God Bless You.

Was I really going to wait by the stage door? I deluded myself into thinking that Christopher got my note. But what if he did get my note, and decided to leave through the back door? What if he didn’t get my note, and I saw him outside? Would I tell him about the note? What if he started running down the street? Would I run after him? That would be scary. For both of us.

It was the summer of taking chances. I waited outside the theater, and pretended to call someone on my cell phone. I didn’t want to look like a fan. What the hell was I doing? I immediately abandoned ship as soon as I came to my senses and put plastic boots to pavement and walked to the bus stop. The boots did nothing for my remaining bunion. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times; nothing says old Jew like a bunion.

I continued looking over my shoulder to see if I could catch a glimpse of Christopher leaving the theater. As I passed hotel after hotel, I felt like a streetwalker on the job.

What if Christopher was expecting me? That teeny tiny glimmer of hope loomed large in my teeny tiny brain. I couldn’t live without knowing, so I hobbled back to the theater. As I approached, I saw only darkness.

I turned around, again, and limped back to the bus stop. I definitely looked like a hooker. I stopped into one of the hotels and tried to pick up a few Euros. Ireland isn’t cheap you know.

12 comments:

Caffeinated OC Mommy said...

So tell me Darling,
Have you seen him since? xoxo

Anonymous said...

Just think--if you had saved some of those sweaty towels he used, you could have auctioned them off on ebay where equally smitten fools (like me) would buy them ;-)

thegirlfriendmom said...

I've seen him one other time at a function but I stayed clear of him.

Believe you me, I wished I had saved some of those towels. I think there are a lot of fools out there who would buy them!

Thanks for stopping by.

Norine Dworkin-McDaniel said...

I hear you! Back in my entertainment writing days, when L&O SVU was just starting, I was sent by a crime web site to spend the day on set and interview the actors. When it came time to talk to Chris Meloni, he was in his dressing room, stripping down to his briefs. I really tried to at least pretend not to notice, but the guy is gorgeous, and I think it was pretty clear that I was having a little difficulty maintaining focus till he put his clothes back on. He thought the whole thing was hilarious and grabbed my tape recorder and starting fake moaning into it. It gave me a great lede for the story -- who wouldn't read something that started Chris Meloni is standing in his boxers ... ?
A few weeks later, SVU was shooting in midtown and I went over to say hi. He actually remembered me and we chatted for a few minutes. I remember saying Hey, call me! as I left. Of course, he didn't. But it made for a terrific story.

Debbie said...

I HAVE A MAD, MAD, CRAZY ASSED CRUSH ON VIGGO MORTENSEN. And I have seriously thought about not stalking him per se, but just seeing if I could actually find him. I somehow stumbled across tickets to an early showing of "The Road" (the most depressing film ever) which was going to be followed by a Q&A. I was dying. Went to the movie, and sure as shit, out came my fantasy boyfriend in the flesh wearing a t-shirt and jeans. By this time I was sobbing hysterically because the movie was so sad. He stayed a good hour answering questions and then the moderator told everyone that he had to leave so don't come up and ask Viggo for an autograph. The minute the words left his mouth the entire audience rushed up front but he slipped out. Walking to my car I prayed I'd run into him. And then what? Who wants to feel like a crazy middle-aged movie star stalker. Isn't that sad? These guys have no idea how we really feel and though it may seem giddy and childish, there's no getting around it ... WE LOVE THEM!!!!

Loved your story. And am damn jealous ... at least you got to see your boyfriend live and in person on a regular basis you lucky!

XOXO
Deb

checkout my blog - dedicated to the man himself.

www.trixiesmommy.blogspot.com

thegirlfriendmom said...

Deb,
I'm now following you and love your site. We're total BFF's now, whether you like it or not.

Astra said...

Krakow to Dublin ... that tops any crush I've *ever* had on anyone or anything! Unless of course you count that time I wore my Bay City Roller outfit to school (but we won't count that now will we?). This story is just hysterical! And to think... you knew him when ...

Debbie said...

LIKEWISE! Following you as well! Don't you love the blogsphere LOL!

XOXO
Deb

monicastangledweb.com said...

I love this story, so well written and so witty, too. I used to watch this guy on SVU, but didn't think of him in this way, though, I imagine, had I been handing him towels as long as you did, I might be thinking of him differently today. I was hoping for a happier ending, one in which he sweeps you off your feet. I was thinking about my own crush (Colin Firth) and hoping to live vicariously through you.

thegirlfriendmom said...

Norine- That is an awesome story! I don't want to rain on your parade but you do know that he's married, right? Sorry if this is the first that you're hearing about it! Thanks for sharing.

ASTRA: That Bay City Rollers outfit sort of counts. It would count more if you had a picture!

Monica- Sorry about the sad ending but like I told Norine, he is married and I'm no home wrecker. There's a world of difference between stalker and home wrecker. Thanks, as always, for reading!

Anonymous said...

This was hilarious and so well written. I, too, am a Meloni fan and have met him...I haven't been the same since. Although the worst thing I ever did in the name of a crush was fly from So Cal to Idaho to see an actor in a play. I tried to tell everyone I was going up to Idaho on a kayaking vacation, but no one believed me. I even rented a kayak one day, dammit! To top it off, he was starring as the Beast in Beauty and the Beast, and was wearing a mask the whole play! Of course the one moment I decide to go to the bathroom and end up in a deserted hallway, there he is, in full beast costume and awaiting his next turn on stage. What does my brilliant self do? I screech, and turn and practically run. I'm awesome, really.

Loved this story and your blog.

thegirlfriendmom said...

Thank you Anonymous for the kind words. So Cal to Idaho is no Krakow to Dublin, but I will give you props. The best was the fact that you actually bought a kayak. Thank you for the love.