This chronicles only a sliver of my experience at the Women’s March Los Angeles. If I were you, I would read my first post all about the Women’s March of Los Angeles before reading the below so I don’t come off as a complete and totally superficial idiot in your eyes.
After the march, Ben and I were trying to get to Clifton’s, one of our favorite spots in Los Angeles because it’s a glorious trifecta: 1. It has an actual cafeteria with decent food, 2. It has vast space spanning three floors, and 3. We could really use a drink. We randomly strolled over to 6th and Broadway, a block away from Clifton’s, where we saw a small crowd form behind a medium-sized, shrouded stage.
We heard muffled murmuring coming from the stage, then peeked over the white railing that flanked each side of it and saw a massive amount of people. MASSIVE:
Then from the stage we heard, “Barbara Streisand, everyone!” I figured that was random as fuck until Ben poked me a few moments later. “Um, is that Lance Bass?” he said, pointing at a spiky blonde-haired man with sunglasses who was walking toward the side of the stage.
Lance FREAKING Bass? You mean, the guy that I, along with other 10-year-old girls, had an unrequited love for while knowing well that he has no idea I’m alive, that guy whose creepy-ass marionette doll is STILL in the room I grew up in Orlando to this day, that guy who was on the birthday card that my coworkers designed for me? That guy? NO fucking WAY.
I always had a running joke that if I ever saw or met Lance Bass, my life would be complete and I could move away from Los Angeles and become a nomad, raising cats in the outskirts of Switzerland. Today was that day.
He walked right pass me and stood, looking toward the street and franticly waved his protest sign in the air, clearly trying to search for someone in the crowd. He seemed borderline in a rush, like he had someplace to be. (He most definitely had someplace to be—he’s Lance FREAKING Bass!)
I was paralyzed.
“Go say something to him!” Ben said. “Now’s your chance! You’ve been waiting your whole life for this!” (I’m not that pathetic, you guys, I swear!)
“What?! What do I say! Ahhhh! I have no idea what to say! AHHHH,” I said. (Spoiler alert: I actually am that pathetic!)
He was with a blonde lady wearing a hat. I learned later (by Instagram stalking!) that this was actress Nicholle Tom, aka Maggie Sheffield from The Nanny, aka the oldest daughter from Beethoven, aka a 90s kids’ hero. Lance finally stopped waving and his husband walked over (clearly the wavee) and they all walked to the side of the stage and out of my life.
Before Lance was in and out of my life like a glorious protozoon in a pond, I stood sort of near him and awkwardly held my sign up, cause hey, we were at the Women’s March for the same reason. This is the result:
After he left, I immediately felt deflated like a blimp that crashed into an iceberg—an iceberg that sang a beautiful and well-deserved solo in *NSYNC Home for Christmas’s “The Only Gift.”
I know what you’re thinking: “But Mel, you just walked a few miles with like 500,000 people in honor of your sisters’ rights, your mom’s rights, your WriteGirl mentee’s rights, and all the women, trans, non-cis, LGBTQ, immigrants, and climate change advocates that make America amazing. Why do you feel so awful?”
Well, here’s a pro-tip to make someone feel off-balanced: Feel insanely proud while in solidarity, and then suddenly be in the presence of some celebrity you have admired since you were in braces, then watch them walk away and hang out with Jane Fonda and Kerry Washington. That will really (and irrationally) fuck with your brain/self-confidence, guys!
But in all seriousness, I’m okay. And I didn’t move to Switzerland either.