My trip to Ellen’s 12 Days of Christmas giveaway was ordained by God from the very beginning. It should not have happened at all, but it did. Several things came up to thwart my attendance, but were defeated handily by the will of the Father. Red and yellow, black and white, I am precious in His sight.
It started with a simple phone call from my fellow actress and very good friend, Louanne, who I’ve since offered to birth a child for, should she want one.
(“I DON’T”, she firmly states. I knew this, which is why I offered.)
“Hey, do you want to go to the Ellen show with me? I have an extra ticket,” she breaths seductively into the phone one day. Did I want to go to the Ellen show!? Does Hillary hate Donald? People try for years just to get tickets to Ellen’s regular shows to no avail, let alone this MOTHER of all shows known as the 12 Days of Christmas. Heck yeah, I wanted to go. And clearly God had been working since the 1960’s to bring this about with a myriad of seemingly unrelated events. This is how He does things, in case you were ever wondering. I’ll illustrate.
1963: Louanne LaFortune is born (in case Lou decides to be a stripper, mom arms her with the perfect name.)
1970: I am born.
1974: Kelly stars in a church Christmas pageant (wife of Sammy the Shephard) to such rave reviews that her career path is sealed.
1980: After starring in a stage production of Oklahoma, and despite her name, Louanne decides to be an actress, not a stripper. Though these days it’s the same thing.
1983-1999: The quiet years. Like the 400 years of darkness between the old and new Testaments.
1999: Madison Lintz is born. (SEEMINGLY unrelated)
2008: Louanne and I meet when we are cast in and spend several months together working on a show for NBC. We remain friends for the next near decade.
2014: Madison Lintz is cast in Bosch.
September 2016: Louanne wins two impossible to be had tickets to the Ellen show as part of a charity auction that she chaired. She first offers the other ticket to her co-chair. Co-chair accepts.
October 2016: Co-chair backs out for SEEMINGLY no good reason, having no idea that it is the will of the Lord that I go instead.
November 2016: When looking to replace Ms. Unlucky Co-Chair, Louanne considers two choices: another good friend in Atlanta, and me. While I would like to think she chose me because I am awesome, she actually chooses me because it is the WILL OF GOD. And she knew I would be in LA already with Madison who was filming season 3 of Bosch due to the seemingly unrelated aforementioned events.
Coincidence???? You tell me.
December 2016: We attend the Ellen show with many giggles of glee. We cheer when we receive a free CD she gave away of the musical guest who we have never heard of, but wish the best. Ellen does an impromptu Q and A at the end of the show where one fateful woman asks the following question: Would you ever consider doing another Dory movie? Ellen rolls a video where she states that it has been determined by her staff that should anyone ask a question about Dory, the ENTIRE AUDIENCE WOULD BE INVITED BACK to one her 12 Days of Christmas Shows!
Let’s all pause while I watch myself in memory go apoplectic and lose my voice for a solid week to the utter joy of my husband.
I will now continue this saga that we can all agree is God ordained, in real time:
10:00 a.m. I have been texting Louanne incessantly all morning. I want her to wear her Ellen sweatshirt that we both bought depicted in the photo at the end of this post so we can be twins. She is not replying. I hope nothing bad has happened to her. That would seriously derail things. I slowly consider that if she has broken a limb or come down with the flu that I could still attend the Ellen show without her. But if she has done something dumb, like DIED, then attending anyway may be disrespectful. If she died I will really be irritated. COME ON LOUANNE, BE ALIVE.
Noon: She’s alive. Her phone was on silent. I verbally abuse her about silent phones in terminal C-2. And also for the fact that she is not wearing her Ellen sweatshirt like a good little travel companion. Louanne remains stalwart in her wardrobe choice. FINE.
12:30: We board. I do right hand. (Note: “RIGHT HAND” is an unbreakable covenant within the Lintz family where we put our right hand on the exterior of the plane before we board. If there is a WIFI sticker on the plane, then we have to center our hand exactly on it or we will all die. Madison ignores this regularly by letting one finger hang off the edge of the sticker which is UTTER DEFIANCE. I think the rest of the families’ compliance balances this sacrilege out, so we have not died yet.) Normally we pray “Lord, please let your angels carry this plane to our destination. We would prefer NOT to die in a plane crash.” But today, I make it special and add, “We do not want to die in a plane headed for the Ellen’s 12 Days of Christmas Show because that would suck really bad.”
1:30: Lou and I discuss what we hope to receive from Ellen. Louanne just hopes to not have to buy an extra suitcase and that all our larger gifts are vouchers. I remind her about the email we got that said THIS:
We don’t want to get your hopes up, but occasionally our 12 Days of Giveaway prizes are huge! So, we recommend bringing the biggest car you have available…got an SUV? Bring it! Got a friend with a school bus? That’ll do! (We highly suggest NOT carpooling)
Um….that says extra suitcase to me Lou. She just shrugs. Difficult. I of course have been sending out all sorts of wishes to the universe. I have already informed the family that if an iPhone is to be had it is without question MINE. They all have better stuff than me including their cars and they can suck it. Speaking of cars, dear Ellen, please give away a car. I know this is so unrealistic, but Ellen……Mackenzie just turned 20 and I have been driving a mini van since her birth. My current incarnation has a dash board that is so cracked you can see the yellow foam underneath. It is also hunter green which as far as car colors go is SO 90’s. And did I mention, it is a mini van. Please rescue me from my soccer mom mobile. None of my children ever even PLAYED soccer Ellen! This was a bad fit from the……
PAUSE FOR TURBULENCE: Dear God we are flying through the air equivalent of a trampoline and the angels are double bouncing. What is going on!? I DID RIGHT HAND! I ask Louanne if SHE did right hand and she looks at me blankly. Mother of God, we are DOOMED. I am in the middle of an Alannis Morissette song.
Ok, we are alive. We land at LAX and hop on the bus to Alamo where we have rented said SUV to handle the sheer volume of goodness coming our way. Except it’s not an SUV. Louanne made these reservations and got a better deal on a different type of vehicle.
A mini van. This is not a good omen.
We are starved and head to Cheesecake Factory where my Ellen sweatshirt draws the attention of a group of guys who had gone to THAT day’s Ellen Show.
“Ooooh, whatdja get?” we crow.
They begin listing things like a drone (not bad), a VISA gift card (better), and some sort of expensive toaster oven. Ok, no, I think. “Expensive” and “toaster oven” are oxymorons in the dictionary. Lou and I exchange furtive glances that say one thing:
Dud day!!!!!! We hope that bodes well for us. They can’t all be dud days right?
Aside from offering the tickets to the original Ellen show, Louanne is now proving to be a detriment to our adventure. Not only did she forget right hand, and mandated that we get away from the world by driving around in the exact car I always drive at home, she has forgotten her toothbrush and we don’t realize it until we are too exhausted to leave the apartment we are staying in. Fine, Louanne, borrow my toothbrush.
Also, this cute apartment is only a 1 bedroom so we have to share a bed. Louanne has forgotten her glasses in the car and only has her prescription sunglasses with her which she dons while we have a slumber party like chat time.
I am sleeping with Ray Charles.
The next morning, after sharing a toothbrush, we go to Blu Jam cafe for breakfast. Louanne insists that the tiny spot on the end of a row of cars is, indeed a parking spot. I’m dubious, but don’t argue.
One hour later, a $73 parking ticket. But hey, guess what Mr. Dumb Parking Guy, we are about to probably get a $250 Visa gift card from Ellen so we scoff at your silly ticket!
We head to the show, and because we are not VIP’s this time, we have to wait in line. A long line. That takes a long time and the group in front of us are line laggers meaning that every single time the line moves ahead of them they are too distracted to notice. This makes me want to flip a table, but I am GRATEFUL, oh so grateful to be here, so I remain calm outwardly.
This is the last phase of the line before you go in. The walls are lined with photos of Ellen and various celebs.
We get inside and spend a delightful hour dancing with Twitch, listening to Jennifer Aniston share her heart about constantly being suspected of pregnancy, and watching the two of them play SUMO charades which mirrors a scene in Jen’s new movie. Speaking of Jen’s new movie, when they play a clip of it, it is all I can do not to leap out of my seat. The young actress in the clip with Jen, is Summer Fontana, one of my acting students. I am claiming her entire career, by the way. Don’t try and stop me. She also will be on this season of The Originals. I am thanking myself FOR you, Sum. I am your Abby Lee Miller.
And then, oh joy, oh jubilation, the bells begin to ring and the ginormous reindeer comes out and begins to dance around and the delicious covered boxes are rolled out. Lou and I do a dance that is sort of a fast jog in place accompanied by rapid hand flapping. I file this moment away in case I’m ever cast as an audience member who is at the Ellen’s 12 Days of Christmas show. I know EXACTLY how to play it. When you’re a serious actress, like me, the work never stops.
And finally, to answer the question I got 9,789 times yesterday, HERE is what we won:
2 pairs of Ellen sunglasses (she was just warming up)
An Eero Home Wifi system where apparently I will never have dead spots in my house again, and I can set the wifi to go to sleep during meal times and at bed time. (Ok…ok, good gift for Marc)
A Coach purse and a Coach gift card (Merry Christmas Mack and Madi)
$250 gift card to Amazon.
A lifetime subscription to Headspace, a meditation app. (No. Bye. You snuck this in between some good stuff Ellen, but we’re on to you.)
A $500 gift card to Postmates. I have no idea what this is, but Louanne says it’s good. Then again, Louanne also went to fetch Starbucks for us both mornings on this trip promising to bring me back a Grande English Breakfast Tea and came home empty handed BOTH times. Clearly, she’s not to be trusted.
$300 Visa gift card (Ha! Dumb Parking Guy!)
A Moto Z Android phone with a projection system. (I’m an iPhone girl, this will have to be sold, but I will get my beloved iPhone 7! Merry Christmas to me! And also, does anyone want to buy a Moto Z Android? HMU.)
So that’s it! That was our fun day at Ellen! Ellen, we are truly grateful for your generosity! You are a kind person and we love everything!
My day was only marred only by two things:
1) The fact that all of this cool stuff fit neatly into 1 red shopping bag, completely eliminating the need for a mini van. We could have rented something sporty and pretended to be young!
2) When I got home, there was no Amazon card in my bag. Boo! Did I miss a gift pick up station? I am trying to rectify this, but have little hope.
It’s probably Louanne’s fault.