Anyway, he gets to the end of some part of this, and he's all telling me about the respect he has for my work, and he says something about how unhappy he was with what he saw on the show. "Because," he says, "I'm as big a fan as you are."
And I say, "I don't believe you." Because I don't. Because it's not true. But this sort of stops him cold. I shrug. He stares at me, clearly believing that I'm going to burst out into giggles or something, because I don't really mean it. But the thing is that I do mean it. I tell him that if he has something else to say, he should say it, because I'm listening. And he stares at me. And eventually, he declares himself speechless in a way he thinks is charming.
He begins to go into some kind of extended dance mix of "not all my fault," as he is wont to do, and I ask him about shoving, and I ask him whether he understands that shoving is qualitatively different from anything that's ever been on the show before. "Yes, but."
"Of course, but."
"I do take responsibility for it, but."
"Sure it is, but."
I eventually tell him that this is the problem -- that nobody is going to believe him until he says that he shouldn't have shoved her, and then he stops talking. Because all the equivocating makes it sound like he thinks it's okay. "In the context of what was shown, it was --"
This is the end of the conversation, because I can't take it, and it sort of degenerates from this point, and he winds up saying, "I can't believe this, I can't believe this," in his wounded, angry way. Victoria comes up and makes like she doesn't know who I am, saying, "Wait, what, is she the one who posted all that bad stuff?" And he gives some kind of explanation to her of who I am -- "Television Without Pity," he says, "the web site, she's --" And then he turns back to me. "She doesn't read it, she doesn't know." And he sort of pulls her away with him and they walk off, as he loudly says, "I tried, I tried. I tried."
Which made it extra-interesting when Poptart told me that when Victoria walked into the check-in, she was already asking for me by name.
Hera and I actually meet during my conversation with Jonathan when she walks up and manages, without a hint of allegiance in either direction, to just say, "So how's it going?" Just, you know, diffusing the situation in case it suddenly decides to escalate. She's stunning in person, even more than on TV, and she's also ridiculously nice. And her approach to the specific situation is exactly what was needed. Because I didn't feel like she was intervening on anyone's behalf; she was just sort of walking up. She and I talked again later in the evening, when I met her mom and her sister, and it wasn't surprising to note that they were all very nice, very friendly, and very appreciative of the party. Thumbs-up on the Hera.