December 22nd, 11:00 am(ish): Walking my friend’s Tibetan Terrier around the Historic Highlands Neighborhood of Pasadena, California. Behind me, I hear a loud engine purring before it rolls to a stop.
“Excuse me,” says a voice. I instantly recognize the man’s Mancunian accent due to binge-watching all of Ted Lasso for a second time. I turn towards the voice. Behind the wheel of a squeaky clean, sapphire blue Porsche Cayman sits an extremely attractive, dark-haired fellow. He is dressed impeccably: baby blue button up shirt, freshly pressed trousers and a well-paired cashmere sweater tied around his shoulders. He keeps his left foot pressed into the clutch and his right foot on the brake pedal, adjusts his designer sunglasses and leans towards me.
I suck some air in through my teeth. Oh, my god. He’s a real-life James Bond.
I make a mental note of my appearance: I’m wearing no makeup, my bedhead is not-so-carefully shoved into a Dodgers cap, I’ve hidden my breasts underneath an oversized Cazadores T-shirt I got for free at a tequila tasting over two years ago, and my mauve workout tights are covered in dog hair and lint. I’m also gripping a bag of still-warm dog shit.
I smile brightly. “Yes?”
“Have you seen an elderly woman walking around with a pug?” He asks.
I stifle back a chortle. I shouldn’t be chortling, giggling or laughing at any of this. Still, my mind wanders. This is the stuff that movies are made of, right? Haggard single gal looking for love meets hot, rich British man who is looking for an elderly woman with a pug. In the end, they all find each other.
I get an idea.
“No!” I respond, a bit too eagerly. “But is there a number where I can contact you if I do see her?”
He futzes with his gear shift and shakes his head.
“It’s me Mum,” he says. “She’s in from London and she took the dog out, but that was 45 minutes ago. She’s probably lost.”
“Well, I hope you find her!” I say, as I nervously brush myself off. I realize how stupid I look, trying to freshen my appearance with a bag of dog shit in my hand.
“Thanks,” he replies, and tears off down the street. I wait for him to turn the corner before allowing myself to laugh, jovially. Aaaand, end of the real-life Hallmark Christmas movie fantasy.
I do hope James Bond finds his mum and the pug. I have a good feeling he will. And I’m glad I found a trash can to responsibly dump the dog shit.
Merry Christmas, all!