By Bruce A. Smith
If the 2016 election wasn’t shocking enough, I was stunned even further when I read in the media aftermath that Donald J. Trump had tried to date the same woman that I had attempted to in 2003 – Salma Hayek. Back then, I had asked Salma to be my date for the Christmas Ball at Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment (RSE), in Yelm, Washington.
More accurately, I had not asked her for a date face-to-face, but in a letter. The truth was I didn’t know who Salma was. I knew she was a famous Mexican actress and had just started attending RSE, but that was pretty much it. I didn’t even know what she looked like. Sure, I figured she was pretty, but I hadn’t a clue on whom she actually was.
What stirred my interest about Salma was an article I read in Oprah magazine in the summer of 2003, when Oprah asked Salma why, at 40, she had never been married.
“I haven’t found my match,” Salma told Oprah.
Salma’s words captured my attention because I have never found my match either. This dynamic was becoming more self-evident to me, rapidly, for another quirky connection I have with The Donald. In August 2003, I decided to run for the Presidency of the United States. For the next six weeks I became immersed in compiling a campaign team, establishing checking accounts for fund raising and operations, determining the mechanisms and schedules for filing in the presidential elections of all fifty states, and writing down all of my positions on the pressing issues of the day, such as Iraq and Afghanistan, which was a fairly straight forward plan of removing all of our troops from these countries.
But my biggest surprise was discovering that my declaration to run for president cleaned out my social life. Totally. Everyone I knew thought I was nuts and didn’t want anything to do with me – although my sister stayed by my side, probably because she had a friend a long time ago who had also run for president so she wasn’t too fazed by my behavior.
But all other human beings that I knew thought I had gone too far. The basic response I heard was: “Bruce, we always knew you were super weird, but this presidential thing is just too crazy and I don’t want to be part of it.”
Over night I was alone in the world. In some ways it was like being a Mexican immigrant in Hollywood, just like Salma, who was trying to get famous and couldn’t even speak the language, as I had read in the Oprah piece. Certainly, no one in my life was my match either, as I couldn’t even keep a friend, let alone attract a wife.
But, shortly after my social world collapsed it re-filled in strange and marvelous ways. On one occasion, a complete stranger walked up to me in a parking lot and said, “I hear you’re running for president. How can I help?” We talked for a bit and I learned she was a tax accountant. I asked her to be my campaign treasurer. She agreed.
A few days later another woman walked up to me and wordlessly handed me a fifty-dollar bill. She whispered, “You’re probably gonna need this.” I did. I went out and had a great steak dinner. I bought gas with the left-over money.
A month later, Ramtha announced that he was going to host a Christmas Ball at his school of enlightenment. I immediately thought of Salma and started asking around if any of my classmates could introduce me to her.
But no one offered, or dared. I’m not sure why, but I was frozen out. I meet some folks who said they knew her, but they refused to make a move in my behalf. Frustrated, I Googled Salma and discovered that she had a fan club, a press agent and a manager. I wrote them all and explained my situation and asked if they would kindly pass on my offer of a Christmas date. I heard nothing back.
Approaching complete desperation, I Googled further and discovered that she had a father living in the middle of Mexico. Even though I didn’t speak a word of Spanish other than “Hola,” I wrote her pop, and asked for his help. Again, I never heard anything.
The Christmas Ball came and went and I never got my date with Salma. However, six months later I attended a week-long retreat at RSE, and as I was entering the building where Ramtha teaches a cute brown-skinned woman came rushing out. She spotted me, locked eyes and stopped, and then looked away and scurried on.
That has got to be Salma I shouted to myself. It was. Ironically, I sat a couple seats behind her during the retreat and I spent days sneaking peeks at her. Over time, though, I decided I needed to spend my retreat in a more productive manner, so I gave up on Salma and returned to listening to Ramtha.
When the retreat ended, I stopped in the school bookstore before heading home. I was surprised that the store was nearly empty when I entered, and I slowly wandered the aisles. Rounding a corner I saw a diminutive woman browsing in the music department. It was Salma.
In an unprecedented display of courage and male decisiveness, I walked up to her and spoke.
“Excuse me, Salma. Do you have a minute? I need to ask you to do a favor for me. Actually, I have an apology to give you. Really, um, the favor is to deliver an apology to your father.”
“Yes. Last September I wrote him asking him to help me get a date with you. I was trying to ask you to go the Christmas Ball with me. But I’ve come to realize that was going too far. I never should have involved your family in my, um, fantasy or desire, or whatever it was; and the crossing-over, you know, between the celebrity stuff and your family’s privacy…”
“…Yeah, he was pissed…” Salma said over my words.
“… Will you please tell him I’m sorry for invading his privacy.”
Without looking at me directly, Salma raised her arm and offered her hand. “Apology accepted, sir.”
We shook on it.
I was hoping she would ask me to be her friend, or offer some other gesture of connection, but none came. After a second of hesitation, I said, “Thanks.” Then, I left.
I’ve never seen Salma after that even though we both attended the Ramtha school for many years. But I take great solace knowing I had the chops and the opportunity of asking a famous actress – heck, an Academy-Award nominated one – for a date.
She also turned down The Donald, too. Cold.
The above headshots of Salma are pulled from the Internet and Google. I trust the copyright owners of these pictures will forgive this use in the name of love. Thanks, BAS.
This picture below of yours truly is used with the kind permission of Guustaaf Damave.