My Famous Friend (of a friend of a friend)

I love a good friend of a friend celebrity connection.

My friend Linda posted a photo a while back.  In the picture was her cousin with his lifelong best friend – who just happens to be David Axelrod (Barack Obama’s senior advisor at the time) — and well, Obama.  She had great stories about her cousin: getting personal tours of the oval office (smaller than people imagine and – did we know Obama uses JFK’s old desk?) Once he went to a Wizards/Bulls game with the President and said the entire night was electric – when Obama walked into the arena it sounded like a rock concert.  

Best friends with the president’s senior advisor.  Now THAT is cool.

My husband’s buddy’s brother was in Animotion, that one-hit-wonder band of the 80s.  Today, every time “(you are an) Obsession” comes on, my kids will crack up and shout “Hey, it’s Jerry’s brother!” (This should surprise no one; there is no world where my kids wouldn’t be schooled in iconic 80s music.)

My former boss had two sons who grew up with Jerry O’Connell, the chunky little kid from “Stand by Me” who is now a hunky TV and B-movie star.  She told warm and wonderful stories all the time: Jerry grew up eating dinner at her house, getting in trouble with her boys and today they are all still friends.  I love that.  I know someone who knows Jerry O’Connell.  I’ve heard so many stories about him I feel like I know him, too.

My father always told us about the time he dated Rosemary Clooney.  As a kid it didn’t really register as anything fantastic but now I think, wow….

Knowing somebody famous is hugely different than just meeting somebody famous. And funny, aren’t we always in a wee bit of competition to have the best brag?

My sister was once asked to dance by Chad Lowe — brother of Rob — in some Hofstra bar (the only thing I find remotely interesting about this is that at this exact moment in time, hundreds of miles away on my own college campus I happened to have a poster up in my dorm room of his way hotter brother.)

My brother-in-law used to brag that he went to college with Meg Ryan (who was known as Peggy).   Oooh, what was she like?   Don’t know, never hung out with her.  Fail. Fizzle.  No points for that one.

Both memories combined made for meh musings but thankfully, together they’re raising children off to a way better start:  in his freshman year my nephew became friends with Evan Springsteen.  Yes, that one.   I once received a very hushed and covert call from her, whispering from her basement, “Evan Springsteen is eating … MY MEATBALLS!”  Huge props for that, sis.  That totally redeems the Chad Lowe bit.

Here’s my one funny story:  In my early professional life I once had to spend some time with a (C-list, not-even Dancing with the Stars worthy) celebrity who was promoting her memoir —  a tell-all of her hidden struggle with alcoholism.  It was my first book convention, it was in Vegas, and well, I was really (really) young.

Translated, “convention” means “unlimited free alcohol” to a twenty-something.

It was bad:  I had gotten in from my night out only hours before her morning book signing.  I am certain I still reeked and my head was spinning but I made it through the signing.  I thought I was home free as I took my seat next to her at a luncheon but right in the middle of it she totally lost it.

She couldn’t take it anymore — in a diva-like moment, she furiously demanded that the dessert cake be sent back to the kitchen because she insisted she smelled liquor in it (“Ummm, no.., that would be …  your publicist…”).

I wanted to die.  Sweating (rather, seeping vodka fumes) I sat motionless and silent as the restaurant staff was severely admonished.

I guess it’s probably best that I don’t know too many famous people because hello, look where all my stories would end up.

Tina Drakakis blogs at Eyerollingmom and has been featured in HuffPost.   She appeared in the Boston production of “Listen to Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Microphone.”  Her work has been featured in NPR’s “This I Believe” radio series yet she places “Most Popular 1984” on top of her list of achievements. (Next would be the home improvement reality TV show of 2003 but her kids won’t let her talk about that anymore). A witty mother of four, she takes on cyberspace as @Eyerollingmom on Twitter and Eyerollingmom on Facebook  &  @Eyerollingmom on Instagram.  Her collection of essays, A Momoir, can be found  here 


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