Today’s intro is by Chairman Mom team member Monica Engel.

Sarah wrote a while back of a soft spot she developed for those involved in a school production of The Nutcracker in Wyoming. After finding herself mistakenly on the play’s parent email list and being CC’d on all of the pre-play drama, she seemed to grow somewhat attached, and even fantasized about flying to Wyoming to attend the show.

I too recently grew a fondness for someone unexpected (and who also doesn’t know I exist). But instead of with those involved in The Nutcracker in Wyoming, it is with a drag queen in West Hollywood.

It all started when I adopted a puppy in November. She was abandoned with her litter at a high-kill shelter in Bakersfield, but thankfully was scooped up and transferred to West Hollywood. Now normally the shelter will give the dogs temporary names and list them on their website. This particular shelter seems a little more thoughtful with names, and naturally in West Hollywood my girl was given the name Naomi Smalls (more on that later). And it was Naomi Smalls whose eyes had pierced right through me while casually browsing PetFinder one night. I wasn’t in the market for a dog quite yet as I was trying to hold out until the new year, but something about her stuck with me.

Fast forward two days and I convince my significant other to just “stop by” the shelter on our way to dinner one night—we were early and had some extra time. Who knew if she’d even be there? 

This shelter is a dog rescue and pet supply boutique. You walk into the shop and there are dogs of all sizes running wild around the store. Occasionally you have to dodge a puddle or pile on the floor if a cleanup volunteer doesn’t beat you to it. As fate would have it, Naomi Smalls came right up to us in the middle of this chaos. We spent so much time with her that we closed down the pet shop and were a bit late for dinner. Maybe we would come back if she were still there later on.

We didn’t know the story behind Naomi Smalls’ name and talked about the new names we would give her if we were to adopt her (she only had her name for four days after all). Although after some research I found that little Naomi Smalls was named after the great American drag queen, Naomi Smalls. Some refer to her as “Legs” because of her gorgeous long legs, which could be the reason for her being the namesake of little Naomi Smalls. Little Naomi Smalls had disproportionately long legs for her little body. The original Naomi Smalls has appeared twice on RuPaul’s Drag Race (once on the all-stars season), is a seasoned fashion model, and has all sorts of content on YouTube including her own series and a music video. It was an unfamiliar world but for some reason I kept digging deeper.

Upon further reading I discovered that she is the alter ego of Davis Heppenstall from Redlands (what?! how?!). I grew up in Redlands and grew up playing in the Heppenstall’s backyard with Davis’ older brothers. What were the odds of that? It’s a Naomi Smalls world indeed. 

After that cosmic connection with her namesake and every other gravitational pull toward little Naomi it was too much of a coincidence, or fate. I knew she was ours and that we would keep her name. I was back in West Hollywood the next morning waiting for the shelter to open their doors and bring home little Naomi Smalls. 

I have now formed my own virtual fan club for Naomi Smalls, and just like Sarah might end up at a school play in Wyoming one day because of a chance connection, I might end up at a RuPaul taping or at a Naomi Smalls performance somewhere along the route of her next tour.

Today’s new questions on Chairman Mom:

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