Turns out, I have a celebrity look alike: Bette Midler. And her pronouncement as my look alike did not come easily, nor without a story. It's time I went public with this nonsense.
My brother was the featured entertainment for a professional fundraising gala my dad was hosting. (Not nepotism. My brother is That Good.) I will go anywhere to see my brother do anything, but the charity tickets cost something astronomical. Instead, I signed up to 'volunteer' as an usher. I would read people's tickets and guide them to their seats, all under the guise of watching my brother perform. I just had to be okay with standing in the doorway, gesturing with an open hand, and minding the subtly lit aisle.
You betcha. Can do.
Oh, and this job of ushering came with one other agreement: A Quick Tutorial on Emergency Exits in Case of a Fire. I had inadvertantly placed myself in the theater version of an airplane emergency exit row, all just to see my brother. Still, totally worth it.
I should add: I hadn't really planned to be an usher. I had only planned to look busy and watch my brother. Or hide in a corner and watch my brother. You see the common denominator, I'm sure.
Well, along came the Meeting of the Ushers. The Head Usher, a woman who most assuredly took her job too seriously - I mean, what are the odds of a fire-related emergency, really?? - gathered us all around her for a verbal presentation. Had she the technology, I'm sure she would have elaborated with PowerPoint.
"Ladies and gentlemen, your job is to stand at the doorway, collect tickets, and guide people to their seats. Should there be an emergency, we are counting on your undying faithfulness to get these cherished guests out of the building safely."
(Yada, yada, yada, yeah, yeah. Right. My brother's on stage soon. Can you wrap this up?)
She continues, "The emergency exits are here, here, here, and --"
She stops. Cold. Mid sentence. She zeroes in on me.
"Oh. My. Heavens. Has anyone EVER told you that you look EXACTLY like Bette Midler?? Wow. It's uncanny, really."
And just as quickly, she was back on topic, gesturing with an open hand to all the emergency exits. But her little tirade had given her just a few seconds to photograph my face, file my mugshot into her Bette Midler file, and keep close tabs on me all night.
I had not meant for anyone to keep close tabs on me that night. I wanted to be invisible; I wanted to watch my brother and only pretend to be altruistic and servant minded. But she kept finding me in my off-task state. She continued to lead me by the hand to my subtly lit aisle.
And she called me Bette.
(Not Amy Adams? Julia Roberts? Meg Ryan in her early years? Nope. Bette. The Wind Beneath My Wings.)
And so it is. I suppose.