Missing Marisa

It’s an impossibly sunny California day and I’m in a tony L.A. restaurant eating equally tony food with a smart and beautiful young woman. Sometimes I love my job.

After we finish our interview and my delicious French fusion chicken starts its journey down my digestive tract, my lunch companion whispers to me.

“So how was your first celebrity sighting in L.A.?”

“What?” I reply, slightly confused. “I didn’t see anybody. Who’d I miss?”

“Marisa Tomei. She was sitting right behind you.”

“Really?” I say, swiveling my head towards the now empty table in back of me.

“She was the one in the corner,” my lunch companion says. “She was wearing some leopard print thingy and had her shoes off.”

“Oh damn,” I say. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

“I thought you saw her when we walked in.”

“I knew there were some people sitting behind us. I guess it didn’t register.”

“Oh well,” my lunch companion says. “She was there.”

“If I had seen her I would’ve asked for her autograph.”

“She would’ve loved that,” my lunch companion replies. “She doesn’t get that too much anymore.”

The last time I saw Marisa Tomei, she was having grunting, sweaty sex with Philip Seymour Hoffman in Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead. Phillip was in my kind of shape, which isn’t much. But Marisa looked spectacular.

Smiling slyly I whisper, “I would have said. ‘Hey Marisa, I saw you in Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead. Looking good babe!’” Fully understanding the risque reference, my lunch companion smiles brilliantly.

“Then I’m surprised you didn’t notice her,” she replies.

“I think I’m blind to that sort of thing.” I reply. “When I worked at The Bistro I saw tons of celebrities. William Hurt, Russell Crowe – even Tony Bennett. I guess celebrities are off my radar now.”

The waiter clears our plates and takes our dessert order. As I wait for my caffe macchiato I stew internally. Ever since I saw My Cousin Vinny I’ve had as small crush on Marisa Tomei. I missed my shot – like I ever had one.

“You never know who you’ll see in this town,” my lunch companion says over her espresso.

“I’ll keep my eyes peeled from now on,” I reply, chastened.

Dessert finished and bill paid, I thank my lunch companion for her hospitality and insider information and head back into the brilliant California sunshine. As I walk past the Maseratis and Aston Martins lining the streets of Beverly Hills I call my mom.

“Hey Mom,” I say. “Guess who I didn’t see?”

“Who?” she asks.

“Marisa Tomei.”

“She started out on As the World Turns!” my mom says excitedly. “You should have gotten her autograph!”

“Sorry Ma. I missed her.”

“That’s too bad!” she says, slightly disappointed. Mom is a big fan of As the World Turns.

“I’ll get her next time Mom.”

“Okay son.”

‘I’ll call you tomorrow,” I say. “Maybe I won’t see another famous person by then.”

“Keep your eyes open!” my mom says.

“I will Ma. Bye.”

After I hang up I continue my walk and watch as impossibly beautiful long legged women teetering atop expensive high heels dart in and out of the pricey boutiques lining the avenue. L.A is indeed an ocular feast. I mentally vow to keep my eyes open.

I missed Marisa Tomei. Damn.

61 thoughts on “Missing Marisa”

  1. ~Pat says:

    ‘As the World Turns’! My Mom would have said the same thing.

  2. Michelle says:

    I missed Johnny Depp. I totally feel ya.

  3. Ben says:

    i missed willem dafoe in san diego

  4. Rachel 2 says:

    Worse than missing is seeing and not having the guts to do anything. Been there. Hope you get your second chance!

  5. Chris W. says:

    I only saw two celebs on my LA excursion, and in one case I use the term very loosely. I saw Timothy Busfield leaving a restaurant as I was going in (wished I’d told him I was one of approximately 37 people who loved “Studio 60”) and I saw Raven Symone at her bank. I was vastly more excited about Timothy Busfield.

  6. Rachel 2 says:

    PS: Two women, two kids. Yam fries, starter caesar, Large chicken caesar, two kids pastas, steak with prawns and extra veggies, three full desserts. Eight drink refills. 10% on the nose. This was my day – and you’re in California. JEALOUS!

  7. MelC says:

    no, worse is meeting and realizing that someone you admire, actor or otherwise is a complete jerk and that if they were a regular person you wouldnt want to hang out with them, like when my dad’s employee met Tommy Lee Jones. Good luck spotting your next celeb waiter!

  8. Becky says:

    Back when I was waiting tables, I was sneaking a salad up at the hostess station. Mouthful of salad, dressing dripping down my chin, Some Guy walks past. I beam at him, apologize for the mess and he asks me if I like the salad. I tell him that I do and he walks away after we smile broadly at each other.

    My manager then rushes up to ask me what I was talking to Brian Wilson about. I had no idea it was him.

  9. Tore says:

    Hm, channeling George Costanza?

  10. Casey says:

    I’m a huge baseball fan, specifically the St. Louis Cardinals.

    I was eating lunch before a night game at a little unknown place in St. Louis. I’m all decked out in my Cardinals stuff…and I look over and see Jim Edmonds (this was back when he was awesome) and one of the pitchers who I forget…

    I just sat there frozen! I wanted to go over there SO badly but I didn’t want to bother them in their conversation. I wish I had done it!!!

  11. Marc says:

    I once accidentally sat in Pierce Brosnan’s son’s seat on a flight to Hawaii. The whole family was in the row behind me the whole flight from LA, and I failed to recognize him, even though we spoke two or three times.

  12. LA ex-waitress says:

    It’s very uncool in LA to gush and freak out when you see a celebrity. So you were accidentally cool. 🙂 I am terrible at spotting them, so customers had to tell me twice when we had someone famous in the restaurant.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I have lived in L.A. for almost 17 years and to this day when my Mom visits she loves going out because there’s always a chance that she’ll see a “Star”. She once joined me when I was working a gig as a children’s performer at a celebrity charity auction. She got to mix and mingle with a bunch of celebs and loved every moment of it. She bid on several items and was shocked to find out weeks later, while back on the farm in New Hampshire, she had actually won one of the item’s she had bid on. She always likes to report to people “back home” when a celeb she meets is nice. That’s why she hates when I tell her which celebs tip better than others (and some not at all)when I perform at their kids birthday parties.

    Mom’s, gotta love ’em. Next time you come out to L.A. you should bring your Mom with you. Or maybe… you’ll move out here, and she can visit. It sounds like you like it. Hmmmmmm?

  14. Purple Dino Type says:

    I have lived in L.A. for almost 17 years and to this day when my Mom visits she loves going out because there’s always a chance that she’ll see a “Star”. She once joined me when I was working a gig as a children’s performer at a celebrity charity auction. She got to mix and mingle with a bunch of celebs and loved every moment of it. She bid on several items and was shocked to find out weeks later, while back on the farm in New Hampshire, she had actually won one of the item’s she had bid on. She always likes to report to people “back home” when a celeb she meets is nice. That’s why she hates when I tell her which celebs tip better than others (and some not at all)when I perform at their kids birthday parties.

    Mom’s, gotta love ’em. Next time you come out to L.A. you should bring your Mom with you. Or maybe… you’ll move out here, and she can visit. It sounds like you like it. Hmmmmmm?

  15. Waiterrant Fan says:

    I know what you mean about crushing on Marisa since My Cousin Vinny. I believe she likes short, balding men so you might struggle 😉

  16. Bad Santa says:

    I’m terrible at spotting celebs. I live in Vancouver and I was half way through serving lunch to Jennifer Lopez before another server asked me if I knew who I was serving. Colour me surprised.

  17. Blip says:

    Double, triple, eternal infinite DAMN, indeed.

  18. courtney says:

    I live in Dallas, and Tony Romo is a loved and hated celebrity around town. During lunch shift, we were talking sports and one guy with particularly strong opinions was saying how he hated Romo and wished he would die. It was not very nice.

    Guess who came in that night and sat in his section?

  19. Ben Stein says:

    Well the last time you blogged about a celebrity in a restaurant it led to a follow up. Maybe you’ll get lucky.

  20. amazing says:

    waiter – is this what LA is doing to you? The last post before you left was quite amazing – after a few days in LA you’re blogging about celebrities you did NOT see. For your mother’s sake, please leave LA asap before it has a chance to do any more damage.

  21. Nate says:

    According to Jerry Seinfeld Marisa Tomei likes “short, stocky, bald” men.

    Don’t know how many of those, if any, you fit into? 🙂


  22. Debbie Gibson says:

    Well, I just missed reading this first.
    If I’d read it yesterday wehen I first saw it, I’d have been first, but now I’m only twenty first!
    Love ya Steve and I’m glad you’re enjoying yourself.

  23. Debbie Gibson says:

    While I was writing that I was wishing to be 22, and while I was typing someone beat me to 21, so I got my wish!

  24. Jennlm says:

    That’s rough. Go to The Grove. They all hang out there to be seen.

  25. Chef Green says:

    Oh well, better luck next time, buddy! Perhaps you (fortunately) not see Britt’s vag hanging out of her nonexistant skirt. That would be the biggest LA miracle of all.

    Have fun in Cali!!

  26. Core Contrarian says:

    With the Oprah fame, I wonder if she recognized you.

  27. Amy says:

    Waiter, Marissa Tomei missed you!

  28. Clay says:

    My celebrity close encounter on Sunset Blvd involved Fabio. yeah. Funny thing was that I had just had lunch with a college friend who a few years later, married a minor celebrity! Living in L.A. did her good.

  29. kcbelles says:

    I agree – Miss Tomei missed you, Steve.

    My brush with fame; years ago, when I worked as a cashier at a 7-11, I “met” a celebrity, but didn’t know it. I had a long line waiting, and a fellow who just bought a pack of cigs asked for a match, so I picked up a book of matches, opened it up and plucked out a match to hand to him. He roared laughing, as did the few folks behind him, saying “that’s good; that’s very good – now give me the damn book.” He left, and the next fellow asked me if I knew who that had been? I said no, and he replied “Garret Morris, from Sat Night Live! That was way cool!” I couldn’t believe I didn’t recognize him – I was an avid Sat Night Live watcher in those days!

  30. Mac The Bartender says:

    Ugh, I would kill to be in the same room as her…

  31. snoopy says:

    Hey waiter–
    guess what, you’re kinda a celebrity now!
    tell your mom you saw a celebrity, in the mirror!!

  32. margalit says:

    She DID start on As the World Turns a million years ago when she had a crush on Dr Bob and ended up marrying a very fake European prince. Like your mom, I’m a lifetime ATWT fan, and Marisa is one of MANY very famous stars that got their start on that show. Like Julianna Moore (who played twins) and Meg Ryan. 🙂

    As one who was brought up in LA, the best place to spot the stars is either Runyon canyon where they all walk their pooches, or supermarkets. I once saw Laurence Olivier in Gelsons.

  33. delraygrrrl says:

    I was cashiering at a high-end stereo place in Pasadena, CA in 1977 or so. A really cute guy walked in and I was waiting for a salesperson to come hijack him and I was making small talk and said to the guy, “You’re a guitar player, huh.” And he looked himself up and down and kinda shrugged and asked, “Does it show?” And I said, “Ahhh, I can spot you guys a mile away.” Salesguy shows up and sells him a niiiiiiiiice set of speakers. Cute guitar player leaves.

    It was Eddie Van Halen.

    Sold a microphone to Richard Dean Anderson (General Hospital, Mac Gyver) at the same place. I acted like I didn’t know that he was anybody because LA is cool like that, ha ha. Had a blasty blast flirting with him (and being flirted WITH!). Ah, the good old days.

  34. calbear says:

    At one point in L.A., someone had to point out Alicia Silverstone to me. The funny thing is that the person who did so was an actress whose television work I’d seen far more of (and enjoyed far more) than Silverstone’s. Even the actors and actresses join in on the spotting; for all you know, Tomei went home and said, “I think I saw The Waiter!” Better, maybe someone will point out your blog post to her and she’ll say, “Oh, I can’t believe I missed him! I love that guy!”

  35. Emery from Washington but on Maui says:

    Being a major member of the Clueless Club, I almost knocked into Betty White once when sneaking out of church, and had a non-speaking interaction with Steve Martin years ago in Ann Arbor, not that I knew it was him – or Betty – until days later.

  36. Aussie Ben says:

    I’d never heard the expression ‘tony’ until this post. I thought you might have mis-typed tiny twice!

    I bumped into David Spade at the Melbourne Zoo in ’07 – he was very accomodating and wasn’t anything like the smart-ass characters he tends to portray on film and tv.

  37. Nikki says:

    Hope you had an enjoyable end to the evening! We only teeter on heels around here because it’s in the job description. 😉

  38. Food Service Ninja says:

    Tony Bennett is a sweetheart in person-once got to wait on him before his show locally.

  39. Roadchick says:

    Living in Nashville, we see a lot of people in the music business as well as Hollywood stars.

    Well, other people see them – I never pay enough attention to recognize anyone although I did literally walk into the back of Alan Jackson at the mall because I wasn’t paying attention to where I was going AND Sterling Marlin (NASCAR driver) changed a flat tire for me on the side of the road one day.

  40. broed says:

    Nice piece waiter. As usual.

    I like how you jumped from remembering the actress in the movie love scene to having your mom remember her in a soap opera.

    Sadly, I don’t recognize half of the celebrity names, much less being able to spot the faces.

    Oh, well. Here in Kansas, I’m not likely to run across anyone at the tractor supply store anyhow.

  41. Bandit says:

    Marisa is probably a HUGE fan of Waiterrant. She’s most likely reading this post right now thinking, “I MISSED SEEING STEVE!”

  42. Moshizzle says:

    No man, she missed you.

  43. Moshizzle says:

    And yeah, I didn’t bother reading any of the comments before I posted that. Dammit.

  44. Booply says:

    Marisa Tomei somehow looks better at 44 than most women do when they’re 30. The fact that she looks like a chipmunk when she giggles and has some of the cutest mannerisms helps her a ton. She also reminds me of Callie Thorne (Denis Leary’s “girlfriend” on Rescue Me): Both are super energetic and playful, and both seem to make most men forget whomever they may be with. It’s sad you missed her, but probably for the better. You never know how great something is until either you miss it or you lose it. Hope you get your celeb-radar back very soon!

  45. fieldthistle says:

    Time for me to go elsewhere.
    Hope you success, but your
    writing has become too much
    you and less the whole of us.
    Take Care,

  46. Tim says:

    Marisa who? Or is this a US thing?

  47. Iliveincalifornia says:

    Hi Steve, welcome to California! I just love the way your readers interact with you, of course I adore your stories and “live reports” too.

  48. deena says:

    Do people really care about autographs still? I don’t understand the concept. A photo with a celebrity, sure, if and only if you aren’t completely being a tool and bothering them, but I don’t get autographs, never did.

  49. deena says:

    And #46 Tim, yeah she’s very famous here, Oscar winner I believe. Superb actress, and extremely hot in her 40’ish years. Amazing body. Rent a movie ‘Before the Devil knows your dead’. Be sure you’re around for the first 10 minutes of the movie.

  50. Leonie says:

    The reason I enjoy reading Waiter – is because he writes supremely well. I have found it very odd that a few readers have complained that his writing has changed. i.e. “too much you, not enough us” It may have moved away from writing about waiting on tables, but then so has his life….

    Write on Steve!

  51. G.Green says:

    Gee, I feel so bad!
    One time I almost saw Elvis. If only I had been in town the day he was!
    Gosh! How will I ever get over it?

  52. S says:

    Didn’t you see Maris in ‘The Wrestler’?

  53. Cash says:

    C’mon, Waiter, haven’t you been in NYC long enough to get over seeing celebs on the street and in restaurants and stores?

    Yet here you are in LA acting as though you rolled into town on the back of the turnip wagon.

    When I lived in Santa Monica, the rule among my friends was you were allowed to mention having seen an actress only if you thought in person she looked as good as on screen. (Most actresses who plays babes in the movies did not, in real life, look much hotter than your average attractive LA girl. And many looked a lot worse.) Other than that, you just ignored celebs.

  54. HoundOfDoom says:

    I know the scene that you’re talking about, but am pretty sure that that was a body double for Marisa.

    I’d still hit it, though.

  55. Hannah says:

    (sighs) I think you’re lucky that an actor you like even came into the same restaurant you ate at, I tend to go for voice actors, but (to my knowledge) they haven’t set foot in Canada, luckily for me though, some voice actors I like live here(sadly one I really liked passed away nearly 3 years back) ;-;

    Maybe I should try to meet Gary Chalk.

  56. scaffnet says:

    Paul Shaeffer stepped on my foot once and apologized.

    Marissa Tomei is smoking hot. Damn fine.

  57. Rebecca F. says:

    I didn’t miss Willem Dafoe a few years ago in the airport in LA when I was about 16. I was way too scared to ask for an autograph or anything though, cuz when he caught me looking at him and smiled at me I was totally reminded of the green goblin!

  58. Anonymous says:

    Толковый автор

  59. Жидков says:

    Полностью согласен с 1ым коментарием. Это того стоит…

  60. Wade says:

    grew up in maine. the only celebrity we have is stephen king. saw him once when i was 12. i went to see “Friday the 13th, part 57”, or whateverthehell. Anyway, no i didn’t go up to him. What would be the point? He shits in the toilet like i do, (but then again, that might be how we were raised in maine, there are richer, much more powerful people than a celebrity that live there, or at least have a home there). anyhow, it was perhaps my best birthday present ever, as he sat two rows behind me and read a book about the Red Sox (just loud enough, mind you). My only regret was thanking him, but then again, i think me knowing enough that people like him and myself just want to be left alone was thanks enough. fuck celebrity. Bukowski never needed it.

  61. Christian Dude says:

    Sorry that you missed Marisa, Waiter. She looked absolutely beautiful in ‘The Wrestler’!

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