Celebrity crushes are an odd thing, aren't they? They're no threat to your relationship; they don't even affect your real world. I'm not quite sure what they're about.
But they're fun. I like having them.
So in Chicago I developed a massive celebrity crush on Magic Johnson.
Truly. The man is incredibly good looking. And so charismatic. And he radiates kindness. He really does.
I announced this immediately upon arrival home. "I have a new celebrity crush!"
And instead of being interested in my new crush, Nick asked, "What? Did you have an old celebrity crush?"
When I thought he knew full well it was Jon Stewart. He is not so much for the celebrity crush, that one.
Magic Johnson was scheduled to speak at one of our sessions on the work he's done to revitalize urban communities. We'd also invited him to our community service project, in which we were refurbishing an elementary school. And he accepted.
Honestly, he walked in the door and smiled, and you just felt like he was so glad to be there. If he was faking it, he faked a long number of hours really well. He walked around shaking hands, thanking people for their work. He talked to the kids who were there.
He smiled the whole time - and his smile is like sunshine. He signed autographs. He posed for every picture anyone asked him to.
At no moment did he act like he was too important or too busy for any of this. Rather, he looked at you like you were exactly who he wanted to be speaking with, and that all was for the best in this, the best of all possible worlds.
Not to get all Candide on you.
He's clearly so passionate about rebuilding urban communities, about providing education, jobs, and opportunities. It's not that he's not making money - of course he is. But he's turned his attention to populations that have definitely been under-served and lacking in possibilities.
I was to accompany the photographer to the next event so that we'd get there before Magic Johnson arrived.
On an aside - I need Lisa-style directions, and anyway, nobody should trust me to find anything. Most people already knew this. Those who didn't learned last week, when I led the photographer the exact wrong way. Thus keeping Magic Johnson waiting. Fortunately, he's a kind man. But I still heard about it from my colleagues for the rest of the conference.
But rewind to our project.
I'd like to say I'm not one to be starstruck, but I got stuck watching him choose Clif bars.
I'm not kidding.
There were all these snacks and beverages, and just as he was about to head to the next event, he was offered some for the road. I happened to be grabbing bottles of water for the photographer, bus driver, and myself just as he was doing this.
I know I went into slow motion, dazed, all, wow! I'm watching Magic Johnson pick out snacks!
It was definitely an Us Magazine "The stars! They're just like us! They eat Clif bars!" kind of moment. Except that instead of being caught looking his worst all puffy-eyed and in sweats, as those pictures usually depict, he looked all sparkly and happy, and, well, magic.
There I was all, "Ohh, I bet he's going to go for peanut toffee crunch...That's a good one." (Although myself, I prefer oatmeal raisin walnut.)
My reverie was broken as one of our VPs said, "Lisa. Lisa! I think the photographer needs to leave."
Out loud I said, "Oh, sorry! I'm ready!"
But in my head I was all, "But now I'm never going to know if he chooses the peanut butter kind! Or maybe he'll pick chocolate! Or...!"