An Open Letter Of Apology To Lea DeLaria AKA “Big Boo” From “Orange Is The New Black”

Dear Lea,

I sit here at my desk, head hung low with shame, as I write this apology to you “the morning after.” I don’t know if it was the free food and booze that brought us together, or if it was purely fate, but whatever it was, I wish I could hit the rewind button and start over.

Last night, we both attended the opening of Mastro’s Steakhouse in New York City. The promise of a swanky dining experience, complete with an open bar and red meat was enough to draw me in from the get-go, but if I’d known that you were going to be there, I would have at least reapplied my lipstick after my second cocktail.

After spending some quality time with my plus one near the downstairs bar, our friends arrived and offered to save our table to allow us to go stand on the food line. I waited for about 15 minutes in line with my date, and finally turned the corner to see the carving station that I’d been smelling for what seemed like an eternity. I removed myself from hanging around my man’s neck (because I am a lush, and also, my feet hurt) and started eyeing up steak and waterfall of dinner rolls, when he pointed at you and whispered in my ear “That’s Big Boo from ‘Orange Is The New Black.'” You were standing right next to me, looking confused and lost, and before I knew it, you asked me: “Is this still the line? I don’t know where the line for food starts and ends!” I was four people away from the carving table, with a line of about thirty people trailing behind me, and without thinking, I muttered, “The end of the line is back there.” Just then, a kind woman who was at the carving station, three people in front of me, who also undoubtedly also watches “Orange Is The New Black,” let you cut her in line so you could eat immediately.

In that moment, I felt like an asshole. Still, almost 24 hours later, I feel like an asshole— not because I treated you like an actual person rather than a celebrity, but because there were SO MANY OTHER THINGS I could have said to you, and didn’t. I could have told you how “Orange Is The New Black” is addictive and how your character is pure bad ass. I could have told you how YOU, in real life, are pure bad ass. I could have told you that I love how you stood up for yourself and went toe-to-toe with a homophobic subway preacher, slinging your own knowledge of scripture. I could have told you that your suit looked so chic or suggested that we enjoy our steak together, sharing conversation about gender equality and maybe some “OITNB” spoilers. After all, I also could have told you that I binge-watched both seasons of “OITNB” over the course of a week-and-a-half, spending several days in a row without bathing or getting dressed, because it’s THAT GOOD. Or, I could have said, “Actually, Lea, the line is way back there, but because you’re cool as hell and I’m a kind person, I will let you cut my date.” Not me, because STEAK, obviously.

I got off the line while the chef carved up some meat for my date, and two creepy old men started hitting on me. While they were talking, all I could think about was I wish they were Lea hitting on me… and I’m straight. We walked back over to our friends and I told them about how I had sent you to the back of a line like a strict kindergarten teacher, and I asked my date to get me a drink so I could drown my sorrows. He was standing at the bar when I saw three, incredibly tall New York Knicks players walk up right behind him and plant themselves there, elbow-to-elbow, at the bar. I watched him grab his phone to see if he could slyly take a picture of the giants surrounding him, but then our drinks came and he needed his hands. He missed an opportunity to talk to some of his icons, too … but at least he didn’t send them to the back of the line.

I feel like this was a missed opportunity for us to become great friends, and for me to possibly introduce you to some lovely women I know that you might be interested in dating, so I can one day live out my dream of attending your televised wedding called “Big Boo Says ‘I Do’.” Instead, we were just ships passing in the night, and for that, I am sorry. I apologize for not telling you all of these things, because I feel like it would have made your evening a little bit better and provided me with a more interesting story than “This one time, I froze when I saw Lea DeLaria at a steakhouse.”

Please find it in your heart to forgive me. I have faith that one day our paths will cross again, but until then, keep being you.




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