In February 2007, in the heart of my longest running streak as a single woman in NYC, one of my best friends from college had flown in to visit for our bi-annual girl time catch-up session. We’d kicked off the weekend with an early happy hour at a West Village wine bar, and after one too many carafes, we decided we needed a change of scenery and headed to Soho House for a nightcap.
After settling in at the bar, I overheard an Australian man placing an order for two triple shots of vodka. “Where’s ours?” I joked. Of course, when you don’t actually want a free $50 drink, someone suddenly offers you one! Within minutes, my friend Cat and I became the unwitting recipients of two very full glasses of straight Grey Goose.
Shortly thereafter–and quite possibly hallucinating–I was reasonably sure I’d spotted Bruce Willis on the other side of the bar trying to get my attention. Next thing I know, Brad, the bartender, tells me that Bruce Willis wants to buy me a drink. Oh great… another cocktail I neither want nor need. So I kind of blew it off.
A few minutes later, Brad reappears and demands I make my selection NOW because Bruce Willis wants to buy me a drink. “Champagne! OK???” I scream back. Then around the corner comes a big silver bucket with that infamous Veuve Clicquot yellow. Since Bruce was watching, we did the only polite thing we could do…indulge.
I didn’t feel the slightest bit nervous until Bruce popped off his bar stool and headed our way. I remember my heart skipping a few beats as he introduced himself as “Bruce.” Duh. “Yeah, I know…thanks for the champagne.” In my somewhat intoxicated state of mind, my oh-so-single status had abruptly come to an end and my new-found celebrity relationship had begun. Thanks to my friends, Cabernet, Grey Goose and Veuve, I was feeling so confident, charming and entertaining that everyone I knew at Soho House kept asking me how long I’d been “dating” Bruce Willis.
We had such a nice time that Bruce even accepted an invitation to join me at the Armory Art Show the following afternoon. Naturally, something else “came up,” but we did manage to make an arrangement to meet again the following week.
So with my anxiety levels at an all-time high, and fearing that my newfound celebrity relationship might be coming to an end, I dragged a colleague to Pastis, where I gulped down two vodka martinis, hoping to build up my confidence before heading to Columbus Circle to meet Bruce.
But when I saw him, I froze and started babbling. The stupidest things were coming out of my mouth and I couldn’t stop myself. I was completely freaked-out about the reality of who was standing in front of me. My fantasies of a luxurious life started flashing before me; and with every asinine word I uttered, the red carpet arrivals…the paparazzo…the yacht-side Sancerre-filled summers in the South of France disintegrated.
Seven years wiser and several relationships later, I’ve learned the power of REAL confidence and the magic of me just being me. Had I not been so struck by that star and had just been myself, I might just be writing this poolside in my other home in Turks & Caicos.
Moral of the story? When it comes to dating, take a risk and trust in the power of your own personality. Let yourself be yourself. You might just find your lucky star. And Bruce, if you happen to read this, I owe you a bottle of Veuve Clicquot.
Featured image: Dimitrios Kambouris/ Getty Images Entertainment/ Getty Images North America