Presents from a Movie Star

So, I always liked Jamie Lee Curtis, if for nothing else, for how honest she is about her body and all that love yourself stuff. And “A Fish Called Wanda” is still one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen. She comes in to my husband’s restaurant with her husband, Christopher Guest (NOT looking like one of his hilarious characters) from time to time.

Jamie Lee Curtis on

When she first saw Vivien as a very small baby, she rushed over from her lunch saying, “I have to smell that baby.” What a sensualist, what a mom. Loved it. Of course, it’s always heartening when anyone gushes over your baby, but if she’s a big famous lady, all the cooler.

So about two weeks ago, Vivien and I were eating dinner at Campanile and Jamie Lee, her husband, and their attractive young lady daughter came by to say hi. She said she was going to send Vivien the children’s books she had written. I had remembered a book she’d written about being five or something like that; I thought maybe there were two books. I wasn’t counting on getting any books, since in LA, moments like that can often be what my friend, reporter/writer Mary Ellen Geist, calls “room love”: they love you for that moment, but then it’s over.

Vivien with books from Jamie Lee Curtis

Yesterday morning Mark called from his office. “There is a big stack of books from Jamie Lee Curtis for Vivien.  And a book about alcohol for me.” (He is working on opening a bar and restaurant, so that is also thoughtful.) I was so impressed that she had followed through on her word and that she was such a prolific children’s story writer. That afternoon, Vivien and I came to pick them up and Mark presented them tied up in a big gold ribbon. Another nice touch, Ms. Curtis. There was a little card that said, “As promised,” signed by the actress herself. And she wrote a thoughtful note in each book to Vivien. Well, now I REALLY love her.

All of the books have great illustrations, and not too many words. ‘Cause if you have watched my vlog about children’s books, you know I can be picky about my reads. One book  I can hardly read the title of without choking up is Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born. This would be sweet for any child to read, but this book is about an adopted child being told about being born and her parents coming to get her. Just writing about it makes me want to cry. I had read that she and her husband had adopted their children, so this is obviously a heartfelt story, but like all of her books, it has a lot of whimsy.

I read it aloud to Mark and Vivien and he and I both got choked up because of the dearness of parents taking their adopted children into their hearts and souls just as biological parents do, and it made us reflect on the “night” (really, 8 am) when Vivien was born. I am getting this book for my friend who has adopted and one who is on the verge.

When anyone goes out their way with a generous, gracious note, I shouldn’t be but am always taken aback. Like my new neighbors bringing cookies, or the other neighbors who brought a welcome basket. I’m probably just not generous enough myself, so I appreciate it from other people!  And being raised in LA, there is an “LA vicious” attitude. Even in San Francisco (where I lived for 9 years), it’s not a warm and cuddly town.

But it does make for a fun story that this gift was from a big fancy, schmancy, movie star.

2 thoughts on “Presents from a Movie Star

  1. You have become my favorite mom blogger. Your life is so damn interesting, woman! See, I’d have a hard time in LA because I’m so terribly Midwestern and we’re pretty warm and fuzzy here. Now I want to rush out and get that book. We adopted, so I know I won’t be able to read it without sobbing. Thanks for sharing such a great story. More please! While the Midwest is warm and fuzzy, it can be terribly boring so I’d like to live vicariously through your blog, please. Is that sad?

  2. bless your heart. you are so funny and from your site I see your great spirit as well as your warm and fuzzyness. Well, I have to give credit to my friend Stacie who encouraged me to write more of my “brush with greatness”. I didn’t want to seem name droppy and in LA one tried to pretend we haven’t just seen some one famous even when you want to say something. One exception: at the Friars club my table spotted Sophia Loren and we were BESIDE ourselves and she looked AMAZING.
    I have noticed how much more I enjoy interviewing celebs post child . Actors can be a hard lot to ease up sometimes, but then when you talk about kids, blah,blah. great bond. great leveler.
    Of course, this story was out of work , so all the more dear.
    I think her book is great! Also, did you read Barbara Walter’s bio? I need to blog about that. She writes about telling her adopted daughter she was “born from her heart” . Another time I was sobbing.

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