Those of you who have read my memoir Ciao Bella may recall that when I was 14 my father made an unusual bet with me. He bet me that a young man sitting at a table next to us in St Mark’s Square in Venice was American. I thought he looked Italian.
“If he’s Italian I’ll take you shopping all day tomorrow,” said my father. “If he’s American, you have to lose your virginity to him.”
Before I could protest my father had engaged the tall, dark, handsome stranger in conversation. He was, of course, American. I didn’t lose my virginity to him, but I wish I had. Years later I saw recognised him in a film, his name is Peter Gallagher and he has starred in lots of films including Sex, Lies and Videotape and While you Were Sleeping.
When I come back to the hotel this evening I notice the foyer is full of people in glittering ball-gowns and tuxedoes. Being an investigative hackette I thrust my way into the crowd and start asking questions. A lady dressed in something gold and shiny tells me there is a celebrity performance of Guys and Dolls in aid of the Alzheimer’s Association of California Southland.
“Who are the celebrities?” I ask.
“I think they’re from Grey’s Anatomy,” she replies.
On hearing this I immediately push my way to the front of the press desk, thrust my card in the press officer’s hand and ask if I can meet Dr McDreamy. Just imagine how excited the girls will be when I tell them. I can even ask him if he loves Meredith or his dreary wife. Actually forget the girls, how excited will I be? Will I have time to get changed beforehand?
“Who?” says the press officer.
“Dr McDreamy, you know, from Grey’s Anatomy.”
“That was last year,” he smiles. “This year it’s the cast from Rescue Me and Peter Gallagher will be presented with a special award for his work in support of the association.”
So no Dr McDreamy, but Mr McVirginityBet. I briefly wonder if I should try to meet him. Of course there’s no way he’ll remember me, with or without Alzheimer’s, but it would be fun to see him. The press officer gets distracted by someone else and so I walk towards the lift. Yet another missed night with Peter Gallagher. Maybe it will be third time lucky.
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2007
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