Chaos Attraction

Celebrity Internet Encounters

2005-07-01, 8:02 a.m.

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So, Jess requested that I tell y'all this story.

Jess is much more into cooking than I am, and always wanted to go to Cordon Bleu and stuff like that.

Yesterday, she got up the nerve to track down the e-mail address of a...well, I'll keep it vague: a non-American chef who was on a television show and demonstrated great skill working in a realm unfamiliar to most of us. It took some doing, but she found it and wrote him a polite-yet-flowery fan e-mail and asked if they could discuss cooking.

That alone impresses me, especially since the idea of e-mailing anyone more famous than I usually wigs me out. Though I have e-mailed April Winchell a time or two- actually, I did it this week since she's having a um, fun time- and she wrote back with polite thanks. I was all blushing and excited.

But anyway...Jess's experience took a bit of a turn. Namely, Language Barrier.

In her e-mail, she'd mentioned something about him being in a particular country because she'd seen that mentioned online. He wrote back, rather awkwardly, saying something along the lines of "How did you know I was there?"

At which point Jess thinks, "OMG HE THINKS I'M A STALKER OMG OMG AIEEEE!!!!!!!"

She writes him a response, which is still pretty flowery, but also rather nervous. The browser crashes as she hits send (or something like that), so she ends up sending him two e-mails, both of which apparently went through. Then she's all embarrassed that not only does he think she's a stalker, she's a really compulsive stalker. She ends up ending the third e-mail with a very apologetic "I'm so sorry, I should never have bothered you and you're never going to write back because I sound like an IDIOT and I'm going to go hide under my table and throw up now" kind of tone.

At which point, she promptly forwards the whole collection on to me, in a state of sheer panic, and seems to not know whether to cry or throw up.

I e-mail her a response designed to talk her down, along the lines of "Hey, language barriers happen, and worst case scenario, it's not like you have to run into this guy at the grocery store or anything." True, true. At which point I'm about to leave work, so I finish up, go out to do errands, go to the gym, get out and check phone messages...

At 4:30, I got a message marked "urgent." At which point I know it's her because she's the only one who has any idea how to do that on my phone. I don't even know how to do that on my phone. And the yes, more panic about the chef! "OMG I CAN'T BELIEVE I DID THAT OMG OMG I WANNA DIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. What spell did you cast on me to trade lives so that now I'm living the chick lit life? Switch it back!" Shades of junior high! Oh, how celebrities, even minor ones, can make your brain go to mush!

At one point, she said, "Hates the technology. Wants to go back to letters and stamps!"

Anyway, I called her back, and while she was still bouncing off the walls, things had vastly improved from then. He had not only written back (once to each e-mail), he seemed quite amused and pleased by the whole thing, and would be happy to discuss cooking with someone as determined and stubborn and good at tracking people down as Jess is.

So now she's all excited, and trying to figure out where to begin and what to ask, and did I mention bouncing off the walls?

It is kind of funny how lately she's the chick lit person, while I seem to have turned into SadDarkPainGirl. Or at least in this case, the wacky sidekick.

At any rate, the conversation last night was VERY loopy, and got to the point where Jess suggested a really warped flirting technique- getting a stuffed beaver and then walking around asking, "Would you like to see my beaver?" You don't see THAT in Cosmo.

I don't necessarily think it was a coincidence that I dreamed I was hanging out with April Winchell after that...

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