Diaries Magazine

The Only Exception

Posted on the 25 June 2012 by Ellacoquine @ellacoquine
The Only Exception
Dr. Becky calls my taste in television shows painfully predictable where they must meet one or more of the following requirements: a Golden Girl cast member present, as well as anything vintage, such as - but not limited to - an antique store, period-piece flashbacks taken place after 1930, even a main character with bangs will do, or an addiction problem and/or paranormal activity. Specific, I know. I still have yet to find a show that contains all of my interests. I may be waiting forever...
Meeting my bangs, antique shop and paranormal prerequisites, my newest obsession as of late has been Ghost Whisperer and it's been driving Séb crazy. Not because he thinks the show is awful, well okay actually in the beginning he did, but because I have successfully managed to suck him into this drama forcing his latest concern to be that Season 3 isn't downloading fast enough. Recently I have been growing suspicious, wondering if his interests truly lie in the storyline of earth-bound spirits crossing into the light, or if it's Jennifer Love Hewitt's luscious cleavage exploding out of her vintage dresses that has made him a new fan. I realized just how out of control it has gotten when he referred to her as "Love", leading me to believe that he has been Googling her! Unfortunately, his new J.Love obsession is no ones fault but my own, and I regret telling him one story in particular that seems to be justifying his cream fest.
Picture it. Los Angeles. 2003.
I love looking back on my L.A days. Besides my first fresh months in Paris, these were my glory days of naïveté. I was young, driving around town in an uninsured and unregistered beat-up Volvo, so clearly I was extremely stupid but I was genuinely happy. Life hadn't beat me up yet. My father was still alive, I hadn't experienced the throws of true heartbreak, my rent was cheap, and my metabolism was fast. What more could a 21 year-old ask for?
To pay for said cheap rent as well as my improv classes at The Groundlings, my chosen profession was "background artist" which really is just a bullshit title for being an extra. I maintained this lifestyle of living on anorexic paychecks, and "performing" challenging roles such as Girl at Cafe #12 and Principal Drunk Chick at Seth Cohen's House Party for a little over a year before getting completely burned out. The early call times, the grouchy over-worked crew members, being treated like animals (on one show, a tin tray of tootsie rolls was put out as our snack), and watching the nauseating ass-kissing the principle roles received from everyone on the set got majorly played out. I was done.
Except for the pure kitsch factor of seeing myself every so often playing Black Jack on a rerun of Las Vegas, this experience was pure shit....except for one show. If there was ever an odd job created just for me, this was it. For two glorious seasons, I was a background American Bandstand dancer on Dick Clark's family drama American Dreams. This was one of the few extra gigs where you had to actually work which was why it was the least popular job in "the community", particularly with the younger set who came out to LA to be the next Ashton Kutcher or Kate Hudson, and didn't want to be reprimanded about their "Pony" dance moves not being convincing enough. To me though, this job was pure bliss. It was my 1960s wet dream. I danced to Motown and 60s garage rock in vintage mini dresses, my hair was teased up in bouffants and beehives, and I wore pastel colored eye shadows complimented by dramatic liquid eye-liner and false eyelashes.
For one of the show's episodes, Jennifer Love Hewitt was guest starring as Nancy Sinatra, which at the time pissed me off because I didn't feel that she was qualified to portray such a fabulous 60s icon. Packed with my unfair judgmental thoughts, as fate would have it on this particularly busy day, I was sent to get my hair and make-up done in the main trailer where the principle roles were getting done up. Jennifer and I sat side-by-side.
We made eye contact in the mirror, acknowledged each others presence with a smile, and I quickly pulled away from our visual communication. I did the "look away and then check back to see if the person is still looking at you" thing we do when we're nervous. Well Jennifer was still looking. Fuck, I thought to myself. She was on to me! She was ghost whispering me before the show even launched, and knew that I thought she was annoying and unsuitable to play Nancy. I was screwed.
She then turned to look at me, and we were face-to-face. As slow as possible I turned my head toward her which ended up looking more Linda Blair than someone uselessly buying time. Our bare, makeup-less eyes met. "Excuse me," she said as she reached her hand out toward my arm rest, "but you look like me! How funny is that!" Her eyes just sparkled as she made this discovery, as if I was the only person in Hollywood with dark brown eyes, and more touchingly as if I was the only person on earth at this moment, which made me feel just awful for judging her. She was so sweet and cheerful, and me? I was the little bitch for prejudging her. My guilt rendered me tongue-tied and I just stared back at her. To make matters more uncomfortable, the abrasive make-up artist who was annoyed that I was even in the principal's trailer told me I needed to go to the dermatologist as she was aggressively slapping foundation on a painful cystic zit that was growing on my chin. I can still see that zit in an episode, by the way. I was mortified. Jennifer politely smiled and continued chatting with her nice make-up artist, and I just wanted to disappear. Jennifer did a wonderful job as Nancy, and learned to never underestimate the power of Love.
Omitting the embarrassing zit part, I told Séb this story about J. Love saying that she thinks we look a like, and he has now been using it as an excuse to fawn over her. One, I do not look like her, I'm more Tomei than Hewitt, and two, I don't care if he thinks she's hot! She is, and he doesn't need to work me into every fantasy he has. It was this playful interaction was when it dawned on me...Séb has an exception list. You know that mental list we all have about someone unattainable that we want to have sex with and are allowed to should we meet them. I am certainly not jealous of Jennifer Love Hewitt on his exception list because guess what? I have my own list. Jason Schwartzman, Damon Albarn, and Scarlett Johansson. Who is on your exception list? Is a hashtag Ryan Gosling necessary?
What was happening a year ago today? History!

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