And then there’s the time I met Steve Martin. I was a little nervous walking up to him, especially since he was getting a complimentary nose hair trimming in the make up department at Macy’s, but I did, I walked right up and stood there in front of him until he acknowledged me. He stood up right away. It could have been because he was taught from an early age that a gentleman stood when a lady approached, or it could have been because I was wearing 3 inch heels and I made certain that when I stopped walking I put one of those heels directly into his foot and bore down with every ounce of strength I could muster without breaking into a sweat.
“How do you do Mr. Martin?” I said with all the charm of someone much more charming than myself while shattering at least two of his toes with my high-heeled Mary Janes. “My name is Barbie Angell.”
He looked at me with tears streaming down his cheeks, certainly because it was such a pleasure to meet me, and said, “Please, call me Steve. Just because my hair is white does not mean that I am so old that you need to address me as ‘mister’.”
“Oh no,” I replied, “I was merely using a formal greeting because of your position, not your presumed age.”
“And what position would that be? Actor? Writer? Very wealthy man?” he asked with just a touch of irony.
“No, I would have to say, upright.”
“Upright?” he inquired in a voice that suggested he was hoping that he may have developed an inner ear infection and had just misunderstood what I said.
“Yes, upright.” I replied confidently.
“So if I had still been sitting in the nose hair clipping chair when we made our introductions, you might have called me ‘Steve’?” he said apprehensively, as if waiting for the other Mary Jane to fall.
“No, I think that would have been too formal a setting still. Nose hair clipping is really not a private enough matter to drop the proper formalities of introductions.”
“What would be private enough?” he asked with a look that suggested he really wished that he had thought about his question before letting it fall from his mouth.
“Well,” I said, “I think that if I were at your house, having just arrived as the guest of a guest at a cocktail party and one of the guests remembered that they had read somewhere that you owned the most magnificent oil painting of Dr. Phil and Elvis Presley deep in discussion at a small tea house in Europe. At that point, being the girl that I am, I would of course suggest to the entire group that we look for this painting while we are waiting for you to return from wherever you went 20 minutes before this conversation turned to classic American artwork. And so, I would lead the rest of the party through the house and we would search the rooms for the previously mentioned masterpiece. If at some point I opened a door and found you naked on the floor with a bottle of gin and a large jar of green olives, I might lean down and whisper, ‘Steve, my name is Barbie and I’ve only just arrived. Would you mind terribly if your other guests and I shared your olives?’ Naturally I would say all of this in a very non formal way.” I pause for effect before continuing with what I’m certain was a thrilling bit of fiction.
“Of course you, Mr. Martin, would be in a different position in this scenario. You would be lying on your back with your legs at a bizarre and apparently uncomfortable looking angle in the air above you. You would proceed to ignore my request and inform me that the olives were essential to what you were doing, which was in fact that you were trying to determine what sort of cocktails you should serve at your party. Having decided upon a very dry martini, you felt that you really couldn’t serve one to your guests unless you thoroughly understood what a dry martini was. Therefore, you had poured gin on yourself and were at that moment determining which appendage should serve as the swizzle stick, when I led the other guests into the room.” Speaking frankly however, I don’t particularly like martinis, so I don’t know for certain that serving them would have been the best course of action in this story.
That is what happened when I met Steve Martin. I find it odd that I haven’t seen any novellas or humorous pieces written by him regarding our encounter. I know that I did make an impact on him. He did take the time to find out my middle name before having me served with restraining order paperwork. Not only am I not allowed to go to his house to see any of his artwork, I am also barred from Macy’s for life.
Written by Barbie Dockstader Angell.
Copyright August 2009.