Last night we went to my first real Hollywood premiere. I went to a fake Hollywood premiere once, at the Egyptian, for Sharon Osbourne’s We Sold Our Souls For Rock and Roll. It was before the show (read the last recap over at TWoP — we just cancelled it), and Jack was young and full of hope.

But this was at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. This was the real deal.

This is a Hollywood premiere! The press! The celebs! The movie: Meg Ryan’s one-two knockout of a film: Against the Ropes.

We were waiting in a will call line between Mark Ruffalo and Thora Birch. Stee loves that Thora took one look at the press and sassed to her whatever, “I’m just doing photos,” and then walked in. As I was looking for my ID, I happened to glance across the street. Behind a large barrier was a crowd of people craning their necks to see our side of the street. It was surreal. I was standing on the red carpet, watching people try to figure out if I was anybody at all.

They are very good at ushering the nobodies out of the way. The next thing we knew, we were inside the building. I saw Sherry Lansing for two seconds and then suddenly I was in the building. It was just bright lights and people yelling and the carpet and then boom! We’re inside.

We took our seats, way in the back, and watched the rest of the more-famous crowd wander in. Hi, Garry Shandling. Hi, that guy who played a boxer in some movie we can’t remember. Our seats may have been way in the back, but we were sitting in front of this lady (link warning: scary photo). We saw David Moscow and totally wanted to shout out that line from Honey that he made so memorable. Over there was Djimon Hounsou. Omar Epps. Thora and Mark were talking to each other! And then I was standing next to Meg Ryan. If only it was a few years earlier, I might have finally stood beside John Cusack.

Mostly I was admiring the beautiful lighting in the building. We’d been there once before to take my mom to see Timeline, but they didn’t have the chandeliers lit then. It’s really quite stunning.

So then the movie happened, and people clap through the opening credits, which I figured only happened in festivals, but there you go. And when the film ended everybody wandered in a strange parade out of the building and up a couple of floors to the afterparty. That’s when we passed more cameras, and we were standing behind Danny Bonaduce. And we were spending two minutes and two seconds with Chuck Woolery, as he led our line to the booze.

And there was booze. Lots of free booze. And food. It was like a wedding reception, with a DJ where nobody danced, and a buffet and tables with placecards for the famous people. We wandered around, drinking and people-spotting. Holt McCallany asked if he could sit next to me. I told him my boyfriend was sitting there. I imagine Hollywood would be a very different experience if I was single.

I learned a very important thing last night. I cannot have a second martini. Every time I’ve been too drunk over the past eight years was because I reached for a second martini. It doesn’t happen often, but I now know. No tequila, from the first and last time I got drunk off it. The smell makes me sick. And now it’s starting to happen with olives. I was fine until I put that second martini in my mouth. And then I was stupid. Luckily it didn’t hit me until we were done talking to everybody but a friend of mine, and stee put me in a car and laughed as I drunk-dialed my two repeat drunk-dialing friends: AB and Ray. I got AB’s machine, as I somehow have her work number listed as her home number, but I got through to Ray. I don’t really recall much of the conversation. I know I couldn’t figure out how to close my passenger window. And I know I ended the conversation with, “I’m going to go throw up now.” And sadly, stee found me sleeping on the bathroom floor. That’s sad. But now I know: No second martini. That’s good ol’ fashioned Hollywood skillz, right there.

“What do you think of all this?” I asked stee as we sat in our seats, waiting for the movie to start.

“I like all the pomp,” he said.

“I guess. It’s like a wedding.”

“And hopefully we’ll just keep moving further and further up in these seats, peaking somewhere around the middle of the theatre.”

“As long as we get better seats than Shandling.”

“Garry Shandling Gets Shitty Seats. Name your entry that, would you?”

Here’s a press release for the event. I didn’t see Gabrielle Union, Roseanna Arquette or Paul Stanley, but we did see the other names dropped on that list. I’m getting ahead of myself.

Dammit. Now I see we didn’t see Mike Tyson. And Sally Struthers! I missed Sally Struthers.

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