brushes with greatness

The Day Danielle and Her Mom Met Paul McCartney

We know as New Yorkers we are supposed to be cool when interacting with celebrities. But occasionally we lose it. Earlier today we asked for your stories of awkward celebrity encounters, starstruck moments, and gross misidentifications, and after seeing your comments and our in-box, we now know for sure: We’re not the only ones who spaz out every once and a while. (Also, we now know that apparently a lot of people tell Sarah Jessica Parker that she looks like a prettier version of the girl from Sex and the City — ouch.) But our favorite story of a celebrity interaction gone awry came from Danielle Kantor, a sales assistant in our own office. Her story is after the jump.

The Weekend My Mom and I Met Paul McCartney
By Danielle Kantor

So. I was staying with my mom in the Hamptons many summers back (I was about 15), and we stopped in a store East Hampton to pick up a scented candle (to cover the musty smell of our crappy hotel room), and standing in the store, buying wrapping paper, was Sir Paul McCartney. He looked adorable, wearing a red baseball cap, a button-down, cargo shorts, and Birkenstocks — a very hippie-looking Paul.

So we edged farther into the store to get a good look. My mom, who grew up in South Africa and never had the chance to see the Beatles perform, was ecstatic. I was thrilled, too, but at a loss for what to say. For some reason I still don’t know, I was wearing a Superman T-shirt, and as were are standing, watching Paul check out with his wrapping paper, he turned to me and said: “Oh, so you’re Superwoman, I’ve always wanted to meet you.”

He stuck out his hand, which thank God I remembered meant I should shake his. My only response was to nod like an idiot.

And with that Paul left the store.

Of course, this dominated our conversation for the rest of the day, and my mom came up with what she thought was the cleverest line to respond to Paul: “If she’s superwoman, then you’re a superstar.”

I was only too pleased she had missed the opportunity.

That was until the next day, when at the Amagansett farmers’ market she once again spotted Paul McCartney.

Old friends that they were, she screamed, “PAUL!” to which he turned around, quite alarmed. She rushed over and said: “Thank you so much for saying hello to my daughter yesterday; she’ll always remember that.”

Paul, puzzled, politely asked: “Who?”

My mom: “Superwoman!”

Paul: “Oh, of course! Not a problem.”

My mom: “You know, Paul, after you left, I came up with the perfect response.”

Paul: “Yeah?”

My mom: “If she’s Superwoman, then you’re a superstar.

Paul: (After a silent pause) “Don’t you hate when that happens; you get the perfect line after the moment has passed.”

Moral: Paul McCartney is a gracious man. My mom is embarrassing.

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The Day Danielle and Her Mom Met Paul McCartney