Nan, Lulu & Sally
The following is a true Santa Monica story:
Sunday was our last day in LA and we went to the Santa Monica farmer's market for brunch. After we ate we walked around a bit and Nan saw a crepe stand a ways down & wanted to get one to go. The line was pretty long so she went ahead of us to get in line. The meter where we parked was about to run out so Lulu & Sally headed back to the car while I stayed behind to wait with Nan. When I walked up she was talking to some older guy. My sister introduced me. We shook hands & he said, "Hi, I'm Andy." They had been talking about her shoes, which he liked – some olive green Ed Hardy sneakers. He asked us a lot of general questions like where we were from & what we thought about the cities where we live, work, etc. – the usual just-meeting-someone-for-the-first-time conversation. He asked me what I did for a living and I told him I was a handbag designer. I just happened to be wearing my one of my adjustable button bags, so I showed him my bag & gave him a card then asked him what he did, to which he responded–after slight hesitation, "Oh, I'm retired.." There was about a second of awkward silence afterwards, but I sorta kept it moving & said something like, "Oh, that's great. You get to sit back & enjoy life now." In my mind I was thinking, "I think this guy is famous. This guy's gotta be famous or something," but my brain couldn't think of all the (right) last names of famous Andys and the shades & beard didn't help.
I wish we could have spoken longer but we were on a tight schedule being that we were flying out that evening and still had more to do. Before we parted he suggested we check out Montana Avenue & said it was his favorite place in Santa Monica. We told him thank you, shook hands again & said, "bye Andy" in unison and then I added, "Enjoy the rest of your retirement!" trying to come up with something nice to say.
On the walk back to the car Nan thought he might be Andy Garcia & asked me to look him up on my phone. I was starting to freak out a little at the thought. I looked him up, but didn't think it was him because the search was bringing up mostly photos of a younger man and I hadn't seen Andy Garcia in anything recently to know how he looked now. In the car we told Lulu & Sally (halfway joking) that we were just talking to Andy Garcia & how he told us to check out Montana Avenue. Lulu said Montana Avenue was all luxe shopping. Then I found some more recent photos–Dude. That. was definitely Andy Garcia.
I am still flipping out one week later. I can't tell you how many times I've replayed that conversation in my head and the whole chain of events that lead up to it – not to mention all the subtle clues screaming out to me that he was famous: beard + shades = the perfect celebrity cover-up. I can't believe I gave Andy GARCIA!! a card! Dude?! I wonder if he laughed to himself when I handed it to him. Or if he even kept it. I hope so. What if Nan didn't put on those shoes that morning? If only I'd known who we were talking to!!! Well.. I actually don't know what I would have done. But I told him to 'enjoy the rest of your retirement'???? That's not something to say!! Ugh... how stupid. I don't even think he's really retired! I IMDb'd him & it looks like he's working on stuff for next year. Then again, he probably just didn't want to be noticed.
You know, I can only believe that that was how it was supposed to happen. And maybe he appreciated just being able to have a normal conversation with some non-celebrities without someone going crazy. He was so nice and down to earth.
Honestly, I don't even know what the best part of our trip was. All I know is I'm going back to LA!