Once upon a time, a TPV writer commented on how normal Mitt Romney looked.
I had the chance to observe him at Sarabeth, a decently priced restaurant chain, at the 40 Central Park South location. What’s Sarabeth? A restaurant which serves great cocktails with very little alcohol and tons of juice, more or less fresh. Some food is more edible than other, but all dishes are meant to satisfy the Arpagon in all of us: a lot of food for your money.
Enough with the restaurant. Who goes to Sarabeth? It depends of location. On Central Park South, right near the former hotel The NY Plazza turned into residential apartments for the stratospherically rich, you’ll find safety among tourists who are not afraid of walking a few yards in NYC. Everything is safe but not isolating. To make it a bit clearer, the Clintons would not go there for lunch, as wouldn’t either Madonna or Miley Cyrus. I doubt that either Bloomberg or Giuliani has ever eaten at that location, but here was Mitt. Accompanied by his wife.
They looked healthy and human. They talked to the maitre d.’ They were not afraid of waiting for a few minutes until seated. They did not panic at not being recognized. They seem to enjoy being together.
They were fine being by themselves. But they did not shy away from my recognizing smile. And I decided to make their day. I approached Mitt and asked him if he minded giving me an autograph. He smiled obligingly and replied a courteous:
I continued, looking at the maitre d:
Does anybody have a pen for Mr. Romney.
He smiled and replied, as if I were talking to him.
“I have one,” and then he continued, “Are you in the city for the Super Bawl?”
I did not have time to reply, or neither he nor I cared for the answer. I interjected.
And you’ve come with your beautiful wife (beautiful wife smiled dutifully).
While he commented on the piece of paper I handed him:
I corrected him by saying that it was a party invitation made to look like a library card. Though not correctly explained, in truth, my sister-in-law celebrated her birthday at a restaurant and the seating notes were written on look-alike old library cards. I preserved the ones for my girls.
When I looked at it I read:
“Best wishes,” Mitt Romney.
Same to you? I feel iffy. To be or not to be polite with someone polished enough to resemble me but so different than me that the only normal feeling would be let’s keep a reasonable distance from each other.
So, shall we wind back the reel and pretend you did not need my recognition to validate your life?
From my near-shigted position it seems the only reasonable thing to do.