When I grow up I wanna be Diane Keaton

8 May

A few weeks ago I was a woman facing her own mortality after three mammograms and an ultrasound. The very next day I went and met Diane Keaton.

Ups and downs. That’s what life is made of. One day you wish time to speed up so you know the results faster and yet it slows so much, to a point you feel every second crawling off your skin and you can pinpoint exactly when it comes to a standstill. The next day you want time to slow down so you can memorize the beauty surrounding you, every detail and every word to last you a lifetime.

I won’t bore you with my story about my mammo scare. What I want to talk to you about is Diane Keaton’s aura.

Let me explain. Changing Hands Library in Tempe announced that Diane Keaton will be touring for her latest release titled “Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty.” As an author myself I couldn’t pass on the one-in-a-life-time occasion to see in person an actress of her caliber who happens to be an author as well.

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As Diane entertained us on the stage, either cracking up a joke or reading from her novel, a fuzzy/euphoric feeling took over me. I’m not sure I’ll be able to capture in a few words Diane’s persona, worried that I might not do her justice but I’ll give it a try: humble, funny, corky, kind, non-judgmental, energetic, charismatic and bubbly come to mind.

At the end of her speech, Diane offered to sign everyone’s book and take photos with us. Everyone. Like close to 1,000 people. Individual photos. How could I pass on that occasion?

Since I was there by myself, and while waiting for my turn, I began reading “Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty.” I laughed out loud several times but that was okay, because a lot of people around me were doing the same thing: reading and laughing. Diane’s funny personality shines through her writing. It’s so simple, so average, so ease to fall in love with her as the woman, mother, neighbor, sister and friend that pretty much defines who she is before she’s a celebrity.

I don’t know how other celebrities behave one on one. The closest I ever came to one was Christie Craig and Sylvia Day, fellow authors who couldn’t be more different than the other–one super approachable and beyond friendly, the other not so much. But I can tell you this: Diane Keaton is the most down to earth celebrity you’ll ever meet. She kicked out her shoes on the stage and read excerpts from her book. She stood up for hours after the event, signed every book and took several photos with each individual. She talked to us, hugged us and laughed with us.

By the time I took my place in line for my autograph and picture I was about 20 pages into finishing the book and what a delighting adventure it was! I couldn’t wait to meet Diane. Tell how much I enjoyed her book. Tell her how much I admire her. Tell her how much her attitude toward growing old-er (and freaking out about it) totally put me somewhat at ease. Tell her I too am an author.

Instead I looked at her and totally forgot to speak. Nothing that came to mind was clever enough and I had this out of my body experience where I switched to robotic movements ordered by the photographer: stand there, smile, say cheese.

I didn’t say cheese, struggling to find my voice and reply to Diane who asked is if she knew me since forever, “Cami what are you gonna do after you’re leaving here?”

And I said, “I’ll go have dinner with my hubby.”

“Mmmm, dinner sounds good,” Diane replied in a dreamy voice. “You go enjoy that!”

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I never dreamt of meeting Diane Keaton. I never dreamt of ever reading any of her books. I never dreamt of getting to know who she is, outside the celebrity brand. But I do dream that one day, when I grow older, I’ll be like her. Not the celebrity, but the woman Diane Keaton.

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