I was a competitive swimmer when I was younger and I was beyond obsessed with Summer Sanders. (She was an Olympic swimmer who won an insane number of medals for anyone who may not know). I wanted to be just like her. Well, that didn't happen. I didn't go to Stanford for college like she did (I seriously thought I would until I got old enough to realize my SAT scores wouldn't cut it, not even close), and I certainly do not have a case full of Olympic medals just chillin' in my apartment. But aside from her amazing talent, I loved her because she just seemed like a nice person.
Well, last winter Jenn and I attended a PUMA fashion event that Summer was going to be hosting. I was so. freaking. excited. But then I got nervous. What if she isn't nice at all? What if she's nothing like the person I created her to be in my head all those years? Then I started talking myself out of even trying to meet her. Ohh, look, she's busy talking to so many people, there's no way I can interrupt. But when I mentioned my childhood obsession to the publicist for PUMA, she said, "Oh, I'll bring her right over!" And she did. She took Summer away from the swarm of people she was talking to to meet ME.
As soon and Summer said hi I just started rambling about how much I loooved her. (I had had a few glasses of wine by this point, naturally). I joked about not being smart enough to get into Stanford, and she laughed and said, "Oh believe me, I really wasn't either!"
We chatted for a solid ten minutes, and Summer lived up to all my expectations and more. She was so nice and really cool, too. She told me that she isn't in the pool nearly as much as she'd like to be these days, but enjoys running and yoga (hey, me too!). And look at her arms. Aren't they perfection? She said they got so sculpted by toting around her tot all day long. Now, normally I hate when celebrities say things like "I stay in shape by chasing my kid around on the playground," but Summer could have said she worshipped Satan at that moment and I wouldn't have batted an eyelash.
It really is amazing to meet one of your idols. Luke actually met one of his last year when we were in Paris—Steve Merchant (the genius behind the British Office). We were at dinner when Steve walked by our table to go to the restroom. Luke turned to me and said, "OK, Ellen, get the camera ready. When he comes out of the restroom, I am going to ask if he will get a picture with me. You cannot f**k this up. Please do not f**k this up," in a very serious (/scary) tone.
Steve was really cool and agreed to get a quick picture taken. As soon as I took the picture and looked at it, my face froze in horror. It was blurry. Holy shit, holy shit, Luke's going to kill me! Thankfully, Steve said, "Hey, let's get another one just in case." My second attempt was much better. Thank you Steve Merchant for saving my life.
Anyway, I'm rambling. I had a lot of fun recalling those memories though. What about you: Who are your idols? What would you do if you ever got to meet them? Or have you already?