I probably had just as bad a drooling fanboy reaction as WW had meeting WFS. Here was a guy, my age, +/-2, who was on Star Trek! We stood there chatting while RA impatiently looked at his watch. I mentioned I was getting a tour of the sets.
WW: "Oh! Have you seen the Bridge?"
RA: "Can't do that today; they're filming there, closed set." (or words to that effect)
WW: "Oh, that's right. Engineering? You should really see that."
Me: *shakes head*
WW: "Did you watch the filming?" (or something equivalent; again, I forget the exact words)
Me: *shakes head*
WW: *looks at RA* Well, what *has* he seen?
RA: *looks embarrassed* Look, I've got to run back to my office...
WW: Tell you what. *I'll* show him around for a few minutes until you get back.
And that's how I ended up chatting with Wil Wheaton on the sets of Star Trek for about 15 or 20 minutes. I got to watch a scene being shot (when the Klingons are breaking out of the security cell, Wil and I are hiding on the other side of the wall the Klingon is using as cover), Wil himself showed me Engineering and a couple of other sets, and only reluctantly told me that he had to go to get ready for something.
There's more, which you may want to read if I'm reluctant to post it, because I kind of feel like I'm saying, "hey! I am so great! Everyone look at how great I am! Woo! Woo! Look at me! Woo!" But the thing is . . . I spent about ten hours a day on the set, surrounded by adults who expected me to act in a professional manner, so when I got a chance to goof off a little bit with someone close to my age who also happened to be a bit of a geek (this is why The First Duty was my favorite episode to film) I grabbed that opportunity by the lips and yanked (you win a cookie if you get that reference. No cheating with Google. I'll know.)
So I remember times like this, when there was someone my age, who liked Trek as much as I did, who came to visit the set. It was always exciting to me that:1) there was someone my age to talk to, and 2) there was someone my age who was as excited about it as I was. It rules the most that Jester recalls this day, and took the time to share it publicly.
It also reminds me of this one time when I really was the asshole: Anne and I, long before we were married, and had in fact been dating for less than a year, flew to London for a huge Star Trek convention. She got violently ill on the flight, and I spent several hours not sleeping or relaxing while I attempted to make my vomiting girlfriend comfortable (I'll say it for you: yeah, that happened a lot. har. har. har.) When we finally landed at Heathrow, I was exhausted, and I looked and felt like hell. All I wanted to do was get to our hotel and take a nap.
When we were waiting to clear customs, a young girl came up to me and told me how much she loved my work. She asked me if I'd take a picture with her and her drill team, who were there for a competition or something.
I did my best to be patient and kind, but I told her that I was exhausted, and I looked and felt like hell. She was visibly disappointed, but said that she understood and apologized for bothering me.
"You know," Anne (who had been barfing her brains out the entire flight, and surely felt worse than me) said, "that girl was really excited to meet you, and even though you're exhausted, it only takes a minute to give her a good memory, or a lousy one."
This began a pattern of Anne being right, and me saying, "You're right."
I found the girl, who was with her team, and I told her that I was really sorry for blowing her off. I told her how exhausted I was, but I really appreciated her kind comments about my work, and if she was still interested, I'd be happy to take a picture with her and her team.
She blushed, her friends giggled, and I ended up posing for pictures with most of them individually, all of them as a team, and signing a few autographs. It ended up being really cool, and was a moment that profoundly changed the way I dealt with that "celebrity" thing that I was never really comfortable with: though I always thought "celebrity" was bullshit, it was one of the first times I realized that, even though I didn't think of myself in those terms, there were some people who did, and with that came a certain amount of responsibility.
It's . . . interesting . . . to me that I have that moment so clearly burned into my mind. I wonder if those girls even recall it, or if they even have those pictures. But I'm pretty sure that if I'd just gone to my hotel and taken a nap, they would recall that time I was the asshole, and I wouldn't recall it at all.
I also wouldn't have learned a very important lesson from my future wife that I very much took to heart.
I know theat there were lots of moments in my teenage years and early twenties when I really was the asshole. There were times when I was extremely selfish, immature, unhappy, and uncomfortable in my own skin. These were not good times to meet me, and though they are over a decade in the past, I occasionally recall some dick move I pulled somewhere, and I seriously want to find some way to apologize and make whatever dick thing I did right. TB, KB, and LN are three people who immediately spring to mind.
I know that I can't travel back in time to change those things I did that I regret, but as I've written before, I really like who I am now, and I have a wonderful, wonderful life. Like Picard said in Tapestry, "There are many parts of my youth that I'm not proud of... there were loose threads . . . untidy parts of me that I would like to remove. But when I pulled on one of those threads . . . it had unraveled the tapestry of my life."
Jester's story is part of my tapestry, that I don't mind looking at. I'm really grateful that he shared it.