remember when you were thirteen years old and K-R-E-O or whatever equivalent radio station you listened to asked you to call in for prizes? be the 9th caller and win concert tickets, the chance to meet the glamorous djs at the sonoma county fair...yeah, i never won either.
my niece, on the other hand, seems to be blessed with a bit of luck, as she called in to radio disney and won a trip for 2 to new york city, boutique hotel on the upper west side and vip passes to the regis and kelly show. i know. pretty fancy.
so i crammed two days of work into one very stressful day yesterday so i could be the tour guide to her and my sister. so i'm lying in a manhattan bed reading my complimentary copy of the new york times listening to the taxis below while they follow cue card prompts for applause at abc studios.
allyson, being the thirteen year old celebrity hound that we all were (at least, in my family), asked me immediately, "auntie kitty, do you think we'll get to see any famous people?" this obsession started a few years ago when she mailed me a key chain attachable mini-sharpie pen to take to my catered events, where i could lose my job for soliciting autographs. and yet, didn't i endure the humiliation of nick lachey calling me 'allyson' and thinking my 11-year niece was an excuse to talk to him? and did i not interrupt ashley olsen in the middle of her entourage at the museum of natural history gala? i did. because i was desperate to make her happy.
well this time, i figured she was out of luck. the chances of her running into a celebrity in one day in new york are slim, right? the pressure! ah, how i underestimated my fair city. jessica simpson in the airport (okay, so it was in san francisco, but still, new york gets dibs because she was already en route). christian slater in front of starbucks. so what if she didn't know who he was? amy and i were excited and i got that thrill of feeling really old when explaining he was the bees knees back in our day. two blocks further, new york backed me up with a christian slater tv show billboard she noticed.
and the ultimate--sitting at dinner at vyn*l (um, i think that's how it's spelled, but who knows. the star could be misplaced. this creative spelling, by the way, cost me an extra buck when i called information and they said, 'no listing for VINYL'. cute. very cute) allyson asked me about parson school of design.
niece: auntie kitty, do you know about parsons school of design, where they film project runway? it's my favorite show.
me: why yes, allyson, in fact (cool points ratcheting skyward) it's actually called 'parsons the new school for design'. it's part of my new school.
niece: oh my gosh, that's so cool! i want to go there and be a fashion designer.
ah, how things change, especially aided by reality tv. last i checked, she wanted to be a brain surgeon. but that's the fun of being thirteen.
the next ten minutes were filled with inquiries into the possibilities of me running into anyone at project runway at my school and if we could go there and then of course, the possibilities of her running into anyone from project runway. i told her that, actually, i had run into christian, last season's winner, at the cringe book release after party. but we didn't exactly exchange words. meaning, i sat at the table along with everyone else pretending not to know who he was, while smirking, which is stupid because i don't have a tv.
and then allyson gasped because at some point during this line of questioning, SOMEONE FROM PROJECT RUNWAY HAD SAT AT THE TABLE TWO FEET FROM US.
niece: oh my gosh, oh my gosh, it's SUEDE!!!!
i would have never known. it leads you to wonder how many celebrities your sorry, unschooled in pop culture ass walks, eats and drinks among in new york city. lucky for them that i'm so clueless.
clever name for a designer, by the way. the next twenty minutes were spent with allyson waffling back and forth about talking to him. he appeared to be out on a date with a cute boy, or 'with a friend' as a thirteen year old mind would think. i worried he would give attitude, be upset. but on the contrary, he jumped up and said to her, "oh my god! i've been staring at you and your cute hat all night!" He hugged all of us, encouraged her to follow her dream of being a designer, posed for photographs and gave her his card.
she's beaming. so i repeat: new york, thanks for delivering. oh, and Suede, thanks for being sweet.