The Day I Met Ellen DeGeneres (And What Happened Next)

I swear on my blogging bible that every word of the following story is true!  This experience cemented my belief in the power of positive thinking.

Eight years ago one of my best friends was in the hospital for two months.  She was having serious pregnancy complications, and the only chance her twins had of surviving was complete bed rest under constant medical care.  Needless to say, it was a long sixty days for her.  One of the things that saved her sanity was watching The Ellen DeGeneres Show every day.  She loved her positive attitude, and Ellen always made her laugh.

When my friends' babies were born early but healthy, we all celebrated!  I wanted to do something special to reward her for her hard work.

I decided I would take her to L.A. to see the Ellen Show.  Famous last words.  I had no idea how hard it is to get tickets.  I tried everything for over six months.  I went online and filled out the ticket form - no go - every day the shows were already full.  I tried emailing Ellen - yeah, me and thousands of other people.  I was obsessed with getting Ellen tickets (just ask my husband - he was getting tired of my obsession) - but nothingwas working out.

After many months, I finally gave up on the idea of seeing the show.  I was so disappointed - I could just picture us in the audience.  C'est la vie - I decided to take my friend to L.A. anyway for a long girls weekend.

We flew in on Saturday and did some sightseeing.  On Sunday we decided to go shopping on Melrose Ave., and ended up at the Fred Segal store.  We were wandering around, shocked at how much everything cost.  I turned the corner, looked up.....

And there was Ellen Degeneres.

She was shopping for sweaters with her now wife, Portia De Rossi, and a sales clerk.  I turned back to my friend, and we stared at each other with wide eyes, not knowing what to do next. We snuck back around the corner to regroup, and quickly decided that we would always regret it if we didn't say something.  I was a little worried about this.  I'm obviously not a celebrity, so I can only imagine how annoying it is to be bothered every time you go out in public.

But the opportunity was too good to pass up, so common sense went out the window.  I cautiously approached Ellen and Portia, all the while waiting for a bodyguard to step out and haul me away.  When I caught Ellen's eye, I apologized for interrupting her, and asked if I could say hello.  She immediately turned to me and said "of course"! 

Dear readers, she talked to us for 45 minutes.  She was kind and gracious and truly engaged in our conversation.  I can tell you that she is just as nice in person as she appears on television, and actually much more beautiful.  Her eyes are a piercing shade of blue - I couldn't look away! She posed for a picture with us, taken by Portia.  My husband was mad about that - he thought she should have been in the photo!  Definitely true, but we were too overwhelmed to think clearly.  Luckily the section of the store we were in was not crowded, so we had her to ourselves the entire time.

Eventually I got around to telling her my story of trying to get tickets to her show.  She immediately pulled out her phone, called her assistant, and had two tickets put on will call for us for the next day's taping.

We were speechless.  Meeting Ellen in person, and getting tickets for the show?  We finally broke away and let her get on with her shopping. 

The next day we went to the taping and were given VIP treatment.  No waiting in lines, the best seats in the house, and Ellen came over and talked to us again during a commercial break.  It was a once in a lifetime experience.

When I got home I sent her a copy of the picture with a thank you note.  She returned it with her autograph and a nice handwritten letter about how much she enjoyed meeting us too.  I mean, who does that?

I will never again doubt the power of positive thinking.  Even now, all these years later, I think about that day and the chances of our paths crossing.  I think it was truly meant to be. Love ya, Ellen!


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