There we sat in the Wanderlust Festival VIP lounge looking out at the majestic peaks of Squaw Valley rising around us, sipping cold beer and chillin' for a bit when all of the sudden in walks Adrian Grenier.
If you don't know who Grenier is, you're probably a little out of touch with pop culture. The star of HBO's Entourage and member of the band 'The Honey Brothers' is a very recognizable celebrity. (Notice I didn't say he's a great actor. Two totally different things. )
He was actually really fresh in my mind since I had rented some old episodes of Entourage just a few days prior to the encounter. Watching the show is a guilty pleasure of mine. I don't have HBO, so sometimes I rent two or three or ten discs at a time and simply indulge myself. I catch up on past seasons and I do it when I'm alone. The story lines are racy and the dialogue is very, shall we say, MATURE. I laugh, relax, unwind. It's me time.
Back to the Lounge scene.
So there he was and it was kind of a kick. My 22 year old son was with me and it definitely added a little fun to our afternoon. But I wouldn't say we were anything but totally cool about it. After all, we were chillin in the VIP Lounge at Squaw and Grenier was in our house. He was in Tahoe. We don't go nuts for celebs up here. We represent.
But he was with a group of people and the room was uncrowded to begin with, so it was kind of hard to ignore him completely.
Eventually, I got curious. And thirsty for another beer.
I sauntered up to the bar and took a spot behind him just as he happened to be turning around.
He spoke. "Anybody want a shot?" he said in the same remarkably unremarkable voice he uses in character as Vincent Chase.
I saw an opening.
"Yeah, I'd love a shot," I chimed in among the chorus of hangers-on.
But clearly he wasn't speaking to me. He looked at me and realized I wasn't among the intended recipients.
He denied me with his eyes. And his eyes are his best feature, so it hurt that much more.
Always the wise-ass sarcastic I fired back, "Oh yeah, that's right...I guess I'm not in your entourage."
He said, "That's right, you're not."
Now my kids and my friends will tell you that I need to let this go. But I explained it to them this way.
Yes, he's a star and a musician and I'm not. And no I don't want to have sex with him and of course he would never want to have sex with me and it's not about that. He was in my house. At an event I had worked on for the last two months. In a rustic little VIP lounge with very few people. I simply wanted to chat- maybe ask him how he liked it up here in Tahoe. If he was looking forward to his set tomorrow? How he liked the Festival? Get some feedback for the producers. Things like that.
You see, I've lived here for 15 years. I was Mayor of my town. I know this place and I know the people and we tend to be welcoming here. Curious, friendly, fun, happy...no bullshit. There's no harm in trying to join in a conversation or grab a shot with someone you don't know. It's what we do.
But apparently it's not what you do when you're Adrian Grenier.
The next day I happened upon him again, this time strolling the down the hillside. It wasn't planned. It was sheer coincidence. He was alone this time and our paths converged. So I gave it another "shot" - that thing we call human interaction.
"Sorry about yesterday at the bar," I said. "I must have appeared rude when I asked you for a shot."
"No, not at all," he said.
What I really wish I had said was this. "You're a real asshole Adrian Grenier."