All a mother could ask for? How about a surprise visit from Robert Pattinson
The coolest mom -- her name is Maria Miuli Mele, incidentally -- is the one who works it so Robert Pattinson shows up at your front door.
On a school night, no less.The Meles were among three Illinois families who got a visit from the "Eclipse" star Tuesday night, courtesy of "The Oprah Winfrey Show," immediately after he arrived in the States. The Ministry caught up with the stay-home mom Thursday while she was "finishing up the dishes, coming back to reality" after the week's star-fueled excitement.
"I'm just an average house mom with four kids," she said, the smile still showing in her voice, "and Robert Pattinson's in my house!"
It's no secret that Pattinson -- with Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner and Dakota Fanning -- will be on "Oprah" on May 13. Also no surprise that tickets for the show were snapped up quickly.
Mele wasn't daunted however, having learned top-notch "Twilight" fan techniques on a trip to New York with daughter Rosanna Mele to get in the red-carpet fan zone at the "Remember Me" premiere (a crumb cake bribe got them close enough for autographs, which Mele said just made them "more obsessed").
"We're just a crazy family, we do crazy things together," she said.
Things like dressing up as the Cullen family and submitting those pictures (shot by dad Sam, who's in construction) for an opportunity to be part of Oprah's "Twilight" show. Also included ...
Tapped by the show for what was billed as a Skype call-in segment, the casually dressed Meles set up the webcam connection Tuesday evening and started rearranging furniture and covering windows as directed by the production folks on the other end. "They were killing a lot of time," Maria said, about 90 minutes or so, and it was still unclear what the family and friends would be doing.
Then Maria got a glimpse of a cameraman walking by the mostly covered side window, and there was a knock on the door. The thought she'd banished earlier as impossible imagination was suddenly reality -- Rob was at the door.
"We were all screaming like nut cases," said Maria, whose three oldest kids were there along with some friends. "He was so genuine, he hugged everybody, took pictures ... told a lot of jokes."
When Maria asked him That KStew Question, he cracked, "Fine, I'll just leave right now!" But he was totally joking, she said, and continued, "You'll be able to see her tomorrow."
That was how the family learned they were getting tickets to the taping, which they were asked to attend dressed as the Cullen family, like in the pictures that got "Oprah's" attention. At the show, Mele said, Pattinson nudged Stewart on stage and pointed out Giuseppe Mele (aka Edward Cullen) in the audience. "Doesn't he look like me?"
Mele got into the whole fan scene, she said, after being a good mom and keeping Rosanna company on a night the teen was feeling down. Rosanna picked the movie that night, and it was all "Twilight" from then on.
Pattinson "may have more mom fans than younger fans, I think," Maria said after seeing a lot of mom-aged women in the "Oprah" audience.
None of them, however, has the souvenir the Meles do. Seems Pattinson stepped in mud near the door right before he came in, and left his mark on their newly cleaned white carpet.
No matter that Dad likes the place spic and span -- "I said, 'Nobody will ever wash this shoe print!'"
Hey, Mele kids? Mother's Day is Sunday, and it seems you're going to have to step up a notch to outdo what Mom (and the "Oprah" show) delivered.
-- Christie D'Zurilla
Photo: Maria Miuli Mele, second from left in the back row, stands next to Robert Pattinson in her Naperville, Ill., home on May 3, 2010. Back row, from left: Jennifer Belli (Maria's sister-in-law), Maria Miuli Mele, Robert Pattinson,
Bailey Collins (Giuseppe's girlfriend) and Giuseppe Mele. Front from, from left: Rosanna Mele, Luz Collins (Bailey's mom) and Michael Mele. Mele's son Pasquale didn't make the picture -- only 18 months old, he was asleep already. Credit: Courtesy of Maria Miuli Mele.