Years ago Steve and I were invited to attend the premiere of a movie, whose name completely escapes me now, but isn’t pertinent to this little story so let’s move on.
We knew from the invitation that there would be certain celebrities on the red carpet that night. One of them was Neil Patrick Harris (NPH to many). I was excited. I love NPH. Dude is legen-wait-for-it-dary!!
So when we parked our car at the event I said to Steve, “All I really want to do tonight is rub elbows with Neil Patrick Harris.” Steve laughed. He knew how much I liked NPH and I’m sure he was rooting for me when he said, “Good luck. I doubt we’ll even see him let alone run into him.” I said, “A girl can dream can’t she?” He shrugged.
We went inside the venue. There was the red carpet line where all the celebs were being carefully staged to walk in front of cameras and do interviews, and there was the riff raff area, which is where we got shuttled. Clearly they didn’t realize who we were! An oversight I have yet to get over.
There were two theatres. We picked one randomly. After we got seated, I noticed a bunch of people sporting popcorn, drinks, and candy. I said, “Where did you get all of that?” to a fellow sitting next to us. He said, “They’re giving it away for free in the lobby.” I was gone in a flash. I yelled over my shoulder to Steve, “Do you want anything, Steve?” He said, “Yeah, sure, get us some popcorn and drinks.”
The theatre was beyond crowded. Not only was every seat taken, people were milling around the aisle and staircase, in tuxedos, suits, ball gowns, and cocktail dresses. I had to really push and maneuver my way through the crowd, but I was on a mission.
I got to the concession stand where they had all this loot just lined up for the taking. I grabbed two sodas, a big bucket of popcorn, and some licorice, and started to make my way back through the theatre carrying way more than I could easily handle.
I was at the bottom of the staircase, looked up to where Steve was sitting, and wasn’t sure how I was going to get through the thick crowd coming down. It was like a herd of cattle was coming down towards me. I looked down at the stairs and started carefully climbing, wending my way through the hoard, worried I was going to slip in my heels or trip on my dress and fall down the stairs covered in salt and soda.
I was jostled. I was bumped. I was nearly shoved, but I kept on going. At some point I ran into someone’s arm and almost fell. He steadied me. I never saw his face. I was just determined to get to my seat intact.
The moment I plopped down into my theatre seat and handed Steve the stuff he looked at me very excitedly. I thought, “Wow, dude must have really been wanting this soda.” But he said, “Oh my God. Don’t you realize what just happened to you?” I said, “Um, no?”
He said, “You just bumped into Neil Patrick Harris. He was coming down the stairs while you were going up. Not only did you literally rub elbows with him, he’s the one that steadied you when you almost tripped.”
“WHAT?!?!?” I yelled!
Steve said, “Look… he’s right over there. He was going down the stairs when you were going up. You didn’t see him because you were looking down. But you ran right into him. I literally saw your elbows touch.”
“WHAT?!?!” I yelled!
Steve grabbed me by the shoulders. “Listen to me woman. You just ran into Neil. Patrick. Harris. Do you understand what I’m saying?”
I started shaking my head slowly as the reality of my situation descended upon me. “No. No. It can’t be. I wasn’t ready. I didn’t see. He has to come back. He has to talk to me. I need to talk to him.”
Steve laughed. I started fanning my face so I wouldn’t faint.
I looked down and sure enough, there he was, wearing the most beautiful tuxedo, standing in a halo of pure awesomeness.
Steve said, “Go down there and talk to him right now. You’re this close. Go do it.”
“I can’t go talk to him,” I said. “Um, can I?”
Steve said, “Why not? He’s just standing there. When are you going to be this close to him again?”
He was right. I had a divine opportunity, nay a divine imperative to go talk to Neil Patrick Harris. God practically dropped him in my lap (hey don’t ruin my fantasy with details). I needed to go to him. At once!!
I stood up. Fixed my hair. And started pushing through the crowd. What would I say to Neil? As I was figuring out my opening line, something horrible happened. He got on the phone. Took his cell phone right out of his pocket, answered it, put a finger in his ear so he could hear the person on the other end of the call, and started to push his way out of the theatre.
NO! Where are you going NPH? I’m coming to talk to you. Don’t leave!
But he was gone. I turned back to look at Steve. He made a sad face. He saw what had happened. I lost NPH. He was gone.
I made my way back to my seat. Steve said, “aww, you were so close. I’m sorry. But hey, do you realize what happened here tonight? You told me in the car that you wanted to rub elbows with Neil Patrick Harris, and guess what? You did! It was like a law of attraction miracle! You should be happy!”
I nodded my head. “Oh I’m happy. I just wish I had been there when it happened.”
Steve laughed. After I got done pouting, I realized I got my wish. And I said to Steve, “You know, next time when I make my wish I’m going to be more clear and specific. I’m going to be like, ‘All I wanna do is sit and chat with Neil Patrick Harris, and have a great conversation with him.’”
Wishes do come true. Sometimes. So be careful what you wish for, or at least be clear about what you want. You just might get it.