Oscars & Meatballs

The Red Carpet coverage is muted on the TV to help me try to ignore the arriving stars so I can focus on writing.  I should just turn it off, but that’s not going to happen.  The ingredients for homemade spaghetti and meatballs are in the kitchen.  That’s another distraction.

Must focus.

But another flash from the TV reflects in my computer screen and I have to turn around to see who is being interviewed.

I remember watching the Oscars when I was a teenager, when movies like Forrest Gump, The English Patient and Shakespeare in Love were winning Best Picture.  I remember having my breath being taken away by Gwyneth Paltrow’s pink dress and choker necklace and thinking that no one would wear a dress like that to the Oscars again.  She won that night.  And I immediately started shopping for a necklace like the one she wore.

I always got really excited about watching the Oscars, seeing the dresses and my favorite stars trying to play themselves, rather than a role written on a page.  I never had a personal stake in the awards ceremony, until now.

My husband, Brian, worked on Moneyball in the fall of 2010.  It was the experience of a lifetime for him, working directly with the director and Brad Pitt.  I’ve never seen him so exhausted…or so happy.  While that’s great and all, the most important thing that came out of the gig, was that I got to meet Brad Pitt.

We were at the wrap party and Brian and I were eating (the catering was baseball game themed: you know, gourmet hot dogs, tacos, soft pretzels with tons of sauces) when suddenly, a huge cluster of people formed at the entrance.  It’s was as if an airlock had been opened and the entire room of people were being sucked toward it.

Brian looked up and said, “Oh, Brad’s here,” and then stuffed the rest of a hot dog in his mouth, totally non-plussed.  I was immediately not hungry anymore and felt the need to check my teeth and apply lipgloss.

Twenty minutes later, Brad had managed to move about fifteen feet into the room because he was surrounded by people trying introduce him to someone.  When he got close to where we were, he was still completely surrounded.  I had no idea how we were going to manage to say hello and I hated the idea of adding to the throng of gushing people around him.

Brian leaned in to say that he’d try to get me in to say hi, but it looked like Brad was going to be mobbed all night.  While he was whispering to me, a booming voice interrupted us – “Hey man!!  How’s it going!?!”

The crowd parted like the Red Sea and Moses – I mean Brad – appeared in front of us.  Brad Pitt and my husband smacked each other on the back and shook hands and did other manly greetings while I just stared with my mouth hanging open.

I couldn’t believe it.  Brad Pitt just interrupted the throng of people around him and waded through everyone just to say hi to my husband.  My husband, who is currently slouched on the couch with his iPad, overexplaining a technical problem to me.  My husband, who wears pajama pants that are several sizes too big and organizes his media drive like a baseball card collection…is buddy-buddy with Brad Pitt.

So.  Cool.

Suddenly, I heard Brian say, “This is my wife, Jessica.”  And then Brad turned his gaze on me and I felt like I was staring into the face of the sun.  Everything was golden and white.  His hair, his skin, his eyes, his teeth.  I think I managed a hello, but it probably came out more like a ‘hhhhheeeeeeehh…?”

And then he shook my hand.  Not one of those lame quick handshakes.  He took my hand in his and then covered the back of my hand with his other hand.  My hand was surrounded by Brad Pitt.  It was a Brad Sandwich.  Holy Mary.

He said that he’d heard alot about me from Brian and he was happy to meet me.  By then I got control of my tongue and managed to thank him for the wine he’d sent home with Brian and that we enjoyed it.  He laughed and said he had tons more to share.  Then he pointed at Brian and said, “I owe you man, I owe you!”

And then he was sucked back into the crowd.  I was quite literally shaking afterward.  Brian thought I might have to have oxygen or something.

So now it’s time to go help Brian make meatballs in the kitchen and sit down to see if the movie he worked on a year and a half ago will win tonight.


One Commment

  1. Connie K says:

    That is an awesome story!! It makes me question why my husband isn’t introducing me to people like Brad Pitt – what a slacker!

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