Life Lessons
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Just a Moment: When I Met Richard Simmons

(Photo Credit: Christina Chang)

It’s my first trip back to NYC after having my first baby. I am meeting a friend on West Broadway, hoping to squeeze in half an hour of shopping to feel, you know, somewhat like the pre-baby version of myself.

I pop into a consignment store and find a fun pair of shoes for $34. As I bring my find to the counter, I pull out my wallet and hear, “You. Are. Beautiful.”

Sleep deprived, sans make up, stringy hair. This person can’t be talking to me.

I turn to see a familiar face, but it takes me half a minute to place him. The hair has thinned, he’s a smaller version of his former, fit, self. But the voice is undeniable. It’s him.

And he’s not talking to me.

“You are gorgeous,” he says to my friend. She laughs. I can tell she doesn’t register who he is. He turns to me, “You’re pretty, too.” Ah, the consolation… but nice of him, nonetheless.

“I need a picture with you two! C’mon, let’s get a photo with these two beautiful girls!” He’s cheery, just like on TV. Only without the striped shorts.

“Isn’t this fabulous?” he’s pointing to the black vest he’s wearing, ’80s style, with red piping. “I just bought this here, it’s so great, right?”

We file into a line in front of his friend, who already has his iPhone out, ready to take a picture. The sales girl pulls out her phone to snap a photo as well. Faux paparazzi, kinda surreal.

And right before the picture is taken, my friend says, “Oh wait.. you’re…?”

Smile. Click.

He tells us he just shot a video to his new song “Hair Do.” “Please watch it?” Oh, and he was in town to do The Dr. Oz Show. “Please watch it?” Plugs.

“Bye bye girls, great to meet you.” He steps out into the sunlight with a light wave.

And that’s how I met Richard Simmons.

Epilogue: I watched his video. And at my hubby’s encouragement, tweeted him to tell him so. And in RS fashion, he tweeted right back.


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