This is the text I woke up to on Friday morning.
I love that guy. I don’t have a lot of celebrity crushes – Jon Hamm is my numero uno (although I’m not sure if it’s him or Don Draper that I adore), Channing Tatum and Bradley Cooper (good ol’ all-American heartthrobs), Jason Bateman, Jimmy Fallon, Reese Witherspoon… and Jon Lovitz.
He’s definitely no Jon Hamm. Shortish, slightly balding, but with a friendly, open face and a great smile. And funny! Deadpan, straight-to-the-gut, perfectly-delivered-every-time hilarious. That’s what I love about him. His best roles were on Saturday Night Live, but he’s been in movies like The Wedding Singer, Grown Ups 2, Three Amigos, Big, and shown up in dozens of TV shows from Friends to New Girl. Always awesome.
Sadly, it wasn’t him texting me on Friday morning! And even though I hadn’t thought about Jon Lovitz since his last appearance on SNL in 2012, just seeing his name made me laugh out loud. Because he’s one of my best comedic crushes, but for a bunch of other reasons too.
It was my childhood friend Sharon texting me before sunrise on Friday morning. She’d been trying to remember his name all night, and it finally came to her (or she spent less than ten minutes on Google, although she didn’t have much to go on). Because my California family and her New York family reunited on the beach in Miami, and we got to reminiscing about well all of it. Life before kids, before marriage, when we were teenagers in Israel together, and took the 29 bus to the beach, and saw Dirty Dancing in Herzliya (nobody puts Baby in a corner), and made up dances to Samantha Fox’s song Naughty Girls, complete with British accents. Does anyone remember Samantha Fox besides the two of us?
And Sharon remembered when I was in New York about 14 years ago, and she had taken Ryan and me for the “best cheesecake in the world” to Juniors in Brooklyn. We still talk about that cheesecake. She dropped us back at our hotel in Manhattan and, according to her, waved goodbye to me, and Jon Lovitz waved back at her! But I had already turned away, and there was traffic, and she had no way of letting me know that Jon Lovitz was standing next to me and had just waved at her (no smartphones in 1999). And I never knew any of it. Or if I did, I had forgotten it. All I remember was the cheesecake pilgrimage to Brooklyn.
So when I woke up to “Jon Lovitz” on Friday morning, I was delighted. To think about funny Jon Lovitz again. And that Sharon remembered who the celebrity was that waved at her. Delighted that Sharon and I had been friends for almost 30 years, and still had memories like this that we got to share with each other.
But really? Jon Lovitz had been standing next to me at a hotel in New York in 1999 and I had had no idea… How many other opportunities had passed by me unnoticed, unknown, unrealized? I’m a “everything happens for a reason” kinda gal, but I can’t shake this feeling that sometimes if you just turn your head a fraction, or look up instead of straight ahead, or linger in the moment for one more second, something you might have missed will present itself. And it might not be life-changing, but it could make your day a little brighter or be the start of a great story… “One time, we’d gone to Brooklyn for this to-die-for cheesecake, and then I met Jon Lovitz – you know that guy from SNL with the best sense of humor – standing in the lobby of my hotel…”