My Fans Find Me in the Unlikeliest Places

We went to eat Mexican after church today with a large group of people.  Or maybe we ate a large group of Mexicans at church, I forget which way it was.

Anyway, we were at Hacienda and I was sitting in a corner, running my mouth, which is what I do best.  At one point, I got up to go to the bathroom, but I was blocked in by a woman trying to get her daughter situated on a booster seat.  While I was waiting, I had a good vantage point of the back of my friend Patricia.  I noticed she had a large lump at the base of her neck, and I immediately became concerned.

Because of my extensive Web MD training, I notice things like this, and I am highly qualified to dispense advice.  I told her at once that she needed to have it examined.  I recommended she see… you guessed it…the famous Dr. Renee!  Of course, I did not tell Patricia that Renee would likely call it a virus and tell her it would clear up on its own rather than correctly diagnose it as the malignant neck tumor that it obviously was.  I figured she and Renee could hash it out in the office and I would pocket my referral fee and keep my mouth shut.

After lunch, I moseyed up to the register to pay.  The goddess had conned a quarter out of me and as I was attempting to pay, flirting with my favorite studly cashier, she started whining.  Apparently, the machine had consumed the quarter without dispensing any Skittles.  This caused her much grief and, combined with the day’s lack of video stimulation, she was on the verge of a breakdown.

I got the cashier to give her a refund and I walked over to the machine with her to get her candy.  As I turned, the woman with the children who had been sitting was walking toward me.  We made eye contact and I smiled at her, and she stopped.

“You don’t recognize me do you?” she asked.

Well, of course I didn’t recognize her.  The older I get, the harder it is to recognize anybody!  I have a hard time recognizing the people I am related to, let alone strangers in Mexican restaurants. 

However, I didnt’ tell her that.  I lied like any self respecting person does in that situation.  “Oh hey,” I said in that high, sweet, fakey voice that people adopt when they are trying to cover up their discomfort.  “No, I do know you, just give me a minute.”

I continued to stare at her blankly, jaw slightly agape as I tried to place her.  Avon Lady??  Shrink??  Cashier in the sex toy store???  I knew I would get it in a minute, and I kept assuring her I would as I continued to stare at her, she staring back with a hint of amusement at my discomfort.

Finally, I admitted defeat.  “You look so familiar,” I lied, “but I just can’t remember where I know you from.”

“I’m Andrea,” she said, smiling widely. 

Like that was supposed to mean something to me.  I needed more than that; I needed dates and details and snapshots of us drunk together in that bar in Mexico where I picked up the sword swallower.  And oh man, was his tongue sharp.  But I digress…

“I’m Renee’s sister,” she qualified.

An enormous light bulb flashed over my head.  I believe the light it emitted may have been visible from space.  Now I knew exactly who she was and I could totally see the resemblance, although Andrea has a slightly more, I don’t know, compassionate look about her.

“How did you know I was me?” I asked in delight.  But the delight was immediately replaced with dread when I answered my own question.  “It was that stupid mullet picture, wasn’t it?”

She said “Well yes.  I was pretty sure you were Jennifer, but then when you said Dr. Renee, I knew you were you.”

We stood and chatted for a few minutes and she introduced me to her husband Karl (Carl, Kaarl, Carrl, whatever) and he pointed to the goddess and said reverently “Is that the blonde goddess?” 

I called her over and she simpered and smiled and did the cutesy thing, trying to see if they would fork over another quarter.  When none seemed forthcoming, she started pulling on me, rather insistently, trying to get me to go over to the gumball machine.

However, I was reveling in my first fan moment.  I mean, an actual fan (not a stalker!!) recognized me from my body of work (and my atrocious mullet picture) and wanted to converse with me.  How cool is that?  I bet Dick Schickel never gets recognized in the Mexican restaurant!!  And even if he does, I bet no one wants to talk to him!  And we were bonding!  We compared thyroidectomy scars!  We talked about Renee’s love of the viral diagnosis!  We were buddies.

But the goddess would not be denied and so I sadly bid Karl (Carl, Karol,Carrrl) and Andrea goodbye and went to the machines with the goddess.   Turns out she was afraid to lift the the little door thingy to the Skittle machine because she was afraid the Skittles would fall on the floor.  I jerked it open and one fell on the floor and the world ended right there. 

Not really, but she carried on like it did!  So anyway, Andrea and K(C)arl, it was lovely to meet you, your daughters are beautiful and I am honored you read my silly blog!



  1. Andrea H
    Posted August 19, 2007 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    Well, it’s about time! Carl and I have been watching your blog all afternoon waiting on our few moments of fame. I didn’t want to tell you at the time, but you had a bit of salsa stuck in your teeth when you smiled. We wanted the blond goddess’ autograph, too, but she was a bit too distracted by the Skittle incident.

    It was good to finally meet you and we’ll look for you in the Circle of Hell (McDonald’s). We frequent it all too often. Did you notice the plywood in the window there? The guy had to tell me 3 times before Carl translated for me, “Truck had backed into it.”

  2. Gina
    Posted August 19, 2007 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    This reminds me of the time you had to pick up Uncle Randy in Dothan and you convinced me to pretend to be a hick fan of his performance on the Golden Girls. The only thing that would have made this story better would have been one of your children in the background giggling then coming up and giving Andrea a high five for pulling off the blog fan charade. 😉

  3. dailydiatribes
    Posted August 19, 2007 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    Classic me. You could have mentioned the cilantro before I started flirting with the cute cashier!
    sorry it took so long, but I had already started the previous post and I had to finish that one first. Two in one day; now I’m done til Wednesday!

  4. Posted August 20, 2007 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Ok, I’ve committed the mullet photo to memory so watch out! I love me some Mexican food, so who knows? Do you think I will could maybe even get your autograph if I see you out?

  5. Renee
    Posted August 20, 2007 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    Wah! Again with the viral complaints. You two keep away from each other or I will not have an ego left. And Andrea, Jennifer is my one friend (not including you, my sister-friend) who regularly points out my “bats in the cave.” She tells me it’s for my own good, so I won’t embarrass myself. Usually, I just embarrass her and dig at it blatantly. You absolutely should have snickered at the green stuff between her teeth.

  6. Andrea H
    Posted August 21, 2007 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    “It’s a virus” said the pediatrician to my face after I lovingly drug my barking seal of a daughter to her office yesterday. I couldn’t believe my ears! Another one! And I had to pay this one a co-pay (although she did go ahead and do the four-year-old check up stuff, so I don’t have to go back. Thanks for that!)

    Jennifer, you must be related to Renee and I. Our mother, God love her, has a bad problem with food in her teeth a lot. Unfortunately I have inherited the trait Carl tells me.

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