Rubbing elbows with Ronan Farrow

November 14, 2018 — by Allison Hartley

There are a nearly infinite number of possible lunch dates —  amazing athletes, attractive actors and well-known politicians, but my top pick is Ronan Farrow.

I first discovered him on a regular day after school when I sat with my mom facing the TV, my feet propped up on the coffee table and my attention split between the newscasters and my phone. My mom mentioned something about some guy named “Ronan Farrow,” whom I wasn’t familiar with. So I took to Wikipedia, a great source of knowledge, to find out more.

Before I could even get to the overview, I was struck by a gorgeous — if pale — portrait of Ronan. So, I read more.

Ronan, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist and former diplomat in the State Department during the Obama administration, broke the story about the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault scandal in the pages of The New Yorker magazine. He started college at age 11, made trips to Sudan with his mother, the actress Mia Farrow, and received a Juris of Doctor degree (J.D.) from Yale Law School at age 21.

Now at age 30, Ronan wrote his most recent book “War on Peace” about the diminishing role of the State Department. He’s estranged from his father, the controversial director Woody Allen who married Ronan’s adopted sister back in the ‘90s. Because of his lack of resemblance to Allen, Ronan is rumored to be the biological child of famed singer Frank Sinatra, Mia Farrow’s ex-husband before she married Allen.

By the time I took a deep dive into Ronan’s Instagram, part of me was outright fangirling. Not only is he good-looking and smart, but his captions show some good humor.

If and when I fraternize with the likes of Ronan Farrow, we would meet for lunch. I’d leave the choice of restaurant up to him because I wouldn’t know where to take such a busy journalist. And, if I’m really lucky, maybe his mother Mia Farrow would swing by. Maybe.

I can easily imagine myself being anxious about my sweaty palm when I shake his hand, trying not to betray my eagerness.

Throwing out that caution, I’d accidentally bombard him with questions: Do you realize you effectively sparked the #MeToo movement? What do you think about the impact you’ve made? Then I’d kick myself for not playing it cool.

Before stumbling over my own order, I would be shocked by his choice — Ronan Farrow likes clam chowder? Wild.

My own life would seem as pale as him in comparison to what he’s working on. Of course, this is lunch, not an interview, so it would be rude not to talk about my own life. But, whatever I tell him, he will never know about that column I wrote about having lunch with him.

The conversation would likely turn to some current events. Knowing Ronan, he would be the one writing the topical stories, but I’d try my best to sound relevant.  

Based on his multiple Instagram captions referring to Pokemon, I wouldn’t be surprised if he said something like, “This is the size of a baby squirtle,” amidst it all.

I’d laugh, not really knowing who or what is a squirtle.

The waiter would arrive with the bill too soon — or possibly not soon enough (I’m not eliminating the possibility that Ronan is a terrible lunch date). More likely, I would secretly glare at the waiter for effectively ending our conversation.

I would snatch the check — I would certainly not allow Ronan Farrow to pay for my lunch — and thank him for meeting me. As we leave, I would probably embarrass myself by trying to say something witty, and casually suggest that we keep in touch.

Maybe I wouldn’t play it cool, but if I landed a lunch with Ronan Farrow, I must have been doing something right.