DC is LA for the people Jason sees
Non-Districtites often ask if we see a lot of famous people here. I usually say no, because as you know from this blog I’m as likely to see the star of the Golden Globes in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, as I am to run in to a VPOTUS at the Windhoek airport. The Famouses do not manifest themselves to me that often.
Jason, on the other hand, likes to refer to the District as “L.A. for ugly people.” Everyone you see is famous, but not everyone is the most attractive person in the land. This is probably due to his practice of fabricating celebrity encounters.
Some of Jason’s encounters do turn out to be true—like the one on our second wedding anniversary, when we splurged at a fancy Capitol Hill wine bar. Jason nudged me as we parked Stitch, “Look, there’s Trent Lott. It looks like he’s carrying some dry cleaning.” I rolled my eyes and looked out the window, only to find myself gazing at . . . Trent Lott sticking some dry cleaning bags into a Mini Cooper with Mississippi plates. Okay, fine. I’ll give him that one. I’ll also admit that, on that very same night, Barney Frank and his date strolled in to our restaurant and sat at the table across from us. I knew it was him, because everyone in the restaurant felt the need to approach the table and gush about how much they looooooooved Massachusetts. It’s, like, the best state ever. And it even contains one of America’s Three True Cities.
Some of his encounters have come in the usual places—like Anderson Cooper on the Mall during Inauguration 2009. During the fall of 2010, he interned at the US Senate and was apparently the only intern ever in the history of the Senate to actually enjoy giving tours, probably because he liked going to the floor and seeing the Famouses. Jason has rubbed elbows with virtually every single one of our Nation’s leaders. Maybe he is actually responsible for dysfunction in Washington.
Over the course of the last year or so, Jason has begun a new brand of celebrity watching. It’s called “seeing B-list (or as he says, “at least A-minus”) Famouses any time he is alone.” About a year ago, as has been well documented, he saw Holland Taylor in our church’s parking garage after she had finished a benefit event for one of our resident partners. This was a special bonus, because HT is a person who anyone would recognize on sight (click on the link), but few of you are cultured enough to recognize her name. Neither was I before Jason called and said, “You’ll never guess who I just saw! Holland Taylor,” and I said, “Who?” because back then I was not enlightened.
A few months after he had finished collecting HT memorabilia for his office, Jason saw the actor who played Scottie on Brothers and Sisters, whose real name we still do not know. In the locker room of his gym. Changing. “I looked up and saw him, and I said to myself, ‘This is a celebrity,’” he recounts. Apparently you can recognize a Famous pretty quickly even in the land of gym rats, and our dear friend revealed himself when some fellow work-outers asked him where they’d seen him before.
Our drives through upper Northwest lately have resulted in a tour of the intersection where Chris Matthews “almost hit me with his car.” It seems that the proximity of J’s school to NBC Studios in Washington led to a particularly close encounter at an intersection. It seems that way, because now I hear about it every time we drive down Nebraska Ave, NW.
But the mother lode of all celebrity sightings came on Sunday. We’d gone to Union Station to await my train, and I made quick pit stop. I emerged from the bathroom to see Jason waving frantically at me and rushed over, thinking that maybe boarding had started early. “You’ll never believe who I just saw,” he said between gasps. “Judy Woodruff and her husband. And she was hot!”
Judy Woodruff is Jason’s celebrity crush, and one I had heard plenty about over the course of our marriage. “Sure, I was twelve when she joined the AARP, but that’s okay” and “Are we allowed to have affairs, just as long as they’re with people over seventy?”
Jason had heard talk of Judy and Al heading to get coffee, so we gathered my things in order to maximize the two minutes I had left before boarding. We peered through coffee shop windows, didn’t see them, and kept walking.
“Oh my goodness!” Jason said as he stopped me. “That was Tucker Carlson.”
“Where? I didn’t see him.”
“That guy who just walked past us. See him.”
“Yeah, I see the back of his head. Was he wearing a bowtie?”
“Then how do you know it was him?”
“He doesn’t do that anymore. He’s crossed over. But he and Jon Stewart hate each other.”
“Oh, well, then I know it had to have been him.”
We didn’t find Judy before it was time to return to the terminal, but all of a sudden I noticed that Jason seemed a little less sad about my departure.
“Sweetie, I’m just warning you that if I find her, you and I might be through. I may go full throttle.”
I didn’t really know what that meant, but it became clear that I needed to head to my terminal, so I did, because that’s what you do. Jason kept seeking but never found, which is probably all for the best. I’m just eager to know who he’ll see this week during my absence (which, by the way, is to NYC. I’ve already got my eyes peeled for Famouses. I hear they’re on every corner).