MY DINNER WITH JON VOIGHT

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The saleswomen at Chico’s were so excited. I sashayed in and said, “I am going to the Emmys. I need an outfit.” They nearly died, but then recovered in time to sell me lots and lots of stuff. The necklaces alone weighed five pounds.

Actually, my daughter was taking me to the HBO Emmys afterparty. But that was too much explaining. It sounds a lot better just to say EMMYS. Anyway, I carried the necklaces on the plane, because what if my luggage was lost? I figured that if I wore a pair of pajamas with the necklaces, nobody would notice. Because BLING.

We went in a limo, with my daughter’s client, Josh Brener, from Silicon Valley. He is a very cute man. The party was huge. We watched Josh and his mother walk down the red carpet, which was really turquoise. I had my phone out, and managed to get shots of a whole bunch of stars. Here is the thing: I don’t really watch TV. So when a gorgeous person would walk by, I would ask my daughter, “Is that a celebrity?” She would nod emphatically and say, “Yes.” I then would take a photo with my cell and ask, “Who was that?” To which my daughter would say, “I have no idea.” Let’s just say she knows a star when she sees one. There are so many of them. Not even the talent agents know them all.

After wandering around with my phone, shooting John Oliver, Brian Cranston, Russell Simmons, Peter Dinklage, and some other obvious stars whose identities were a mystery, I sat down to dinner with my daughter. We were at a table that was empty. So the two of us sat there, chatting about all the skeletal women in evening gowns, and about how there must be zillions of dollars worth of diamonds at this party. My Chico’s necklaces were holding their own, however.

Suddenly, my daughter murmured, “Here comes Jon Voight.”

It was pretty loud in the venue. “Huh?” I replied.

“Jon Voight!” She hissed.

“Jon White?  Who’s he?” I answered.

She poked me in the ribs, sending my necklaces in all directions. “JON VOIGHT, FOR GOD’S SAKE.”

Oh, my God. I raised my phone and shot him at about eight feet. That made my daughter even more unsettled. “Mom, not at point blank range–it is RUDE.”

But it was too late. He caught me. And he gave me a little high sign. I felt like a rube. But then, YOU GUESSED IT–he came over and said, “May I join you ladies?”

I died. My daughter died. He sat down, all dapper and handsome. Have you ever had to make small talk with Angelina Jolie’s father?  Who just lost an Emmy Award to Ben Mendelson? The actual night before Angelina announced her pending divorce from Brad Pitt? I didn’t think so. But I was so totally prepared. I had read the article in my Facebook newsfeed about what the stars do to prepare for the awards ceremony, and I happened to remember what Jon Voight said.

“So. You are wearing special socks?”

My daughter started squirming. What in God’s name was  her Ohio mother talking about? Asking Angelina’s father about SOCKS?

He smiled. “You know about my socks?”

I nodded. “Yes, special socks that your grand-nieces gave you?”  I was so smug. I looked at my daughter and smiled.

“Yes. They give me a pair for every ceremony.”

We ate our dinner. It was awkward. Where do you go with the conversation after socks?

As soon as the last tortellini was consumed, my daughter leaned over and said, “Ok, let’s go now.”

Concerned, I said, “But we can’t just leave him ALONE!”

“MOM. It’s JON VOIGHT. We don’t have to worry about him. He will be alone for a millisecond.”

Reluctantly, I got up. But she was right. Immediately, he was surrounded. The rest of the evening was a blur. Amy Shumer. The cast of VEEP. A very tall, gorgeous, blonde star of Game of Thrones. It was great. I was thrilled to be there, and proud of my necklaces.

Who knows? Next year, it might be the Oscars. Don’t tell the ladies at Chico’s just yet.

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Marion and Jon. After the sock discussion.

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