Among all the uncertainties that come with moving to LA, one certainty is that you will run into celebrities; whenever you find yourself buying a breakfast burrito at your local spot, a spot you feel like is underrated, unknown, and therefore yours in a city where nothing is yours, and saying, “oh, that looks like that guy from Law and Order,” it’s usually because it is that guy from Law and Order, and yeah, he likes breakfast burritos, too. Oh, and this is his spot, not yours. That’s why the owner you thought loved you like his own flesh and blood just bought “the guy from Law and Order” his breakfast burrito. Don’t flatter yourself. So yes, you will run into celebrities, and you will realize they’re much more important than you. This will feel even worse if you’re a poor grad student who skipped the guac because who the hell has an extra $2 for guac?! Just kidding. That’s crazy talk. I always pay extra for guac.
Now that we’ve established what happens at the local breakfast joint, I’ll tell you what happens when you have a celebrity run-in at a bar in Hollywood. I’ll give you a hint: it’s worse than paying for extra guac. Last weekend we went out to a whisky bar in Hollywood. This isn’t something we necessarily like to do. A night out in Hollywood is like choosing to go to a party with every frat guy you’ve ever known, and wish you had never known, and every girl at every frat party who makes the word feminism go on suicide watch. Now make all these Neanderthals dress a bit fancier, and replace keg stands with self-entitlement and vodka red bulls, and there you go, Hollywood. No offense to Neanderthals, I’m sure they were lovely almost-human beings. So yeah, not really my jam. But alas, that’s where my story takes place. That being said, I don’t dislike this bar; it’s pretentious and crowded, but it has been tolerable in the past. Plus, they make a tasty Old Fashioned so what do I care about feeling homely and inconsequential?
At some point (many points) in the night, I need another Old Fashioned, so I walk to the bar and ask the bar tender, who is also a Megan Fox impersonator, and from what I can gather, possibly a bar-tender impersonator as well, for an Old Fashioned. She takes three other drink orders (making me nervous. Not sure if she’s going to remember all this) and starts mixing some drinks. Everything is looking good.
*Tap on the shoulder*
Now, I don’t know about other women at bars, but if I get a tap on the shoulder, especially one that consists of three aggressive and impatient taps, I’m not turning around. This has to do with self-preservation and natural selection.
*Tap on the shoulder*
For Gods sake. I turn around. The tap was getting more impatient and so was I.
Short Man…er, um, Short Guy: “Excuse me. Would you mind taking a photo of me and my good buddy here?” says the short guy who would make “The Situation” look classy.
Me: I look back and my drink isn’t ready. Damnit. “Oh yeah, of course!” Why the hell did I say it like that? I’m annoyed, can’t I sound annoyed? Why am I always so enthusiastically polite?!
I go to take the photo, touching the screen a couple times to make sure it focuses. Again, I’m not sure why I’m so concerned about the quality of this guy’s bromance photo, but I am. As soon as it takes, I experience that moment I’ve already told you about, the “oh, that looks like (insert celebrity name here).” Now, because I’ve never been an Entourage fan, I didn’t know this celebrity’s name. I merely knew him as the cute guy from Drive Me Crazy with Melissa Joan Hart, shout out to my sister and all the cheesy teen-romance movies we loved to watch. I had just taken a photo of some jersey dude and his good buddy, Adrian Grenier. I knew something sounded weird when this short guy asked me to be his personal photographer. In my experience, no couple ever asks a random person to take a photo for them and also feels the need to qualify their relationship to the photo-taking stranger… as if I might respond, “actually, no. I don’t even know if you guys are friends. If you were good friends, I might consider taking your photo. But right now, I’m unclear about the nature of your relationship. I’m not sure why you both deserve to be in the same photo. If I take this photo right now, I would look at it and think, what great friends! They go out to bars together. They smile together. THEY TAKE PHOTOS TOGETHER. But that would be a lie. My conscience won’t let me do that.” Then I would slowly pass the camera back to the short guy in the bar with an expression that suggests I am a person of honor and integrity.
Moving on. I take the photo and turn back to the bar, hoping my delicious Old Fashioned will be waiting for me. It isn’t. Megan Fox is still mixing drinks. So I put my elbow on the bar and rest my head in my hand in the most dramatic way possible, complete with a pouty, thirsty expression. In the middle of my pouty performance, I feel another elbow aggressively challenge my elbow’s position on the bar. If you are a bar frequenter, you know the importance of elbow placement and its relation to the time it takes to receive a drink. ELBOW PLACEMENT IS IMPORTANT, PEOPLE! So I don’t move my elbow. But this elbow, this goddamn boney elbow, keeps pushing and I’m forced to take up less space. I look over to find the stupid face connected to this entitled elbow, and it is in fact, the stupid face of Adrian Grenier. Not only does he take my valuable piece of elbow real estate at this bar, but also, he leans forward on both elbows so that Megan Fox will realize whom she really needs to pay attention to. And it works. She walks over, acting like she doesn’t recognize him, except for the fact that she absolutely recognizes him and turns into super–animated Megan Fox who now has to bend over to find every ingredient it takes to make an Old Fashioned. Honey, you’re not fooling anyone (that’s probably not true. She’s probably fooling every intoxicated man in here), the bitters isn’t kept next to the floor drain.
She points at him. One finger. It’s a signal. It’s his time to order and she’s in charge. Nice move, Megan. You’re soooooo cool. I’m now bitter, annoyed, childish, and sober. A dangerous combination.
Adrian: (I can call him by his first name. I took a photo of him and his good buddy) “Um, I need a water, no ice (gag me) and do you have (no idea what kind of tequila he asked for, but he did ask for tequila).”
Cool-Megan-Fox-Bartender: “Hmm. Do we have ___?” She asks the other bartender in a way that would make you think she was playing the role of her life, the role where she magnanimously asks the other bartender whether or not they have a specific kind of tequila. Bravo! Encore! Except not really, because I want my drink.
They don’t have the tequila he wants, nor do they have the next 3 kinds of tequila he asks for. I’m sorry, but since when are people particular about tequila? Doesn’t tequila mean the exact opposite of particular? I thought you ordered tequila when you absolutely do not want to be picky about anything. You order tequila and you don’t care about your taste buds, your dignity, or who wakes up next to you. You’re probably not even in your own house. Alright, that might be a little bit of projection, but I think there’s solidarity among tequila nights.
After an amazing amount of time, Megan Fox is able to get little Adrian Grenier his beverages. I say “beverages” because I think it makes him sound even more entitled. Oh, and I say “little” because I was astounded by how small he was. IMDB says he’s 6’0”, but apparently there are other places, other than bars, that Adrian receives a little bit of “room.” He takes all his drinks and leaves. I guess I always thought I would be pleasantly surprised when I finally had to interact with a celebrity. Like, there would be some moment where the celebrity would be incredibly polite and thoughtful, and I would think “gosh, that was so sweet of him/her. They really are just like everyone else!” Well, I guess that’s true in a way, because a whole hell-of-a lot of people are assholes at bars, so yeah, Adrian is just like everyone else.
At this point, I’m not even sure I want my drink anymore. I’m cranky. And I don’t have my delicious Old Fashioned. I stand for a moment debating leaving all my dreams of sweet perfection behind, when Megan Fox makes eye contact with me. I didn’t expect her to remember what I had ordered or even my face, but a light went on in her head. Her eyes got real big and she started shaking her head up and down. I wasn’t exactly sure what that meant (that wasn’t a very transparent emotional manifestation), but she frantically started making an Old Fashioned. Huzzah!
Cool-Megan-Fox-Bartender: “I’m so so sorry, sweety. This is your Old Fashioned right here.”
Me: That’s right, bi-otch! That IS my Old Fashioned. And I’m mad. “Oh, that’s totally fine! Don’t even worry about it!” Damnit, Jené! You always let me down. Stop being so polite! You deserve to be a little mad right now! “Take your time!” AHH!
Cool-Megan-Fox-Bartender: She pours the bourbon REALLY strong. I perk up a bit. “Here you go. Again, I’m so sorry.”
It gets even more amazing. Typically, if a bartender ignores you, there’s no apology. There’s no admission of guilt. Hell, most of the time if a bartender ignores you, it’s YOUR fault. Despite your mother’s lies, YOU are not memorable. But this gorgeous bartender (note I called her gorgeous because my opinion of this woman is growing), apologized to me and it actually felt genuine. She knew that she had sacrificed me to the get-in-good-with-the-celebrity gods, and she felt bad. I go to hand her my credit card but she shakes her head.
Gorgeous Bartender: “There’s no need for that. I messed up. This one’s on me.”
Me: Dumbfounded. I am in love with this woman (well that changed quickly. Apparently I’m easy). “Oh, no really! I insist!” What am I trying to court her or something? Probably.
Gorgeous Bartender: “Nope. Just come back for another drink later.”
Done! That was not a particularly pleasant experience, but it doesn’t take much to put me in a better mood. While douchey Adrian Grenier made me feel like all of humanity deserves to be stuck in the movie Groundhog Dog, drinking shitty tequila and waking up next to Jabba the Hutt, this bartender made me feel like prancing through fields of wildflowers, drinking perfect Old Fashioneds.Probably says more about me and my volatile moods than anything else. Nah, it just shows how much I love Old Fashioneds.
Anywho, the night ended up being a pretty successful night, and I went to sleep happy and tipsy. Those are synonyms, right? Around 5 a.m., I wake up a little startled and look around the room, noticing that everything seems to be shaking. Now, I’ve never experienced an earthquake, so I had no clue what was going on. My initial thought is, did I really drink that much? Man, I’m getting soft. But then, Mia let out a little whimper, and I knew she wasn’t drunk. Pretty sure, anyway. I’ve seen her eye the liquor cabinet a few times and look a little thirsty. That could be because she’s a dog and she’s always thirsty, but I can’t be sure.
Me: “Mia, you gotta hold it together! We can’t BOTH be hysterical. You’re the sober one in this situation (I think).”
I do talk to my dog like this. I know, it’s weird. But the shaking ended, and with it my first experience of an earthquake in California. It was a little unsettling, but that’s more because I couldn’t determine my level of intoxication. I lay back down and started thinking about whether or not I knew what to do in the case of an earthquake. I very quickly realized I didn’t. That’s probably something I should Google. In the morning. Because I’m tired.
Most fancy TV shows have reenactments of traumatic moments, so I obviously needed to stage one of my own. This is me and Mia scared of an earthquake.
(Notice she still looks a little drunk. I told her it was just a reenactment, but she insisted the photo accurately capture the essence of the moment)
Reflecting on the earthquakes that have happened here in California and in Chile (my amazing little sister and her boyfriend have been living in Chile for the last year. They’re fine) over the past few weeks, has made me think about how we take such pride in our “progressive” existence—the ordering, the planning, the structuring. But all it takes is a little party, a slight shimmy from Mother Earth to knock everything to the ground. I’m not trying to make less of earthquakes or natural disasters with my lighthearted and jokey banter. Maybe I am. I just find it terrifying and funny at the same time. It grounds me in a weird way, cheesy pun intended.
But then I realized that I’m probably taking too much from that earthquake. Let’s be honest, that realization wasn’t mine to have. It was for Adrian Grenier. He was probably late for some celebrity thing. You know, those things that celebrities have to do.
Mother Earth: “Damnit, Adrian. You can’t oversleep! You have important things to do today! People need to be reminded of their unimportance! I mean, I guess I could do that, being Mother Nature and all. But I’m tired and prefer you do it today.”
“Oh, go back to sleep, Jené. I’m not talking to you.”