I was attending an event in celebration of The Hobbit films. it was taking place in a small pub and I was sitting in a large booth with an array of fandom friends. some members of the cast came walking through, shaking hands with fans, as they moved to the front of the room where each shared a personal anecdote about working on the films. my friends and I became excited. they wondered if Richard would stop at our table, while I was more interested in the story he might tell the audience. when Richard did walk through, he had his parents with him and they moved down the line quickly, like it was a red carpet. and it kind of was, because cameras were flashing and it was a bit chaotic.
Richard turned around and made a point to walk back through to interact with fans. I started to get nervous. what if Richard stopped at our table? I was on the fence about whether I wanted that to happen or not. I was seated on the inside end of the booth, so I doubted he would interact with me anyway. as it turned out, he didn’t stop at our table, but his mother did. she was more social and upbeat than I thought she would be. Guylty was sitting next to me, and Richard’s mom took a liking to the sweater she was wearing. it was, umm…not really something I would choose to wear myself.
Richard’s mom loved the sweater and so the two of them started talking about knitting and technique,etc. but they were speaking in German. soon the conversation took on a lighter tone and I realized that Richard’s mom was including me in the discussion. I had no idea what she was saying, so I timidly smiled while trying to make subtle eye contact with Guylty, hoping she would help me out. she didn’t, because she had a sick sense of humor and enjoyed watching me squirm! I continued to nod along, hoping Mama Armitage would move on soon and put me out of my misery.
suddenly Mrs. A’s smile faded and she looked at me with a frown on her face. oh, no! what did I just nod my head to? I looked around the table, not knowing what to do. the rest of you were no help, no help at all! starting to sweat bullets, I nervously blurted “Guylty smokes cigarettes!” Richard’s mom snapped her head back towards Guylty, while Guylty stomped on my foot under the table (that hurt!) luckily, Richard’s Dad came round then to usher his wife forward, so the event could continue. and our table became deathly quiet.
none of us knew what to say. each of us were looking down at the table, over our shoulders, anywhere but at each other. I tried to break the ice and said, “let’s just use the toilet and leave!” we let out a collective breath and then all started giggling. Dean O’Gorman happened to be telling a story at that moment and thought we were laughing at him. he gave our table a chin nod and wink
which sent us all into another round of laughter! mixed in with a few swoons. or maybe that was just me.