The Whole Foods by my house has been advertising all week that Fabio was going to be there.
That’s right. Fabio.
I guess he’s involved with some kind of whey protein powder now, and was going to be in the store to promote it.
I knew right away that I was going to try to go. I don’t know why, exactly. I mean, there is the obvious irony of meeting Fabio, of course, but the rest of my motivation remained a mystery, especially since I’d have to take not just one but both children.
But I think Scott summed it up for me. “Everyone likes a celebrity,” he said.
And so I packed up both iPads, picked Kai up from school and went to the store, deciding that if it was mobbed we’d bail on the project.
But it wasn’t. In fact, I found a coveted parking spot right by the door, the ones that used to be for alternative fuel vehicles until too many people who drive yellow Hummers started to bitch.
Kai saw a row of apple trees for sale by the door.
“Oh, can we get an apple tree?”
I told him that we could. I mean why not? Why not have a day where you meet Fabio and buy an apple tree?
I ran into a friend from the gym, Marina, there with her daughter. They had a table. I didn’t wait for an invitation, but plunked my kids down next to them.
Marina is from Australia. This doesn't really have anything to do with the story, but does perhaps explain why she was there without any sense of iorny. She genuinely likes Fabio.
“I’m so excited,” she said. “When I was younger and my friends and I saw a good looking guy, we’d say ‘Fabio at 2 o’clock!’”
Her daughter, who is 7, was also excited.
“Oh, no!” she said. “I forgot to bring the picture I drew for him!”
“You drew a picture for Fabio?” I asked. “What was it of?”
“I don’t remember,” she said.
Such is the effect of Fabio in their family.
An older guy with long, flowing hair walked through the crowd. He looked like an ex-surfer, but he was not, you know, buff. He looked like he was maybe Fabio’s dad or something. Marina thought it was Fabio himself.
“Oh, no,” she said. “What happened to him?”
I laughed, because I could see the real thing walking toward us. It was like a romance novel.
Marina and I devised a plan, where she would go up for a picture, and then come back and let me go up. She led her daughter and Ryan though the crowd and nudged them forward into Fabio’s airspace. Fabio smiled at them, and, bending down, picked them both up.
The crowd gave a collective sigh.
Marina came back to the table and I went up to the display. There were several attendants firing up blenders, no doubt for the whey powder situation. I watched as Fabio posed with some fans. One or two were bold enough to ask him to pick them up, damsel-style. I was about to press in when the presentation started.
Fabio talked about his whey protein, how it was natural, how it would give you better bone density and leaner muscles, better nails and hair, better energy. I didn’t care, and I wanted to go back to the table, but Fabio kept making eye contact with me. So I’d nod like I was really interested, because that was the polite thing to do. I wondered what Kai and Ryan were doing. Marina’s a friend from the gym, so she doesn’t really know about Kai. I tried to turn my head and look for them, but a small but eager crowd blocked my view.
I decided that it was probably better to rescue Marina than to pretend to be interested in Fabio’s whey protein, so I made my way back to the table. The kids were blowing bubbles with straws and plastic cups of water. Marina and her daughter packed up to go home.
I debated doing the same, because what was I really doing there, anyway? But then I realized that Fabio was taking pictures again.
“Come on, kids,” I said.
I pushed my way to the front of the crowd, passed the girl in full make-up and stripper hair, past the fanboys with their Harry Styles haircuts, and shoved Kai right on the stage next to Fabio.
He didn’t miss a beat, gathering Kai in his arms. I picked up Ryan and we took the following picture:
“It’s june,” Kai said to Fabio.
Fabio looked at him.
“It’s June 13th,” Kai said.
Fabio looked at me.
“He says it’s June 13th, I said.
Fabio looked like he didn’t know what to say, so I rescued him.
“Thanks you so much,” I said, and hustled the kids off the stage.
We gathered all of our belongings, our iPads, my purse. I tied Kai’s shoes.
“Well, should we buy an apple tree?” I asked.
“Oh yes,” Kai said.
As we were driving home, I asked if the apple tree should have a name.
“His name is Price,” Kai said.
“That’s a great name, pal.”
Kai was quiet for a moment.
“His name isn’t Price. I’m changing it to November.”
“Why November?” I asked.
“Because that’s his name,” Kai said, like I was being slow on the uptake.
“November it is,” I said.
November Fabio Judy.