Picture it: West Hollywood, 2012: A beautiful young lady with an oversized ponytail is standing beside the accessories table at a fancy boutique on Melrose Ave. Blown up paparazzi shots of Katy Perry and one of those Kardashian people leaving the store with bags upon bags of overpriced t-shirts that say stupid things like “Model/Actress” or “Spoiled” (uh…no doyee) decorate the walls. The aforementioned beautiful young lady with the oversized ponytail (It is my story and I’ll be beautiful if I want to!) picks up a neon-pink plastic beaded necklace, the type of which she always thought would be fun to wear, but she cannot bring herself to pay $14 for one at Target. She flips over the price tag. $58. Oh that’s reasonable. Not! She puts it down, thinking to herself, “Even were I a Bazillionaire, I would never pay $58 for plastic beads. It’s the principle of it,” even though she knows she would. Or she’d at least pay the $14 at Target for them. The reason she is at the store is not as important as the confidentiality agreement she signed, so let’s just accept the fact that she is there and it does not matter why. As the young lady stood still, wondering what she could write that would be important enough to fill the blank pages of a $70 journal she held, she was startled out of her daydream by a firm bump to her purse. Usually she would be the first to apologize in a situation such as this because, even after a childhood filled with ballet classes, her balance is quite terrible and she cannot always keep her “tall personage” out of the way of others. But in this instance, the young lady was standing completely still and anyone could see that there was no way this was her fault, so she looked up from the blank journal expecting to hear an apology already on its way. Instead, as she lifted her head, she was met with the steely gaze of the offender. A gaze that says, “Is it you who is attached to the purse that got in my way? How dare you and it.” And without a word between them, the offender turned and walked away. That beautiful young lady with the oversized ponytail was me. And the person who bumped into my purse was director, Academy Award winning screenwriter, and Hollywood royalty, Sophia Coppola.
Now, to be fair, Sophia Coppola was probably in her own dream world at the time and may not have really realized that she even bumped into me. Maybe her look back at me was not meant to say, “How dare you,” but perhaps, “I should write a story about a girl with an oversized ponytail,” or something to that effect. But if I give her the benefit of the doubt, I have no reason to complain, so we’re going with the former. In the moment, I thought, “Oh, I’m sorry my STATIONARY purse was in the exact path from which you apparently could not POSSIBLY deviate, Sophia Coppola!” But then I was like, “Well, she is Sophia Coppola. She’s kind of brilliant and she’s won an Oscar and stuff, so I guess it’s fine if she bumps into my purse and does not say ‘Excuse me’.” So THEN I was like, “Who else is it fine if they bump into my purse and do not say ‘Excuse me’?” George Clooney? Duh. Meryl Streep? Of course. Ron Howard? Bump away, Opie! Any of the Friends? Probably. What if it’s Ross, though? Eh, now we’re getting into a gray area. Kevin James? Absolutely not. I will never forgive him for Paul Blart: Mall Cop and I would never forgive him bumping into my purse.
Look, if I’m being honest, I would let pretty much anyone bump into my purse without repercussion because I talk real big and bad, but I’ve got no guts. Speaking of Guts, it would be fine if Mike O’Malley bumped into my purse. I’m just saying, it would be nice if everyone could be polite enough to say “Sorry” or “Excuse me” if they bump into my purse, even if they were a Friend who was not Ross and they think they are too good to say “Sorry” to common folk like me. (Courtney Cox and Lisa Kudrow have both smiled at me. Just a little something extra for you, Reader.) Of course, in Sophia Coppola’s case, if she was dreaming up another radical movie like Eternal Sunshine, and my stupid purse broke her concentration, then I am really really sorry and that look she gave me was completely warranted. But if she was just walking around thinking about puppies or Spaghetti-Ohs or whatever, then shame on her for not only not saying “Excuse me” but also for making me ever consider that her bumping into my purse might be my fault. So the convoluted lesson today is this: Even if you are a celebrity, it is still nice to apologize if you bump into someone’s purse because they may hold you in such high regard that it does not matter to them, but on the other hand, you may be that person’s Kevin James and they could get mad at you. Also, if you see Sophia Coppola coming at you, do not assume she will see your purse and not bump into it. Maybe mine was an isolated incident, but is it really worth taking that chance? Definitely something to consider.