Meeting Tina Wesson - Winner of the Survivor: The Australian Outback

NOTE :: This story is from LGT2.com I am migrating some of the fixed stories over to the LimeANALog as part of a web site overhaul that will take place sometime this year ;)

Meeting Tina Wesson - Winner of the Survivor: The Australian Outback

Friday, before I went to work, I was watching the Fox morning news and happen to catch a quick interview they had with Tina Wesson, the winner of Survivor: The Australian Outback. Matthew and I have been huge fans of Survivor ever since first watching the second season. I always found how funny it was to be so obsessed with the show, being that I completely dismissed the first season. At the end of the interview they mentioned that Tina would be speaking at a free Rheumatoid Arthritis seminar that was going to be at the Marriot Hotel the next day. Later that day I told Matthew about it and we decided to attend the seminar in hopes of seeing or possibly meeting Tina in person. We normally do not do such a thing, except when Bea Arthur was in town, but we both admired Tina so much that we felt it would be worth it.

Saturday morning we got up and went downtown to the Marriot hotel. As we walked onto the fifth floor where it was held, I saw a picture of Tina up on a screen with tons of decorated tables all around inside a side room. At the tables sat all older people which instantly made me feel out of place. I then said to Matthew, if he was sure that he wanted to go in. We started to walk past the doors a bit. Right then he turned around and yelled “Tina” as I was looking the other way. “Well, hello guys!” There came Tina walking right out by herself, greeting us like we were long time friends that hadn’t seen each other in a few years. Of course we were so excited, but replied back like she was a friend who we hadn’t seen in years either. She was such a pleasant person I can’t even begin to describe. I have never felt so comfortable with someone I have never met, let alone a celebrity! We then asked if we could take a picture with her, which she granted without hesitation. She then asked if we were going to the seminar, which we were being that both of us have family members that have Rheumatoid Arthritis.

After the seminar was over (by the way if you have any questions on Rheumatoid Arthritis, I’m now a over night expert), Matthew took our copy of Survivor DVD up to Tina and had her sign it. Yes, we planned in advanced. Again, a true delight to talk with! Matthew explained to her that she had made his week having met her, for he had found out of a death of a friend of his that he used to work with at CentriFUGE. Tina was well aware of CentriFUGE for that she had worked with a similar group. You would never know that she had ever dealt with fame, for none of it has gone to her head.
After leaving the Mariot we decided to stay downtown for a bit and go shopping. As we crossed the street sometime later, Matthew spotted Tina crossing the street, even after she changed her outfit and was almost impossible to spot in a crowd. He darted over to say hi again, but someone else yelled out "hey are you Tina from Survivor?" and she replied politely, "why yes I am". So Matthew didn’t get to say hi, but was still content with what happened earlier.

Here is the scary part. About an hour later, we started to get hungry. Well, of course, I knew of this, well hidden, Taco Bell and food court up on the 8th floor of this building we were near. So, we decided to go there. We laughed saying Tina would be there. But there would be such a slim chance, being that its not a well known place, and not a typical Chicago icon to eat at. As we got off the elevator, I turned to Taco Bell while Matthew went to Sbarros on the other side of the food court. As I got my food and went to sit down, I decided to sit in another location than I normally do. As I walked over, there sat Tina with her mother and daughter. Instantly, I went in the opposite direction and sat away from her waiting for Matthew to sit impatiently. I was so worried that Tina would think we were stalking her if she saw us. As soon as Matthew sat down, I told him about Tina sitting over there. After he finally believed me after seeing her with his own eyes, we sat very still. We could barely eat. We planned to wait for them to finish eating and leave before we would leave, hoping that she wouldn’t see us. Matthew could still see her from his vantage point and said that they were getting ready to leave. He then started to narrate to me their every move. Suddenly Matthew said that they were facing right towards us, as I declined to believe. Then walking towards us. Then, as soon as they rounded the corner out of his vanishing point and into mine, Tina noticed us and said while laughing ‘hey guys... Are you following me? We explained the pure coincidence. She then introduced us to her mother and daughter and we chatted some more before they headed out.

This event reminded me of the fascination I have in coincidences, which I first started to pay attention to after reading the Celestine Prophecy books. Tina carried around that 'glow' that you only see in very few people these days. I think that is what made this experience so much fun. I'm sure to her, it was just another day in the life, but to us... it made our month!
As an interesting follow up and addition to this story. Matthew waits at a downtown restaurant. That Monday, almost expectantly, out of all people and places to go, Tina with her daughter and mother, went to that restaurant and was even sat in Matthew's section. This time Tina was following Matthew :)

We look forward to seeing Tina again...


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