I love living in Los Angeles. I really do. Yes, the traffic sucks, and the roads are bad, and the Kardashians live here; but in spite of all that, it’s still a cool place to call home. The weather is gorgeous, the men are gorgeous, and you see celebrities all over the place! Now, you might think that because I’m a glamorous showgirl I meet them at parties or premieres or places like that; oh no, Pop Tarts – I meet them in the grocery store.
One day I was shopping in the West Hollywood Gelson’s, trying to figure out the fat content of tater tots in the frozen food section. The aisles there are rather narrow and my cart was blocking the way; but there wasn’t anyone down the aisle in front of me and I was in my own little world, so I wasn’t really paying attention. All of a sudden, I heard a woman’s voice behind me say in a sing-song tone, “uh-oh, we have a traffic jam!” So I quickly turned around and said, “I’m so sorry,” and moved my cart out of the way. The lady was very short, had a huge shock of jet-black hair, and was wearing a black tank-top, black sweatpants, and those ugly black Ugg boots. I smiled at her, she smiled at me, and then she passed and continued down the aisle. It was then I realized that I had just blocked the way of Diana Ross. Diana. Ross.
I shit you not, gentle readers. Sometimes she does her own shopping.
I fought the urge to ask her, “do you know where you’re going to?”
And…believe it or not…in the very same Gelson’s only a few months later, I encountered – and this is no joke – Johnny Mathis – in the meat section. I thought that was ironically appropriate.
Seriously, though, that Gelson’s should change its name to “Motown.” I expected to run into the other two Supremes in the produce aisle, but no luck.
I also met an idol of mine at THE SAME GROCERY STORE, on Christmas Eve, no less – the Sultan of Sequins himself…the one and only Mr. Bob Mackie. I saw him from afar, and even though it was Christmas Eve and the place was a madhouse, I pushed my way through to him like a linebacker. He was waiting in line to check out, thank goodness, so he was staying in one place and couldn’t escape. I introduced myself, and gushed, and he was as kind and gracious as he could be. And he looked amazing. The man is in his early seventies, but he’s very well-preserved. I was shaking the rest of the day. I took that to be my personal Christmas present from the Universe, meeting him. Too bad I didn’t get a dress out of it.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I have no hesitation in approaching if there’s an opportunity to say hello to a celebrity that I’ve admired, and I have a somewhat psychic sense about who is approachable and who is not. In fact, I have a perfect track record. Truth be told, most of the stars I get excited about seeing are usually so grateful to be recognized, they talk to me for twenty minutes.
Helen Reddy (Starbucks) was as charming as you would imagine. When I asked her if she was indeed Helen Reddy, she replied with, “well, I hope so because I’m wearing her underwear.”
Renee Zellweger (Coffee Bean, when she was on her first face) was also very nice and chatted with me for more than a few minutes. I thought she was Southern, but she’s actually from Texas.
Now…some of you are thinking, “wait, Poppy…Texas is “the South.”
No. No it isn’t. Trust me. But I digress.
I met Barbara Eden in a fabric store. She was very sweet, and tiny, and looked amazing. Kristen Chenoweth (walking her dog on Santa Monica) was lovely. And she could fit in your pocket – just adorable. Angela Bassett seemed preoccupied when she was behind me in a check-out line in yet another grocery store, so I didn’t remark on how muscular and cut her arms were, but let me tell you…wow! I got a pedicure next to Christina Applegate in WeHo. Linda Lavin (she played “Alice” on TV many moons ago and is ah-maze-ing…Google her!) was lovely in Trader Joe’s (that’s anothergrocery store, mind you). I even held a door for Betty White at the theatre one night (she didn’t say thank-you…”America’s Sweetheart” my ass…).
Yes, every morning when I leave the house I feel the rush of excitement knowing that at any moment I might round a corner and run right into John Stamos. That hasn’t happened yet, but I keep hoping.
And for my younger readers, the guy who played Draco Malfoy in the “Harry Potter” movies just walked by me! Just as I was typing this! I think my “wingardium” just “leviosa-ed”!
This week’s question was actually in the “comments” section of last week’s article. “Sassy Frass” from the Interwebs writes:
I often see you at the local café, and somehow you always manage to look absolutely gorgeous! Please, tell me, how did you acquire your timeless sense of style?
Well, Sassy, I’m just speechless. I don’t know whether to thank you for the compliment or worry that you’re a stalker. I mean, I’m sitting in my regular spot now and I’m wondering if you’re watching me? You could be sitting right beside me and I’d be none the wiser. Wow. That’s kinda hot. Anyway…
My sense of style came from my Aunt Johnnie Mae (yes, that was her name…I’m Southern, remember…). She was a widow and retired, and she lived with us when I was a little girl. The woman didn’t have a thing in the world to do, but every morning – without fail – she would get up, do her morning ablutions and put on her makeup, dress in a gorgeous outfit complete with matching jewelry, and spritz herself with perfume. And then she would proceed to sit in the den, watch “her stories” all day long, and read Harlequin romance novels.
Granny used to mutter under her breath, “she thinks she’s the damn Queen of England.”
One day I asked Johnnie Mae why she always dressed up if she didn’t have anywhere to go, and she said, “Poppy…remember this: You should always…always…look your best. You never know who’s coming to visit or when you might drop dead.”
So that’s my mantra, Pop Tarts! Always look your best, because you never know when John Stamos might knock on your door (I’m still hoping) or when you’re going to kick the bucket – but rest assured, I’ll kick that bucket wearing a Jimmy Choo!
Poppy Fields is indeed from the Deep South – Alabama, in fact – but don’t hold that against her. As one-half of the cabaret duo, Mack & Poppy, she spends most of her time sewing on rhinestones, rehearsing music, and ogling hot men on the streets of West Hollywood. Follow her on Twitter here.