Well, the stomach flu hit my three girls the other day, so I only had time to finish the first part of the Bruce Willis story. I'll work on part 2 next week and get it posted asap. As always...this is rough.
The only person I’ve ever been mistaken for was Anthony Michael Hall’s character in the movie Sixteen Candles. You know? “Farmer Ted”. I was 11. A few years later, after I’d “blossomed” (well, I at least started looking like a girl), a good friend of the family told me that I was the homeliest 11 year old she’d ever seen. Some friend, huh? In bad lighting and with minimal sleep I could also be confused with the character Malachai from the movie Children of the Corn: flaming red hair, which was actually styled in a mullet ca. 1988, teeth as big as a horse and the same charming personality.
I’m not so sure which one’s worse.
My handsome husband, however, gets mistaken for all kinds of different people. From a guy like Daughtry who is 10 + years his junior to Ed Harris who is 20+ years his senior.
The day we took Grace home from the hospital we overheard a little boy ask his Mom, “Is that Dr. Greene?”
Bruce Willis tops the list. And truthfully, aside from Daughtry, he probably most closely resembles Bruce Willis than any of the others. On the not so flattering end would be Scott Hamilton (which makes me chuckle every time) to the most flattering would be Brad Pitt ca. Oceans 11.
Trust me, Honey, I think you’re the “Sexiest Man Alive”, but...
Kidding aside, all of this silliness makes Rob think he has movie star good looks. I just think it’s the old stereotype: bald people (like Asians) all look alike. After being married to a bald guy and living in Asia, I personally move to dispel this stereotype from the lexicon.
I squatted down with a box of generic children’s acetaminophen and Children’s Tylenol in each hand trying in vain to figure out what the difference was between the two, aside from two dollars in price. Without looking up I’d asked, “Whaddyou think, Hon, should we try the generic?”
We were “on a budget”. I’d quit my job the summer before because we were “moving to China”. Unfortunately, we were still in Colorado, and by Christmas we were going broke.
To clarify, we were going broke, but not because we couldn’t afford to live on one salary. We were going broke because, as Rob said (more than once) “because I wouldn’t stop spending money.” My response to his continued harping: “Being a housewife is boring. Going to Target is fun. I can’t help myself.”
He didn’t reply so I asked again, this time looking in the direction where I thought he was standing.
Where’d he go?
Grace, who was five at the time, was crammed in the shopping cart getting smooshed by last minute supplies for our holiday trek to Key West. Willy, who was four at the time, was sitting in the cart’s seat swinging his legs and singing along with the “Little Drummer Boy”.
“Hey Kids, where’d Daddy go?” I asked.
“I think he went that way,” Grace said, pointing toward the front door. “No, I fink he went dat way,” Willy said, pointing to the pharmacy.
I threw the generic Tylenol in the cart, split the difference, and headed to the magazine section.
I took a shortcut through the baby aisle and found Rob reading diaper labels.
“Ummm. Dear, we’ve been done with diapers for two years. What are you doing? We’ve gotta get going,” I said, looking at the time on my mobile phone. “It’s already past nine. We’ve got an early flight tomorrow.”
We walked toward the cashier together. Rob kept looking all around like he didn’t want to be seen. “I know. I was just hiding from this group of kids who keep following me around. It’s really weird,” he said. “Shit, here they come.” I looked back and saw a group of three giggling teenage girls. When I turned back around, Rob had already disappeared down another aisle.
I pushed my cart to the check out collecting last minute this and thats along the way.
I unloaded the cart and once she was uncovered, I pulled Grace out of the cart and asked her to go look for her Dad.
Grace scampered off in search of Rob and I finished unloading the shopping cart. I put the last of our goods on the conveyor and noticed the check out girl was giving me a weird dirty look. Her oversized, pouty lips stuck out and her eyes were squinted at me like I’d done something wrong or like she was suspicious of me.
Rob and Grace turned the corner from the women’s cosmetic section and the three giggling teenage girls followed closely behind. Rob peeked over his shoulder at them every few steps as Grace pulled him by his arm.
What the hell is going on?
“Dat bald guy yer man?” the cashier asked.
“Uh, yeah, he’s my man alright,” I said. I turned toward Rob and said, “Hey, Dear, can you pay? I don’t have any money.”
Rob approached the cashier, gave me a weird look and I whispered, “Why are you acting so weird?”
While Rob fiddled with his wallet, I stopped Willy from destroying a sponge bob Pez dispenser that he’d pinched off the shelf. The cashier nodded her head in the direction of the three girls whispered, “Dem kids think you’s Bruce Willis. You Bruce Willis?”
He put his finger to his lips and gave her a silent shush. Then he said in a lowered voice, “Uh, Yeah. My girlfriend, the kids and I are just picking up a few last minute things. We’re headed to Aspen for the holiday.”
She looked him up and down and nodded. Rob, like most men, always looks good. He’s bald, so he never has to worry about the hair issue. His casual demeanor matches his laid back attire no matter where he is. Jeans and a t-shirt and could mean he’s lounging around the house or dressed for dinner. But when he smiles and those dimples appear, people feel at ease within moments of meeting him for the first time…like they’re long lost best friends…or lovers.
Then she turned to me and frowned: frizzy red hair knotted on the top of my head, my frown line was full-on forming a perfect reservoir that connects my forehead to my nose, no makeup, raggedy old yoga pants, flip flops (even though it was about 27 degrees out and sleeting) and an old hooded sweatshirt.
She pushed her lips out even further, squinted and shook her head as if she was thinking you ain’t no Duh-mee.
I snatched the Sponge Bob candy dispenser from Willy, returned it to its home on the shelf and thought to myself, Whatever Girlfriend, you ain’t no Duh-mee neither.
Rob collected his change, shared a big smile with his fans that were gathered around us, grabbed me with one arm around the waist and planted a big kiss square on my lips. Then we herded the kids to the exit and left the drug store trying our best not to burst out in laughter before we were out of sight.