Alright ladies. You asked and I thought long and hard about publicly humiliating myself before posting. It is indeed worth it. As long as it is wonderful, here is the most embarrassing event of my life. Grab a snack. And maybe a laugh/cry tissue.
Once upon a time, a few mistakes ago....oh sorry, that's an overplayed Taylor Swift song. Once upon a time, I was 17 years young and abroad. I had traveled many times before and after one very unsupervised trip to Tokyo, I had been given rules. Shockingly by my father. The most reasonable and flexible parent alive back then. HE gave me restrictions for my trip to France by asking me so nicely to promise not to drink. How stupid was I for agreeing? Looking back with my knowledge and appreciation for wine that I have now, I was dumb. Then I didn't care about the wine. I had been a bar hopping fool when I was in Japan and learned my lesson of what a hangover was. I also learned that smart parents don't let their teenagers go to Japan without a chaperone. That is a whole other story though. Anyhow, I went to Paris a sober girl leaving behind a country boy high school love and my heart set on seeing all the art a girl could see while I was being all cultured and french-like. Again, no chaperone.This time though I lived in a villa with a "house mother" who watched over us in the sweetest way with her beautiful accent telling us "tsk tsk" and doling out poetic advice when appropriate. She was there when I was homesick like crazy and she made me the most incredible coffee that we would deem a latte but that is pretty much the standard unless you just want espresso. I was there through the holiday season and was missing my family. I faxed them drawings and stupid notes every day practically to pass the time between work but it wasn't helping. Thanksgiving was approaching and before I knew it I was begging our house mom to take me grocery shopping for Turkey and things to make a traditional American Thanksgiving ( I am hoping I don't have to point out that other countries don't celebrate this holiday. Well there I just did.). The other girls in the house were from everywhere. I am not exaggerating, just one chic from Georgia who had the best accent she hid until she was on the phone with here Momma and OH LORDY she couldn't even help the adorableness that she spoke. Two girls from Canada ( one eastern one western) and one from Mexico. Those were my closest things to a group that even got why the turkey holiday was even a thing. But, I made thanksgiving from serious scratch ( no Stove Top boxes to be found ) and all the girls had a great dinner together. We sat around afterwards in our formal living room and talked about our families and before I could stop, I had spread my homesickness to even the most independent 23 year old in the group. So the whole bunch of us decided to go out. Most of them called a loved one first.
This was a motley crew of girls from the age of 17 to 23 in a group of about a dozen. All thin, dressed sharp and makeup precisely applied by one another. These girls all belonged to the agency I too worked for. Elite Models of Paris. And we took over an entirely to large and lavish round booth in a theater style bar with live music and all the drinks we could devour. By we, I meant them. I was honoring my promise which was becoming a bore with these ladies. To avoid having to talk much about my commitment to not drinking with anyone but miss Georgia, I usually ordered Shirley Temples. The night went on and the table got increasingly louder and more vulgar as per usual with some of the rowdy fun ones, and a couple guys walked in and caught some attention from our booth. The two made their way to a table in our sight and a hushed wave of excitement passed around that it was THE Johnny Depp over there. EEEEeeeee. I was the only non-hammered one and had to be the voice of reason and suggest it probably wasn't even him. That was countered with a few accents talking over one another confirming his features and style of dress and of course it was him I was stupid. So then ::sigh:: they dared me to go check. I was never one to turn down a dare.I, along with every other American girl ever, had loved him all my life. But I was terrified.
I took my mocktail with me and made my way over to the two gentlemen. And I said " is this seat taken?"( I know, I know. I was feeling as stupid as you are thinking that sounds). And one turns to me and says " Not at all, join us". I studied his face knowing damn well I should not have argued the girls. I was nervous but looking back I give myself some major credit for making small talk all on my own with the most ruggedly handsome man I have ever held a conversation with in my life. We talked about Oregon and Kentucky. We talked about the holidays. He asked if he could buy me a drink. I declined though I wanted so badly to have a glass of wine and shake my nerves.We talked about what he was doing in France ( my main curiosity because the rumor was he and Kate Moss - also with our agency- had broken up). He was filming a movie in England and came to France on holiday for a few weeks. We talked about France and all of his favorite places I should see while I was there. And then I asked what film he was making and the dialog went a bit like this:
Me: What movie are you working on? Are you able to say?
Him: Have you heard of the legend of sleepy hollow?
Me: Uh, yes. The Disney movie?
Him: Well, yes Disney made and animated picture of the story.
Me: Really? You are making that?
Him: Mmmmmhmmmm (while he casually rolls joints and tucks them into a small leather pouch)
Me: Ok, you don't have to tell me if you don't want to. (super annoyed that he is just bullshitting me)
Him: No really, I swear. Christina Ricci and Michael Gambon are in it as well as........( he kept listing but those are the two I remembered. I was deciding if he was a jerk or not and still fairly certain he was pulling my leg)
Me: Alright. Who are you playing?
Him: Ichabod Crane
Me: The skinny guy with the big nose?! Right. ::shakes head::
Him: Well, yes.
Me: I just can't even picture that.
And then I changed the subject because I felt like I didn't know what to believe. I mean at that point he could have been Skeet Ulrich for all I knew. I just didn't think that movie sounded legit at all. Our conversation slipped back into easy banter and he was charming and sweet and had eyes that look into your soul. Which made my palms sweat and my hands shake. I smoked cigarettes then and had left my lighter at the table with my purse and the gaggle of crazies. I thought of going back to get it and he offered his. I reached for it and knocked his double shot of tequila into his lap. I was mortified. He smiled and said " it's ok, happens all the time".
"Really?" I asked.
"No" he said still smiling though.
I stayed over there for more apologizing, two cigarettes and a few more topics of conversation. He asked where I was staying. He asked how long I would be there. I asked the same back. Then I decided I should get back to my group and let him be. He nodded in their direction and I turned around to the horror of most of them making the most incredibly lewd gestures I have ever seen. I cringed and sheepishly apologized for the drunken herd of hot messes. He informed me that they had been doing that most of the time I had been sitting with him and we both laughed. Me because I kind of wanted to die and kill my housemates.I thanked him for the visit and went back to the bitches who were squealing. I confirmed their suspicions and swooned simultaneously. Listening to the party animals while being sorta lost in my thoughts, I almost didn't notice him coming to our table as he was leaving. He called me over and I tried not to look too excited as my housemates didn't even try to hide their amazement. He hugged me and said he had a lovely time with me, kissed my cheek and said goodnight. Told me "Enjoy Paris. It's one of my favorite places." and he left. And I died.
~ Flash forward a few months and I am back home from my travels~
I only confided in a couple girl friends of mine about the encounter for a few reasons. The main one was that it barely felt real once I was at home, in a backwoods bullshit town high school filled with people who barely get to meet Randy Travis at CountryFest let alone meet Johnny Depp. Two very different worlds for me. I often felt like I spoke a different language there. So I told my friends in secret and like I assumed, they were with me more on doubting it was really him because of the whole movie nonsense. We soon forgot all about it and went on with the school year. Until one morning I opened my locker to find ads for Sleepy Hollow which was coming out in theaters that following fall, torn from magazines and taped all over the inside of the locker door!! I stared at them for I don't know how long until one of the girls I had told came up and slammed it shut and said "You stupid asshole!!!! You spilled tequila on Johnny Depp!!!". And indeed I had.