I used to be in sales. So I had a lot of practice making small talk with people I didn't know. I'm actually pretty good at it. I can go to a party with a bunch of strangers and usually meet a few people and converse without totally sticking my foot in my mouth or saying something stupid.
But introduce me to a celebrity and I become a stuttering, bumbling, embarrassing mess.
Living in Nashville, I actually do cross paths with a few singers, songwriters, NFL football players, etc. When we have kids that go to the same school, or play on the same basketball team, I can usually have a regular conversation, and use real words and everything. But put me somewhere where I don't expect to see them, and I can't even speak English.
A few years ago, Eddie George (ex-Titan's running back and gorgeous specimen of a man/athlete) was on an airplane with us, flying to LA. Even though we'd never met, J's trainer also taught Eddie yoga, so J felt like he knew him. J pointed him out to me and before I could register that he was sitting right in front of us, J walked over and shook his hand. He introduced himself, said he was a big fan, shared yoga stories, and pointed at me, introduced me as a huge fan. I reached over to shake his hand, opened my mouth and said, "Nahaiel kssld ijflk djsl". Eddie nodded like he totally understood what I was saying and was very nice. That kind of thing happens to me a lot.
So yesterday, I went to yoga, and when I got there I realized it was a different teacher. I almost left, but then thought, "What the heck, I'm already here." So I nabbed the only space left in the back row next to an empty mat. Class started and a couple of women snuck in to the empty mats on my left. I glanced over to see if it was someone I knew, and it was Nicole Kidman! She and Keith just bought a big house in a development close by, and I've heard people say they've seen her at Starbucks or whole foods, but I would never have expected to see her in a yoga class. Seems like she'd want to have someone come over and privately teach her in her home. So I'm trying to act all cool, like I see her everyday. I tried not to look at her, which is very difficult, because she's so tall and beautiful, with this luminous skin that's hard to believe. I don't know how far along her pregnancy is, but it's hard to even tell that she has a little bump. I spent more time trying to keep my eyes straight ahead, so that I wouldn't make her feel uncomfortable by looking at her, than I did thinking about the yoga class. She stayed for the whole class, and did almost every pose (modifying for the baby). I made it through the class without getting caught sneaking a glance, didn't try to talk to her (what a disaster that would have been), and left before she did.
She's probably wondering who the stuck up weird woman was next to her.