I’m starting to think something is wrong with me.
Let me ask you a question: If Oprah Winfrey walked by you, within inches, what would you do?
I don’t care a bit for celebrity news or gossip. I don’t care who marries who, who gets divorced or breaks up tragically in some sort of flurry of text messages that is later reported by OK! magazine.
I don’t care who has a kid or who adopts one from another country. I don’t care who wins whatever award they’re giving out this week. It’s not that I don’t wish them well; I wish them as much happiness and success as I wish any other human. It’s just that I don’t care, and I don’t see why I should. They’re just… humans. Humans I don’t know. I could know them, I suppose, if I was interested in bothering them. But… nah.
But sometimes, evidently, my coolness toward the celebrity causes offense. Not to the celebrity, who could not care less about meeting me, seeing me in an airport, etc., but to the person who wrangles the celebrity into my presence.
Case in point: my dear friend Brad once scored a pretty significant appearance from a major boxing champion. Dude walked right by me in the hallway at work. I knew who he was; I just didn’t give a hoot. I knew it was a big deal that Brad had gotten him to come in, so I congratulated him on the get, but apparently something in the way I said it came off the wrong way.
“Um, he’s the heavyweight champion of the world,” Brad reminded me when he had extricated himself from the guy’s entourage and the sub-entourage of coworkers who ogled him.
“Well, yes, until next year,” I said.
Wrong answer. Turns out.
I can’t help it. Boxing doesn’t do it for me, and being the “world” champion of anything is pretty dumb, isn’t it? I mean, have we really ferreted out all the people in the world who could do this, and found the one person who’s best? No. (Don’t get me started on the “World” Series.)
One time, again at work, Oprah herself came in. I’m not kidding. It was her. I know because she – and her posse – strode right by me, within inches, lights on, cameras rolling, to surprise one of my coworkers. This had been set up by a mutual friend. I’ll admit I have no idea what happened because I never even saw the show this friendly ambush wound up on. All I know is I was really busy when she walked by, I was on deadline, and though I do appreciate how smart she is and how hard she works, I did not appreciate how much attention she drew from the coworkers who were allegedly working on deadline with me.
I know, I’m probably an idiot for not trying to elbow Gayle out and become Oprah’s new bestie. This is another problem my coolness toward celebrity causes. I lose out on all the opportunities to kiss someone’s butt until they give me things and make me famous. I don’t want to be famous. I’m quite content to write this blog for my six subscribers. Holla!
By the way, I was surprised by how short she was in real life.
I saw Ted Danson in the airport in Memphis. We walked by each other, he with a garment bag slung over his shoulder, me with a carry-on at my hip. Hey, that’s Ted Danson, I thought. He’s tall. End scene.
Another time, I saw four-time Indy 500 winner Rick Mears. My sister ran up to get his autograph. I didn’t do anything. And I’m a huge IndyCar fan.
Hulk Hogan. In an airport. I actually walked in the opposite direction. And this was before his reality show.
Today it was a baseball player. He usually plays in the minors, but he just got a call-up and played really well for the major league team that farms him. Everybody was fawning all over him, and I just sat at my desk, working. It’s not that I wasn’t proud of his achievement and happy for his wife (who brought him by). It’s just that I figure the guy’s exhausted and wants to crash without the umpteenth stranger in the last 48 hours to shake his throwing hand and make awkwardly personal comments.
Am I Crazy Cynical Hermit Girl who totally and willfully isolates herself from highly successful individuals who could introduce her to amazing new ports of call in life?
But there’s part of me, I have to say, that finds it sort of pathetic when people get all excited about meeting someone famous. I’ve had this conversation a few times with Jack, who mixes with a lot of famous athletes all the time. He doesn’t like it when grown men wear jerseys with another man’s name on the back. The point being: stand tall in who you are. It’s fine to be impressed with someone else’s skills and talents, but don’t diminish yourself in comparison. And I agree with him, so maybe that’s what keeps me from seeking autographs or handshakes or a brush with supposed greatness.
A little money on the side, though… that might be okay.
Feature image from www.vulgarknowledge.com