A Michael Crichton Story Gone Wrong

I work as a Receptionist at a Talent Agency and I’m pretty much the perfect person to fill this position. As far as celebs go, unless you’ve starred in a Batman movie, I probably have no idea who you are. Thus, whenever a client comes in whom I actually recognize, it’s usually because said person is “kind of a big deal” (which is somehow always synonymous with “kind of a big asshole.”) I’ve learned not to attempt small talk with this breed of actor (thank you, evil chick from Hairspray). Basically, my job entails sitting in a lobby of silence for 9 hours a day. So, whenever any visitors come in I become the overly excited puppy who gets unnecessarily stoked to see ANYONE. I’m super friendly and could chat all day long with anybody. However, when a big named celeb comes in, I’ve learned not to waste my breath.

Last October, I had my first encounter with a recognizable actor who was really, really… nice! I know – crazy. He came in, told me his name (as if I didn’t know), said who he was here for and asked about the agency and if I liked my job. Obviously, I told him how bored to tears I am on a daily basis and he started discussing a Theater Production Company that he’s starting up. I instantly perked up and thought “NETWORKING GOLDMINE” and began plotting my way out of my dead-end Receptionist job. I had a great conversation with him before he went back to his meeting and I thought I’d made a good impression, should he be looking to hire someone new for his theater endeavor.

After he went back to his meeting, I hit up pretty much everyone I knew just to tell them how NICE of a guy this dude was. Once his meeting was over, he came back to the lobby and stood at the end of my desk. Juuuust stood there. Yup. A-list actor standing at my desk. In silence. Staring at me. Talk about AWKWARD. Finally I broke the silence and asked where he was filming, since he’d just booked a lead role on CI. Somehow that led to my Fantasy Football team, to awesome NY restaurants, and to him moving to Chelsea. Being the food-bag that I am, I started listing off all my favorite places to eat in his neighborhood (I’m not sure if eating is a talent or a hobby of mine, but either way I must say I’m VERY good at it). His face lit up, and he was like, “I’m from Philly and I’ve lived in LA the past (however many) years! You HAVE to tell me about all these places! Give me your information!”

This guy looked like he was in his early 40’s (come to find he’s 58) and he hadn’t been flirty at all. Being that I’m looking for a way out of my job to nowhere, I jotted down my e-mail without hesitation to which he said, “Put your number on there, too!” I briefly stalled, thinking maybe he IS being flirty, but I rationalized by reminding myself, “he’s way to old to be hitting on you, and you’re not that cute.” So, I wrote my number next to my e-mail and handed it to him. He took it, looked at it, looked back at me, paused and said, “I’ll call you on Sunday.” Then he turned on his heels and went down the elevator. Wha? I just sat there confused, thinking to myself “Dude, I can’t believe I just gave my phone number to…  an A-list celebrity. Random!”

At this point, I’m totally content knowing he’s never going to call me for a job or otherwise. This is just a semi-amusing encounter that I can share with my girlfriends. Bragging rights, WHATUP! “Someone famous asked for my phone number once. Crazy!” Then… that someone famous actually called me. The very next day. At 10am. WTF!? I have the voicemail saved; it’s classic. He sounds EXACTLY like he does in all of his movies (since he always plays the same role). I called him back later, brought up his theater endeavors and we agreed to meet for coffee a week later. Sweet, dude-bro is totally not hitting on me (or so I think). New job, here I come!

I called him up on coffee-meet-up day to ask him “What time would you like to meet?” and the conversation that followed pretty much went down like this:

Celeb guy: “When do you get out of work?”
Yours truly: “I get out at 7. I can meet you around 7:30?”
“Sure.”
“Where would you like to meet?”
“How about here. Then we can figure out a plan from there.”
“Um… where’s ‘here?’”
“The Mercer Hotel.”
“Ok, I’ll call you when I’m outside.”
Long pause… “I’m room 502.”
Click.

“Um… hello?” Ok, that’s kind of weird, but I figured I’d stick with the plan to meet him, then plan on making plans from there (as planned). Maybe we’d grab coffee in the lobby or around the corner or something. At this point, everyone I’ve retold this story to has stopped me and said “GIRL– WHAT THE FUCK?! Are you RETARDED?!” Apparently, this was a red flag. For whatever reason, I seem to live in a bubble where everyone has the best of intentions, and no one is out to grab my boobs. Red flag: unnoticed. Thanks, undeterred optimism.

So, 7 o’clock rolls around, I subway-it to The Mercer, and knock on room 502. Too little, too late, this is when the tiny voice inside my head decided to pipe up and say, “Um, this is not a good idea. Actually, this is probably the stupidest idea you’ve ever had. Like, even dumber than that time you jumped into the mall fountain in your underwear with Matt because you thought ‘it would be funny.’” The next thing I hear is my actor friend asking “Who is it?” in a purposely overdramatic deep voice, followed by him opening the door and acting “surprised” that it was me. I am officially creeped the fuck out.

I step in, and he immediately notices my purse. “Your purse is amazing! It’s like a disco ball! May I see it?” Shaking a little bit, I hand him my purse and probably babbled about where it came from. “What a nice wrap! May I take it from you?” I’m thinking to myself “What the hell is a wrap?” as he starts pulling on my jean jacket. I think to myself, “Oh, ok. I guess a jacket is a wrap. Maybe it’s a generational thing? ‘Wrap’ is what old people call jackets. Ok. Noted.” Then I watched as my own arm extended with said jacket. I was too busy mentally absorbing what a whack situation I had just gotten into to realize that in the meantime I was going through the perfunctory motion of removing my coat. Yes friends, I am in fact retarded. As he takes me coat, I think to myself, “Oh, fuck, we’re staying here…”

At this point, he walked over and plopped down on his bed facing his TV. I’m still standing at the foot of his bed, starting to REALLY freaking out. Should I sit down too? Where do I sit!? I can’t sit on his bed, he might think I’m being suggestive! This is one of the nicest hotels in the city… How can this place not have a freaking chair?!?! What do I do!? Why is my brain not working?!

Meanwhile, this guy is sitting there patting the spot next to him saying “Come have a seat.” I stood there for a second trying to come up with a good excuse to peace out since all of the sudden I’m feeling all kinds of uncomfortable.

After a painfully awkward 10 seconds of me just STANDING there like a retard, I decide that I’ll sit next to him, but with my feet hanging off the bed away from him so I’m totally facing the opposite direction, in an attempt to buy some time in which I can figure out a reasonable excuse of why I need to leave ASAP. He hasn’t hit on me or said anything inappropriate, but I know if I say anything to offend/piss him, off he totally has the power to get me fired. Thus, “Excuse me Mr. celebrity client, you’re sort of creeping me out” would not be appropriate here.

I sat down as planned (mentally picture this, I’m not even facing him, lol) and he asked if I wanted to continue watching a documentary with him. I haven’t been in New York too incredibly long, but long enough to know “Want to watch a movie with me?” is NY speak for “I’m going to try to get in your pants.” I open my mouth to say “Let’s leave and get coffee PRONTO!” but he cut me off and went into an over-the-top detailed description of the MURDER documentary he was currently watching. Then, he turns it on as he’s still explaining who slashed who and and how who’s arm ended up where. Yup, there went “Um, no actually. No, I would not like to watch part 2 of the 8-hour-a-piece 3 series Murder documentary with you, sir. But thank you kindly for asking.”

As he’s intently watching dead people on TV (not actors playing dead, ACTUAL dead people), I’m flipping out because I can’t think of a good reason to leave. I’m not an actress; I can’t fake a heart attack. I’m not fat enough to fake labor pains (yes, I did consider this as an option). I actually spent a good two minutes concentrating on my phone thinking I could make it ring if I concentrated hard enough. Would it seem too random at this point to suddenly feign ill? Would that piss him off? If I do something wrong, would he have me fired from my job? What the fuck am I still doing here?
The next thing I know, I’m completely thrown off guard because he grabbed my hand and started asking me about a cut on it. I told him a quick story about how I climbed up on my sink to reach something and managed to slip and catch myself (ie, eat it) on my futon. I’m not even paying attention to the words coming out of my mouth as I’m speaking because I’m still focused on finding an emergency reason to leave. When I finished rambling I realized he’s now massaging my hand! GROSS! He’s older than my dad! He’d probably been rubbing it for a good 5 seconds before I realized, so I sat there frozen with my hand as lifeless as a dead fish. As he kept rubbing it, I figured he’d eventually quit since I cleeearly wasn’t responsive. Yeah, no.

After what felt like a half an hour but was probably only three minutes, I decided I’d hint I had swine flu (it sounded like a good idea at the time), reclaim my imprisoned right hand, and peace the hell out. I’m totally aware of my lack of acting skills, but gramps would not stop touching me! Just as I’m mentally determining how to not overplay my cards, Gluehands, who still had his paws on me, pulled my hand towards my chest and in one well thought out, predetermined movement gave me a full-on, back handed BOOB SWIPE!!! Before I even had time to take in what had happened, I leapt off his bed and SCREAMED at the top of my lungs “I HAVE…ANXIETYYYY!!!”

As the words spilled out of my mouth, I thought to myself “Why didn’t I think of that?! Oh my God, I DID think of that!” I whipped around, threw my coat on and he hadn’t even so much as flinched! “Oh, I am SO sorry. Is it the movie?” I’m like, “Yes! Yep. Sure is! It’s the movie! Um, I just… I just really hate murder! I gotta go!” He tries to calm me down as I scrambled for my purse by telling me he’ll turn it off, we could watch something else, etc., etc., and all I keep thinking is “How am I not weirding you out right now?! What do I have to do get you to let me LEAVE?!” And then (I’m kind of proud of myself for this one) I bust out with “I… I have to go home and take my anxiety medication! I have to leave now because I have to take pills!”
I was gasping for air and pretty much flipping out in general as calmly he asked me, “What medication are you taking?” Jesus, Gluehands! I can’t name an anxiety medication to save my life, so in my lack of common sense, I just started yelling out every prescription drug that popped into my head. “I’m on Crestor! I’m on Lipitor! I’m taking Phendimetrazine! Ambien! Aderol! Claritin!” and NONE of this is phasing him. He’s just sitting there, nodding like he’s in agreement or something. Also, looking back, I really like how the first two I rolled out were cholesterol meds. Claaaassy.

Anyway, my heart kept racing and once I’d finally listed the last drug I could come up with, I paused, stared at him as he sat there totally collected, and just randomly shouted… “I’m, I’M ON A LOT OF MEDICATION, OK?!?!” I threw my purse over my shoulder and booked it towards the door, thinking I was home-free. Unfortunately, the door just happened to be on the right side of the room meanwhile I happened to have been sitting on dude-bro’s left. As I sprinted toward the exit, he stood up completely blocking me from freedom! At that point, I thought to myself, “Well, I’ve had a good life, made a lot of friends, looks like it’s homegirl out. Yup, totally figured I’d die of a bacon-related heart attack, but it looks like I’m going to die of… whatever happened in this murder documentary that I toootally wasn’t paying attention to.”

This guy literally tried to cockblock my way out, while STILL trying to convince me to stay over because he was “worried” about me. I knew my acting skills were lacking, but damn, I can’t even pull off psycho-medication girl!? He opened his arms to give me a hug and this is where I saw the perfect opportunity to escape. In one motion, I rushed up to him, stepped past him with my left foot, hugged him, spun towards the door on my left heel, let go of him, turned around, and busted out of his hotel room like a bat out of hell! I ran all the way from his hotel room to my apartment without so much as stopping to look out for traffic! I called my mom in hysterics and after calming down she asked me what was wrong to which I replied “Mom, [Celeb Celeberson] touched my boob!” I realized how ridiculous this sounded just as she did, and we both started cracking up. *Sigh* what a night!

Anyway, after being boob grabbed by the star of my favorite Wayne Knight movie, let’s just say it’s no longer on my top 10 list. And while we’re at it, fuck murder documentaries too!!!

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