Are You Paying Attention?
My husband Mike and I were walking down 3rd in Naples, FL last night when I saw her. It was a quick look and I knew. I grabbed Mike’s arm and steered him over to the edge of the sidewalk, half hiding us under a low tree branch as I fumbled in my purse for my camera. I took a quick photo then dug out my phone to call my daughter Tory. All the while Mike was staring at me, dumbfounded, I guess, since I don’t typically act this way.
“Tory? Tor?” I hissed into my phone, standing not 20 feet from a famous reality TV personality. “Guess who I’m staring at right now? Like right now.”
“Mom? What? Where are you?” she asked.
“Tor, you are never going to believe who I’m staring at,” I babbled. “One of The Real Housewives of Orange County! Here. In Naples!”
“Which one, Mom?” she asked, excitement rising in her voice. Tory’s been a fan of the show since her Uncle Phil talked about it at one family get-together.
Uhhh. Blank look. Gather brain. Uhhh.
“I can’t remember her name,” I hissed in frustration. “She’s the blond one with the dimple.”
“Really? Really Mom?” Tory squealed. “It’s Vicki? Are you sure it’s Vicki, Mom? Take a picture! Take a picture!”
“I already did, but I’ll try to get a better one.”
“Just go up and ask her Mom. I bet she’ll say yes.”
“I can’t do that,” I said. “She’s eating dinner.” (Okay. No need to point out here that I was really rude to snap her photo without her permission. But she was sitting at a table on the sidewalk in full view of the whole passing world! I mean she wasn’t hiding or anything!)
After I took another stealth photo Mike and I decided to eat dinner where Vicki was eating: Campiello. Dinner was fabulous: fresh juicy tomato and mozzarella salad with basil, risotto and fresh grilled asparagus. Simple food, simply prepared and simply fabulous.
Mike and I lingered over dinner, laughing and talking about our “brush with fame.”
We left Campiello as the nightlife was kicking in; live music was spilling from many of the restaurants along 3rd. We stopped at Handsome Harry’s to listen.
As Mike worked his way into the bar to get us a drink I turned around and walked almost straight into Vicki and her girlfriend.
Catching my breath I smiled and said,” Hi! It’s great to see you in person. My daughter is a fan of yours. She introduced us to your show.”
Vicki smiled in return, saw the camera hanging from my wrist and asked if I wanted to take a photo with her. (For a second I wondered if she had seen me earlier in the evening, half hiding under that tree, taking her photo.)
“That would be great,” I replied as her girlfriend took the camera from me and snapped the photo.
“What are you doing in Naples?” I asked.
“I’m visiting a very old and dear friend. Then I’m going to NJ to meet The Real Housewives of NJ,” she replied.
Dumbfounded, I replied, ”I’m from NJ.”
Vicki asked, “You are? What do you think of The Real Housewives of NJ?”
I burst out laughing and said, “I think they’re all crazy. My husband and I like The Real Housewives of NY much better.”
Wrinkling her forehead (yes, it crinkles just a tiny bit) she was about to reply when a woman interrupted our conversation with a question of her own. I wandered away with a smile.
Just saying, Vicki is prettier in person than she is on TV. And she was poised and calm and kind.
Now she has me wondering what she’s going to be doing in NJ. The Jersey Crew might eat her for lunch!