Listen, You’d Ditch Your Britishness Too If It Meant Meeting Rob Lowe
I’m not proud of it, but I should probably feel worse about it than I do. Which is, let’s face it, not even a little bit. Although I do feel a little bad about not feeling bad, if that means anything at all.
Yes. I queue jumped.
It was 28th May 2011. Rob Lowe’s talk at the Hay Literary Festival in Wales had just ended; I had been one of the lucky few endowed with a microphone and had asked him a relatively coherent question, without breaking into a fake American accent. Then, like all the other hundreds of people, I pegged it to the bookshop to get his autobiography signed. I snaked in and out of courtyards, though I don’t think I elbowed or pushed anyone. In the meantime, I made a new friend, who was doing the same.
But oh, the size of the queue.
You have to understand, I had come all the way from Belgium for this.
I had also almost lost my chance to seize the microphone, out of uncharacteristic graciousness, when I let someone else go first, and then it was taken from me and I had to fight to get it back.
My new friend said, ‘I’m here with someone who’s disabled, and I’m going to ask if we can go to the front. Come with us.’ I found out both their names and, feeling like a fraud, I followed them to the front. Someone saw, and told me off, and I am still British enough for that to fill me with shame.
Because if there’s one thing that can get you shunned from British society, it’s queue-jumping.
I hung back. I gave my book to my new friends so they could get it signed for me. But, bless them, they persuaded me they needed me in case of them fell. And then took pictures of Rob signing my book.
I did not lose all sense of propriety, and stammer ‘I loved you in The West Wing’ as I had with Stockard Channing. I was not momentarily paralysed as I had been with Richard Schiff. In fact, I think it’s fair to say I have nothing to be embarrassed about at all, though in the photographs it does look, inexplicably, as though Rob’s publicist is trying to restrain me. He looked straight at me – and oh, those blue eyes – and he winked at one friend and joked with the other.
And, my word, the man is beautiful.