Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas Rocks - Part III - Doing Some Good

For the past week or so, I've been reading Clement Clarke Moore's Twas Night Before Christmas to my 3 and half year old son (a gift from his Grandma). He loves it and asks me a hundred questions about everything having to do with Santa and the old phrases in the book (Mommy what's a sugarplum? What does it mean to fly away like the down of a thistle? Ahhhhh, sweetie, let's just keep reading about Santa and the toys he's bringing the good girls and boys!).

Although I've loved these moments with him, I've also been somewhat conflicted by the idea of taking him to this make believe place. In some ways, I feel like I'm lying to him and when he figures out that there is no such thing as Santa Claus, he'll look at me with a broken heart and say "mommy, why did you say all that stuff when you knew it wasn't true?" Aren't I the one that should always tell him the truth? Aren't I misleading him knowing that he will eventually be disappointed?

You see, I didn't grow up with Santa. I'm the oldest child of immigrant parents and was always treated like an adult even when I probably should have been treated like the little girl that I was and protected from the harsh realities of life. I never remember feeling like a carefree child.

I think that's why I love Christmas so much (ergo my Christmas Rocks series I and II). It's a time where the spirit of love, joy and wonderment is in the air and everyone can participate in it. I love being able to create that spirit for my children. And that's why I've decided that I would tell my son all about Santa! I want him to believe in the miracles and magic of the season and to experience that innocent wonderment and pure joy that Santa can bring.

So in addition to reading him the stories about Santa, I've also been talking to him about writing Santa a letter. I hadn't really thought through what we would do with the letter until I saw this great post by Deb from Missives from Suburbia.

It was like Deb had written the post just for me (thanks Deb!). As she outlines in her post (go over and take a look, she has a prize!), this year, at every Macy's across the county there will be a mailbox to collect letters for Santa Claus. When you bring your stamped letter to Macy's, addressed to Santa at the North Pole, and drop it into Santa's special letterbox, for each letter received, Macy's will donate $1 to the Make-a-Wish Foundation up to $1,000,000. Macy's will then deliver the letters to the post office.

How great is that!? So, even though I hate shopping malls (I do everything on-line, surprise surprise) and also hate mailing things (where are those damn stamps?), I will be going with my son to Macy's to mail his letter to Santa because it will be so fun for him and will help a great cause.

Now I just have to get him to wheedle his Christmas wish list to just one page! :)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Famous Encounters of the Schmoe Kind

Tonight's post was inspired by my friend Kate's story about how she almost met Tom Cruise!

Growing up, I watched a lot of TV and LOVED going to the movies so to meet (or almost meet) any famous person was a giant thrill (and to be honest, probably still is today). So I love stories about how regular schmoes like me or any friend of mine meet movie stars.

So, in honor of Kate's story, I thought I'd share a few stories of my own about how I met or almost met a few famous people.

1. Clint Eastwood - When I was about 14 I volunteered at a charity fashion show that his daughter was in. I was leaning against the back wall watching the show when I realized that Clint was standing right next me. He was so tall! I just froze. I didn't say anything and didn't move until about 10 minutes later when he walked away. Don't worry, it gets better.

2. Richard Gere - I was about 17 and waiting in line at the San Francisco airport to get on a flight to DC and Richard Gere was standing right in front of me. He was pretty handsome in person and not as short as I had heard he was. As we slowly walked into the cabin, Gere (I can't call him Richard...yikes) stopped to put his stuff away in first class (of course) and I was standing right in front of him as he was taking his sweet time. I was so excited on the inside but determined to look nonchalant on the outside. In fact, I went a step further by looking at my watch and huffed with annoyance at how much time he was taking to put his stuff away. Yes, I wanted him to know that I had more important places to be than standing in front of him watching him put his crap away (ya, right!).

3. Dweezil Zappa - OK, this is one of my favorites! I was about 22 and waiting in line at a United counter in LAX waiting to get on a flight to Chicago. This curly haired guy was standing in front of me with a guitar. At the time, I had no idea who he was. I was seriously late for my flight and agitated at how slow the line was going to I started complaining out loud about the airline. He turned around and asked me where I was going and we ended up talking the whole way through the line. I'm not sure but I think he was flirting with me with his big smile and his cute laugh. Anyway, we finally got through the line and went to our separate ticket counters. After I finished checking in I looked to see where he was and saw him with a girl. Since he was with someone, I decided to just go to the gate. I waved goodbye to him as I left. He waved back with a big smile but as I walked away I saw the girl give me a seriously dirty look. A few weeks later, I was watching TV and I saw him and her together on some entertainment show. I was shocked. The girl at the airport was his longtime girlfriend, Lisa Loeb.

4. Richard Grieco - This one makes me cringe, even after 22 years. I was 15 and flying from Palm Springs to my hometown. I was already sitting down in coach when I saw him getting on the plane. At the time, he was on a show called 21 Jump Street with Johnny Depp. I had a GIANT crush on him and was beyond myself at seeing him on my flight. The whole flight I rehearsed what I would say to him. I had my napkin and pen ready for his autograph. I mustered up all my courage and got up in the middle of the flight and walked to the front row to ask for his autograph but when I got there I saw that he was fast asleep. I went back to my seat feeling incredibly foolish. I told myself that when we landed I would get that autograph come hell or high water. But by the time I got off the plane he was long gone. I searched the baggage claim and he was nowhere in sight.

But the story does not end here my friends. Oh no, it gets much more mortifying. It was late at night when we landed and my dad had come to get me. We went outside with my luggage and he told me wait for him while he got the car. A minute after he left, I noticed Richard Grieco sitting on bench by himself. My heart jumped a beat! I was SO excited. This was my chance and I wasn't going to let it slip away again!

I pulled out the napkin and pen from my pocket, walked right up to him (Oh yes I did!) and said "Hi, I think you're the sexiest man on TV, can I have your autograph?" The second after it came out of my mouth, I regretted it (and have ever since). He just took the napkin and pen and said casually "thanks, what's your name?" I told him and he signed my napkin. He then proceeded to ask me (15 year old girl) where were the good places to go out at night in the city. I had no idea. I suggested a few places that I'd hear about. He then asked me what I was doing THAT NIGHT!!! I froze for a second not knowing what to say. Then I snapped back to reality, told him that my dad was bringing the car around and that I had to go home. I then quickly scurried back to my spot and waited for my dad who came a minute later to take me home.

I replayed that night in my head for weeks (maybe months). It was both exciting and mortifying. I wish I knew where that napkin was today!

OK, that was embarrassing...now it's your turn! Any famous encounters? You have got to share! :)