Today is the anniversary of a very, very special moment in my life -- the day I met Phil and Ann Ponce. It was shortly after I started writing about AD/HD. The following was taken from an email I excitedly sent a friend that day (but edited so it makes sense (hopefully))......
I lost my debit card Friday, plus yesterday I lost the temporary ATM card that the bank issued me to use in the mean time. I wanted to go shopping and to lunch with my sister, so I had to go back to the guy at the bank and ask for a replacement for my replacement card. They know me there and think I’m bat shit crazy because I am always always losing my card.
Randomly, Phil Ponce (anchor of Chicago's nightly news show Chicago Tonight) was there with his wife, Ann. This may not be a big deal to you, but I was raised on PBS and my family watches Chicago Tonight on WTTW regularly. Plus, in communications courses at Northeastern Illinois University, we were given access to the behind the scenes filming of the show as it shares a campus with WTTW.
I set aside my nerves and went up to him. “Hi, Phil! Can I get a picture with you?” He stopped me to talk and ask how my day was and what my name was. I explained what avid fans my family and I are of Chicago Tonight.
My sister was a few feet away and I shoved my phone at her to take a picture. She was all, “But I wanna be in it!” So Phil’s like, "My wife, Ann, will take it for us." But my sister’s like, “No -- we want her in the picture, too!” Ann was all, “Wow that’s so nice, I always take the pictures, no one ever asks me to be in them because I’m not on TV!“ (By the way, Ann is an incredibly talented painter whose work shows in galleries around the city). And did you know that their sons are both well-known Chicago news reporters? (Dan, ABC7 News, is in the famed a capella group Straight no Chaser. I secretly love their music and I promise your mom and grandma do, too -- its so catchy! Anthony reports for NBC5. Plus their daughter, Maria, is an established Chicago photographer).
So, we found a bank teller to take the pic (who clearly had no idea who this guy was, but she just saw me freak out and tell him what a huge fan I am). While we posed Ann goes, “Everybody say Chase!” Hahaha! Like Cheese, but Chase! ...Haha, get it? Do you get it? You get it. Anyway, she was so fun! So we were laughing and talking for a few minutes. We told him that our Dad was gonna flip when we tell him we met Phil Ponce at the bank. We parted ways from our new-found friends and we were escorted over to a young man's desk where I was issued a new replacement ATM card. I was still gushing about meeting Phil and Ann and the gentleman helping me dropped into conversation that Phil visits him regularly at the bank and he's told him that he would have a great TV presence. I agreed, especially considering his chiseled jaw and handsome features. But mostly because Phil said so.
Upon receiving my card my sister and I were leaving when I realized I hadn't actually taken money out, which was why I needed the card in the first place. The ATM was located awkwardly in the middle of the bank lobby, which we had just exited. As I walked toward the ATM I noticed the banker who'd helped me was now talking to the Ponce's and clearly making fun of me (something akin to "Ah, that poor peasant girl, destined to be a crazed fan, not cool enough to talk to local celebrities like they're normal people. What a crazy girl! Sorry she attacked you like a papparazzo in the middle of such an austerely professional establishment such as this Chase Bank branch"). Great! Now I felt extra awkard -- I wasn't coming back to gawk more, I just have ADD and forgot I came here to get money!!! I sneaked past them and tried to play it cool. I think Phil caught me over-hearing this guy making fun of me because a minute later, midst withdrawal, I felt a tap on my shoulder. It was Phil! He was like, "Hey Megan. Who’s your sister talking to on the phone over there?" I was like, "She just called our dad to tell him we met you!" (Real smooth). I've found that in situations where I try to act cool the exact opposite always ends up happening. But Phil says, "Well I wanna say hi, can I talk to him? What’s his name?"
I was like, "Hell yeah, Phil Ponce you can talk to my dad!" So he gets on the phone and he’s like, “Dion Waters, how are you today?" (blah blah blah) "Thanks for watching the show!" (blah blah blah) "...Straight no Chaser? That's great, I'll tell him!" (blah blah blah) “I just wanted to tell you your daughters are so lovely and charming!” (blah blah blah, then they said their goodbyes, but I wasn't paying attention anymore because I was too busy losing my mind). CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?!?! Phil Ponce just told my dad I’m lovely and charming!!! I was over the moon. I still am. I was like, "Phil you are even cooler in real life than you are on TV." And he is. Super nice guy. We parted ways, but we will remain best friends forever.
So, the point of my story is that ADD has made me A) appear to be bat shit crazy a lot of the time, but B) it seems to take me on whirlwind adventures once in awhile even if I’m pissed at myself that I have to go back to the bank. Again. And tell them that I lost my debit card. Again. And 3 days later I lost the temporary ATM card they issued me. Ugh. But now they know I’m in like Flynn with some guy who might be famous so they don’t mind that I’m a raging lunatic and they’re happy to help me.
Also, acting like you're bat shit crazy is a really good way of disarming people.
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