Why I’ll never marry George Clooney

With the news that George Clooney is engaged to his 36-year-old lawyer girlfriend, millions of women’s hearts around the globe are breaking.

While they may be crying “Why not me?,” I won’t be one of them.

George-Clooney_0
George Clooney… in his single days

Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s as handsome as ever – and I’ve always had a thing for the strong, brooding, smart ones – but nope. I’m not marrying George.

Not until his Dad apologizes.

It’s like this… years ago, when I was a reporter covering Northern Kentucky, I got the opportunity to cover Northern Kentucky University – which was pretty up and coming back then. Chris Cole, their public relations person, had became a good friend and he would give me the head’s up to stuff that was good to cover all the time.

At the time, NKU had a really great debate program that featured national speakers coming in for a panel discussion.

One year, the panel was Bob Woodward, Paul Begalia and Mary Matalin. I’d already met Mary – she and James Carville were speaking one night in Cincinnati years before and I got to go backstage with my husband and talk to them for a while. It was the first time I ever heard “Well, if “ifs” and “buts” were beer and nuts, we’d have a helluva party” from James, which I thought was brilliant, but which sent Mary to rolling her eyes. So, Mary wasn’t important to me to meet and quite frankly, I didn’t care who Paul Begalia was.

But, I was dying to meet Bob Woodward.

At that time, I was in the middle of my “investigative journalist” phase and my editor and mentor, Jack Lessenbery, was raving to anyone who would listen that I was the next best thing since the digital tape recorder. He got me scholarships to programs and courses and worked to get me to move to Ann Arbor, Michigan so he could groom me to be an investigative reporter at a daily newspaper. I wanted to be a kick-ass investigative reporter so badly I could taste it. Really.

Anyway, Chris got me two tickets to the debate, as well as the press briefing and reception prior, and I get my friend Dave to go with me. I thought maybe, if I was lucky, I’d get to ask Woodward a few questions at the press conference and call it a day.

Well, like any reception, there Dave and I were – standing around, mingling, making nice faces and partaking of the free booze and food. But I had my press pass on, because I was covering the thing after all. And I’m, you know… sitting there… talking to people… taking notes. Reporter stuff.

Anyway, Dave and I had just sat down at one of the tables in the reception tents when up walks Bob Woodward.

Bob Woodward
Bob Woodward

I’m not kidding. It was Bob Flipping Woodward. He of Deep Throat and Watergate fame. He of Pulitzer prize fame. He of reporter nirvana fame.

He walked by our table and looked at me. He smiled like you normally do when you pass a table full of people you don’t know, but then he saw my press pass and he stopped.

“Oh, you’re a reporter! I’m Bob Woodward,” he said as he started to come around the table toward me with his hand out. “What’s your beat?”

Honestly, I was having a little reporter orgasm about then. Seriously. I was about to get an audience with the King and I didn’t even have to bow or beg or anything. And he was the one who was stopping to say “Hi” to me!

My life was on the verge of becoming complete.

I stood up and put my hand out to shake his. In my head, I was going through a million different things to say to him and thinking to myself over and over again “Don’t screw up. Don’t screw up. Don’t say something stupid and screw up.”

I stood up and put my hand out to shake his. In my head, I was going through a million different things to say to him and thinking to myself over and over again “Don’t screw up. Don’t screw up. Don’t say something stupid and screw up.”

He was less than 10 feet away from me.

And there it was, right within my grasp, the moment of glory. I was just about to say “I’m Liz Carey, I’m the investigative reporter for the Community Press” when up steps Nick Clooney.

Yep, George Clooney’s dad walked up between me and Bob Woodward – with his back to me – and said “Bob, I want you to meet my wife and some other folks.” He put his left arm up around Woodward and led him into the crowd.

I saw Bob looked over his shoulder at me – still standing there with my hand up, ready to shake his. He mouthed the words “just a minute” as he disappeared into the crowd.

But, I never saw him again that night, except on stage.

I cannot tell you how pissed I was….

In fact, I was so pissed, that even though I was covering elections that year, they wouldn’t let me cover Nick in his legislative bid. Every time anyone mentioned him for about six months, the only thing I could do was cuss a blue stream about his lineage and resemblance to male body parts.

When he eventually lost, I did a little dance in the newsroom.

And I swore that day at NKU that no matter how much George Clooney begged, I would not ever let him become my second husband. How can you marry someone when you want to strangle their Dad? Not that I didn’t have that same urge with my husband’s dad, but that’s different… he never stood between me and Bob Woodward. He was just a jerk.

George hasn’t asked yet, and quite possibly, he never will. I mean, there is the fact that we’ve never met which is, I’m sure, hindering him from falling for me.

But if he expects me to say yes when he finally does come to his senses, he better figure out how to get Bob Woodward to the engagement party.

(c) Copyright Liz Carey 2014

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