It was in the pool party night club on Saturday, April 8 at Harrah’s in Atlantic City, one day after my 30th birthday, when Paris Hilton and I locked eyes.
There was an instant connection. We slowly approached one another amid the booming dance music, held hands, and I swept her off her feet in one swooning, romantic gesture.
It was a scene right out of a movie.
Paris and I spent all night together, sharing secrets and life stories. We laughed together. We cried. It was love at first sight. Within 24 hours of meeting, we knew we were meant to be together forever.
And that, ladies and gentlemen … is absolutely not what happened.
But here is what did happen: it was indeed Saturday night, and it was the day following my 30th birthday. And Paris Hilton was there. But we did not lock eyes from across a crowded club. We did not join hands or cry together into the wee hours of the morning.
Rather, it was 3:30 in the morning, and Paris Hilton had just finished her late-night celebrity DJ set at the Atlantic City nightclub.
She approached the remaining crowd to take selfies, and that was when I proceeded to bum rush the stage. Sensing an opening, I pushed through some other gawking fans, and screamed, “Paris, it’s my birthday!”
Somehow, Paris heard me, and next thing I know, she’s alongside me posing for a selfie. Because I am an extremely inexperienced and indifferent selfie-taker, I first took the picture with my iPhone camera facing the wrong direction.
I fixed it, then tried again, and proceeded to hit the wrong button, which turned my screen black.
That’s when Paris looked at me and said, verbatim, “You’re the worst sefie taker ever.”
I asked her to bear with me while I loaded up my camera once again. To her credit, she did. With the camera facing the right direction, and with my finger over the correct button, I snapped the photo.
And that is how I managed to snag a selfie with Paris Hilton.
The 36-year-old socialite has mostly avoided negative press since her infamous 20s, which involved a sex tape, a brainless reality show, and a stint in prison. Perhaps turning 30 finally switched on a light bulb inside her head.
Either way, I am a man of very few principles. But if there is one general rule I follow, it’s that I will become tenaciously loyal to any celebrity who agrees to take a picture with me.
And on Saturday night, she truly looked like she was enjoying herself while DJing. Sure, the soundtrack may have been pre-produced, and her laptop and headphones may have been as much of a prop as a steering wheel you give a 5-year-old in the back seat of a car.
But Paris Hilton helped me ring in my 30s. And I will never forget that. Plus she called me the worst selfie taker ever.
After years of selfie hating, it’s the best compliment I’ve ever received.