In a lifetime, we are collectors of moments. Moments that define who we are and what we believe in. Over time, some fade or become overshadowed by something larger than what came before.
You may be thinking that this is the part where I’m going to cram some sappy childbirth story down your neck. Instead, I’ll tell you all about the minutes after the birth of my daughter, how the doctor I never met before took his sweet ass time stitching up my lady bits (which I can only assume resembled whatever came out of the other side of that wood chipper in Fargo). Fresh baby in my arms, I asked through clenched teeth if he was “stitching a fucking sampler”. If ever there were a time to critique someone’s work, I’d say that topped the list.
I could dial it back a little further and tell you about the first time I took a pregnancy test and debated with my best friend whether or not there was a line in the second circle. That is, until ten minutes later when she so astutely pointed out that the VERY CLEAR line was in the spot that actually mattered. (It was then that I promised myself if I ever again questioned whether or not an actual human had taken up residence in my uterus, I’d spring the extra ten bucks and get one of those fancy ones that say YES YOU IDIOT. I need answers. Not a god damn sudoku puzzle.)
But those are stories that many people have. Different versions of course, but the topic is broad. As luck (?) would have it, I’m going to bet that few individuals would have been dropped lifelessly to the ground by a cold stare from an actual BEATLE. Yes. THE Beatles.
As in Paul McCartney.
It happened on an October morning in 2000 on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. At five minutes to 8, the man wished me dead.
Struggling to keep up with my roommate, Kathleen, (a Westchester native with the voice of Kathleen Turner and the gait of a hotly pursued gazelle) we hoofed it up Park Avenue, late as usual. A couple, linked by the arms walked toward us and as we approached each other, I stopped dead in my tracks. My right arm shot out to hold Kathleen back as I fought to find the words to explain why I was suddenly standing there in stunned silence. Then, with the tact of the Beverly Hillbilles I yelled/screeched, “IT’S PAUL MCCARTNEY.”
He was no less than 8 feet away from us at that point. Without breaking stride he and Heather Mills huffed passed us while he gave me a cold hard stare that suggested he’d BURY me if he could. There they were, innocently trying to start their morning and here’s some snot nosed peon trying to incite a riot by loudly calling attention to ONE OF THE MOST RECOGNIZABLE HUMANS ON THE PLANET.
Now I’m not proud of this amateur display of star strucked-ness. But in the years since, I feel I’ve redeemed myself by not acting like a total asshole in the presence of other celebrities. (Well, except for the time David Sedaris got out of a car outside the boutique I worked at and I stood on the step, wearing heels and leaned down to whisper in his ear, “you’re one of my favorite people in the world…” He may actually have a restraining order.)
On the other hand, let’s review.
I did not try to trip his already impaired then-wife.
I did not yell, “GEORGE WROTE ALL THE GOOD SONGS.” or “LOOK! IT’S JOHN LENNON.”
I did not throw up on him.
I did not ask for a photo/autograph/handshake/love child.
My offenses were few. But fine. Whatever. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he had hemorrhoids that were flaring up. Or maybe Heather was just on his case already that day. We all know how THAT turned out.
In any event, it’s my moment. And I’ll cherish it forever. Because George Harrison isn’t coming back from the dead to overshadow it.
Did a Beatle ever wish you harm? How about John Travolta? I don’t trust that guy. Tell me all about your moment!