“Repeat after me,” my stepdaughter instructed.
“Ok,” I hesitated.
“H,” she said.
“H,” I repeated.
“Hi!” she squeaked, combining both letters.
“Hi!” I echoed, minus her squeakiness.
We were standing in line at Rhode Island Comic Con in Providence, waiting to meet none other than Elijah Wood.
THE Elijah Wood.
And I was nervous.
So my 8-year-old stepdaughter, with all the confidence of the zombie/cat she was dressed in costume as, was prepping me on how to talk to him.
Lord knows, I needed all the help I could get.
Her strategy: Just say hi. It sounded simple enough.
I struggle with talking to most people, let alone a cool person, LET ALONE a celebrity I actually know and like.
And true to form, when it was our turn to take a photo, I froze and had nothing to say — and was mercifully content to walk away with a picture I hadn’t made a weird face in.
My stepdaughter is very much the opposite. She can (and does) talk to anyone. Plus she’s little and adorable, so people, even Elijah Wood, talk to her.
When he saw her blood-covered costume, he grinned. “What did you just eat?” he joked.
It was cute.
When we walked out after the photo, all she kept saying was, “His eyes are as blue as they are in the movie! And he has the same smile!”
A few hours later, I was standing in line again, this time by myself, to get his autograph on a piece of art I’d made.
All it was missing, was Frodo’s signature.
As the line kept moving, I tried to remember what my stepdaughter had said. “Just say hi.”
How hard could that be?
I said hi.
He said hi.
I handed him the drawing.
“Oh, this is cool,” he said, signing it.
I said thanks.
“We got a photo with you earlier today,” I said, trying to think of something, anything, to say, “and afterwards, my stepdaughter was like, ‘His eyes are as blue as they are in the movie!'”
“She’s 8,” I added, realizing it wasn’t as cute without that context.
Then in my awkwardness, I realized I hadn’t taken a photo while he’d signed the drawing, which had been my plan.
And then it was the next person’s turn, and I backed off.
“H.” + “I.” = “Hi.”
I wish life was that simple.
In the meantime, even for un-confident me, I still walked away with something to show for my efforts: an Elijah Wood-signed piece of Tolkien-themed art that I made myself. And I love it.
Seriously, it’s pretty cool.
Full disclosure, I wasn’t sure how to price it. *shrug*
But I figured, if people think it isn’t worth it, then heck, I get to keep it.
I’m okay with that, too.
After all, I’d survived an awkward meeting with Frodo himself to get it. 😉