Welcome to yet another installment of Momday Motivations. I’m finally able to unveil a certain shop incident that currently sits under the chapter title of “Call Me By Your Name?”
But first, an update on our 95 year-old. Last week’s Momday Motivations shared Francine’s unfortunate sliding adventure that left her with two broken ribs and a weensy pneumothorax.
The ER doc warned us that the biggest concern was the potential for the onset of pneumonia and he suggested that she take several deep breaths throughout the day to ward it off. When Francine complained to her GP that this was just too painful, that doc suggested an imaginative alternative. Blowing bubbles in a glass of water through a straw for half an hour, several times a day.
I’m delighted to share that our bubble blower is better! She reported this morning that the pain is now sitting at an 8.5 out of 10 rather than the original 11 out of 10, an improvement she attributes to the straw efforts.
So, kids, it’s with great relief that I can finally roll on to the much promised teaser of that time a famous actor popped into Frankie Robinson Oriental Gallery, the Vancouver Asian antiques and collectibles shop run by my mother for 17 years.
Call Me By Your Name?
Thank god both of us were working that day. Smart phones with their discrete cameras wouldn’t exist for a good two decades and there was no way I could trot out our bulky Polaroid for a quiet photo.
It was a cold Spring afternoon and very few people had been in. I’d just suggested darting out for some caffeine hits to stem my abject boredom when an attractive couple stepped into the store. They’d never been in before but I recognized him immediately.
How could I not? He was famous. This American starred as the main character in a very popular sitcom that had been cancelled the previous year, right at the height of its popular eight season run. Now playing in reruns, both Francine and I were huge fans; the writing was witty and fresh and every cast member was brilliant.
As he and the well-dressed red-head worked their way around the shop, I took several restorative breaths and cautioned myself to adhere to the store policy regarding celebrities. The basic tenet was “treat every customer the same” with under currents of “we mustn’t fawn over anyone or stare unduly or God forbid, ask for an autograph.”
As they paused to get a closer look at a set of three, quirky, contemporary Thai brass penguins, Francine glided over with a welcoming smile.
“Hello! Aren’t they lovely? Simply throw on a round sheet of glass and you’ve got yourself a table base.”
“They really are fun! What else can you suggest as a creative base for a table? My wife and I are from out-of-town and doing the rounds of the shops on Granville Street.”
If Francine had any doubts, that sonorous voice sealed the deal. It was him. I sauntered over with my dusting rag to bathe in his golden glow.
Oh, Francine, Bless Her; She Was The True Picture Of Innocence.
“How lovely! Where are you from?”
“California. We love Vancouver and try to come up at least once every couple of months.”
“I don’t think you’ve been in before? No. Well, welcome. We’re a mother and daughter team and share your sense of fun, I think. You simply must see our ibex. Kelly, can you bring a pair out from the back?”
Those were wooden and weighed a ton but I didn’t care. Bring on the heavies. I’d do anything to keep him here.
Francine stepped back to allow the couple some privacy as they conferred over the goat-like heads with their magnificent horns. She returned my conspiratorial wink with a puzzled smile, which I thought was overdoing it a bit.
“You know, I think we like the penguins best. Do you ship?”
As Francine waxed on about the various shipping options, I started to fill out the invoice. My heart pounded once he joined me at the counter.
The chap was even better looking close up. When he spied his name already jotted down on the form, his eyes crinkled up in surprise and he smiled that famous grin. My heart purred. He knew we knew and was impressed by our professionalism.
Francine pounced as soon as they left.
“Kel, how do I know his name? It’s so darn familiar!”
I was glad it was closing time. Once briefed, my dear mother required a rather stiff gin and tonic.
Call me by your name, indeed.
So who was he? Any guesses? Better yet, which celebrities have had the good fortune to meet you? If you’d care to share, I’d love to hear.