I’m spoiled, and I realize it. I live in northern New Jersey, and there is an array of everything available to me here. Supermarkets abound – I have my pick of Trader Joe’s, Shop Rite, Whole Foods, etc. – several of each – within a ten mile radius. It’s the same way with Walmart and Target.
Remind me again what we did before this state became so disgustingly overcrowded?
Anyway, I usually take my spoiled self to Whole Foods once a week or so, and it’s usually to see if there is a vegan cheese on sale. Dairy-based cheese was the last thing I gave up when I still ate animal products, and in 2010, we still hadn’t perfected the cruelty-free versions. But now, they are widely available, though a bit pricey. Sometimes, I’m willing to pay $5.99 for a package of Field Roast’s Chao slices. Last Sunday was not one of those times.
Nonetheless, I left one of the 4 local Whole Foods with a bag o’stuff, and it was then that I spotted a familiar face:
Saw a guy who looked like @mrDaveKrumholtz in the Whole Foods parking lot today. Refrained from a “Hey, aren’t you that guy?”
— Daria Zeoli (@dariazeoli) March 13, 2016
To be completely honest, I had to Google Mr. Krumholtz, because I knew his face, but not his name. While I’ve seen him in several roles, I recognized him as one of the friends in 10 Things I Hate About You. I was only about 80% sure I had a bona fide actor sighting before he responded to the above tweet, confirmed it was him, and said “Next time, say hi.”
I tell you all of this to set up what happened to me on Wednesday morning.
I am an early-by-nature type of person, which means when I have to be somewhere, I leave early. I was checking in on Tabitha, a friend’s cat, so I gave myself an exorbitant amount of time between cat-checking and timecard-swiping at work.
Tabitha and I see each other only every few months or so, but she is always charming and affectionate. On this particular morning, however, she had only the tiniest bit of attention for me. She did not sit next to me on the couch. She did not climb into my lap and raise her butt into the sky, purring and letting me pet her. Later that day, it would become apparent that she was suffering a tummy ache. But that morning at 7am, I did not know. So I left quickly and headed where one does when they have time to kill before work: Walmart.
We can talk about how Walmart is problematic some other time. For now, I’ll tell you two things that are only slightly relevant to this story: I go to Walmart at least once a week because they have Harvest Snap Lentil Snaps for the cheapest price, and allergy season has hit New Jersey, so I had just trekked across the store to get myself some generic Claritin.
As I was leaving the drug aisle, I debated turning right and wandering through the store (again, exorbitant time to kill). Instead, I continued ahead, towards the checkout lanes. It was 7:30am or so – there were very few people on the non-grocery side of the store at that time, so I noticed the woman who walked past towards the direction I had come from. That woman looked a lot like Rita Wilson.
Seconds later, I turned my head towards the entrance of the Walmart, and I knew that the woman in fact, was Rita Wilson. I knew this because Tom Hanks had just walked into the store.
Having just days prior not said hello to David Krumholtz, I don’t see how I could make the same social faux pas. And so I walked towards a man I have been watching on tv and in film since (and I thought about this later, when I got into the car) Turner & Hooch – hand extended, and wondered whether I should call him “Tom” or “Mr. Hanks.” (I don’t think I called him anything. I also refrained from a “Hey, you.”)
Not wanting to draw any attention or take up any of this man’s time, I simply said, “I just had to say hi, I’m a big fan, have a nice day.” Seriously, it was probably thirty seconds – if there was a “Meet a Celebrity Sweep,” I would have made record time. He was actually responding to me as I was telling him to have that nice day – so perhaps if I hadn’t been so worried about imposing on his morning, he’d have said something more than “Everyone shops at Walmart!”
Alas, I did not give Tom Hanks the chance. I assume he got over it pretty quickly. And as for me, I will admit, he made my morning. (I thanked him for that later on Twitter. I’m sure if he saw it, he wondered, “Who is this person and what did I do to make her anything?”)
I made my way to the self-checkout, texting my mother with the (at the moment) incredible news. I called her from the parking lot. I drove to work, noting the fact that I had been reading an interview with Sally Field that morning and Forrest Gump had been mentioned. I got to work and told some co-workers… about Tom Hanks – I think the Sally Field interview would’ve been less interesting. People were genuinely excited, and while I thought it would be awkward to repeat this story throughout the day, at least it let me remember the details.
Oh, yeah – details. My mother asked me what Tom Hanks was wearing. I have no idea. Clothes? Yes, I’m pretty sure, clothes. More than one person asked what he looked like. How can I put this? Oh, yeah – he looked like Tom Hanks! I’ve quite observant, aren’t I? Perhaps I wouldn’t be a good witness to a crime, but if I had to pick a celebrity out of a lineup, I’d do just fine.
As I was explaining to someone that Tom Hanks was the second actor I had spotted this week, she Googled David Krumholtz and recognized him from his role in The Santa Clause. And that was when the Tim Allen factor came into play. What’s the likelihood of seeing two actors who have worked with Tim Allen in one week? I asked then and I ask now: has Tim Allen worked with Brad Pitt? Because I would really love to meet him next.
And based on the week’s events, I would totally say hi.