Saturday, January 17, 2009

And yet another celebrity story...

I returned from lunch at work one day to find several men shaking hands outside my cubicle. Huh? Turns out these guys thought they had lost their manly handshakes because of having to work full-time at a desk and were surveying who had the manliest grip in the department. That sounded like fun so I joined right in. I had recently bought my house and had been busy with all the work that needs to be done when you move into a house so my hands were dry, rough, calloused, strong and extra-grippy. I am proud to say I won the contest of having the most manly hands in the department. >:-)

That day was also the day that Betty White had been invited to give a talk where I worked. She had been invited by someone at work who was very involved with the Humane Society and Betty, being the celebrity spokesperson for the Humane Society, agreed to come talk to us. After the hand-shaking contest, I ran over to the room where she was going to talk because I didn't want to be late.

She is such a nice lady. She is exactly the way she appears on TV. Nice, nice, nice and wicked funny. I remember her talking about how wonderful pets are, all of them except........turtles. She said she owned one once and all it did was try to escape, throwing itself down the stairs, whatever it took. The twins were probably just a couple years old when I heard her talk about her turtle experience so it was too late to heed her message but it turned out to be sooooo true. But not when it referred to my other turtle, Lucy (who has since passed away). Lucy definitely had a sense of adventure and was truly drawn to being around people and other animals. That turtle was no loner and was appreciative of sneaking into an air conditioned room when it got too hot in the summer. Living in the wild? To Lucy (Lucy was named before he was accurately identified as being a boy), that was something he had done once and did not want to do again. Modern life had too many benefits. 

After her talk we all got to meet her and when we shook hands, for some reason she gave me a strange expression. I was fresh from the manly handshaking contest and I must have used that grip on her and was not aware of it. I hurriedly told her, "Oh, I'm so sorry. I have the manliest grip in my department." That did not make things any better. I am reminded of something Allyson wrote..."Most people don't know this but I make a great second impression." So, Yeezus (as my Norwegian relatives would say), I hope I have the chance to make a second impression one day. Betty is a really cool person. And proof, she didn't get away from me as fast as possible but surprisingly lingered a minute to autograph a photo of my cat Bert for me:

This is one of my favorite photos of Bert. It was early morning and he was facing the sunrise, spending some time staring or thinking about who knows what. He was such a sweet little guy. And those peonies, that's what they looked like before they became the focus of the twins when they are freshly released into the yard in spring. That cherry tree? Gone. Succumbed in the flood of '93. It just kept raining and raining and raining and since the unfortunate tree was full of cherries, the whole tree came down when the weight of the permanently wet tree became too much. That really spooked Lucy one morning when I let him out into the yard the morning after the tree fell. He walked up to the downed tree and stared at it, and then looked up to where it used to be, and then down again at the prostrate tree, realizing something was really, really wrong and then made a 180 to get back to the safety of the house as fast as possible.

Not sure how to end this thing but to say that Betty White is right about everything except for one single boy turtle who went by the name Lucy. :-) 


shara said...

Betty White does seem like a cool sorta person. I would rather shake hands w/ someone w/ a "manly" handshake than w/ a dead fish handshake. Ugh!!!

Maria said...

Shake hands, sister. I don't like those limp handshakes either.

45+ and Aspiring said...

Too bad you didn't tell her that you got that strong grip from wrangling two unbridled turtles!

I bet she would have adored hearing about Lucy!

Maria said...

45-ha ha ha, I think her point though was that there are some animals that are appropriate as pets and there are some that are better left alone in the wild. I agree with her. But sometimes you run into an animal like Lucy turtle who had no problem adapting to a human's lifestyle and actually enjoyed it. Betty's a spokesperson for the Humane Society so she must encourage responsible pet ownership. Turtles are a real pain to take care of AND they live forever so they take a real commitment...I'll be living with the twins forever.

That's a lot of soapboxing there. Sorry about that, 45. I didn't mean to take your entirely cute comment and then respond to something else. :-/

But It would be fun to run into Betty White again and fill her in on Lucy, the unusual turtle. Betty really was a cool person.