Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Are You Who We Think You Are?

Can you recognize celebrities if you pass them on the street?

TBG and I were finishing lunch at Sauce in Casas Adobes Plaza this afternoon, when he wondered if I could come up with the name of that awful blonde woman on television.  Considering the enormous amount of television viewing which happens under our roof, there was a wide universe from which to choose.

Nevertheless, I knew the name without hesitation.

Ann Coulter?

(There are times when sharing alumna status is somewhat revolting.)

He nodded and told me that she was standing in line, waiting to order.

Casually, oh,so very casually, I stood up, readjusted my sweater, grabbed our half-full drinks, and sauntered to the refill station... all the while, surreptitiously, covertly, slyly, sneaking glances toward the line.

Without judging, merely noticing characteristics so that I might match her to a remembered image... and then I remembered the interwebs.
(Yes, young humans, the fact of immediately available answers to your questions is not intuitively obvious to those of us who grew up with three channels and a test pattern.)
I dispensed ice and iced tea as fast as the machinery allowed, sat down and unlocked my phone.

Of course! he said, and then we both examined the image on the screen.  He didn't have to turn around in order to stare and compare. Facing him across the table, I had to wait until the live person walked through the doorway to my left.  She did.  I gaped.  He noticed a tattoo on her right forearm. I evaluated her haircut. We compared our analyses to the image on the cell phone one last time, and then we finished our lunch.

I remember being the object of that kind of attention.  No matter how hard they tried, those who thought they recognized me did the same kind of quasi-subtle-not-paying-attention-but-looking-too-often dance TBG and I were performing right then and there.  When I was on the receiving end, I did what the object of our attentions did this afternoon; I ignored it entirely.

She's a public personality, one whose livelihood depends on attracting the attention of an audience, but does that mean that she has to be on on a Tuesday in Tucson?  I, too, was a public personality, and people showered me with love instead of ratings, but there were times when all I wanted to do was buy a melon and go home.

Sometimes the attention, or the studied lack of attention, is more intrusive than anything else.

On the other hand, had I admired her work, I probably would have smiled and, if she smiled back, I'd have told her how wonderful I think she is.  Interrupting her and insulting her seemed like too much, even for me.

I smiled at myself, and moved on.  I'd played all the roles I'd imagined in those who sought to hug or admire or pray for me on countless Tucson afternoons.  I was not focused on anyone's interests but my own, although I was aware of that fact as I continued to invade her privacy..... if only with my eyes.

In my defense, if I need one for looking at a woman just a bit younger than I am across a crowded restaurant and taking no action other than craning my neck, I was never angry with those who invaded my personal space with their eyes or with their arms.  I understood the need to get close.  I knew that the hugs were as much for themselves as they were for me.

Jesus, my man with the mop while I was hospitalized, brushed my head every time he passed by, whispering  "You are luck." Not that I was lucky, but that I embodied luck itself.

I was happy to share that which he saw, even if it was eluding me right then.

In the same way, I hope that maybe-she's-Ann-Coulter understands that I was only trying to add to my life list of famous people. Yes, I have one, just as birders have theirs.  I've never hidden the fact that I love love love the times I've been up close and personal with people you'd recognize.  Buying art supplies with Jerry Garcia is right up there at the top (along with the Obamas' visit, of course, but I had to get shot for that to happen) and the memory makes me smile every time I think of it.

Now.... does anyone know if Ann Coulter has a tat on her arm?


  1. Ugh!!! I can't stand her. I might have just thrown up my lunch right then and there, preferably on her. I hope she is not in Tucson to stay.

    1. Exactly, Little Cheese, exactly my point. My kale and salmon salad was too good to waste on emesis, though <3

  2. When I see celebs and I've seen a few, I never do more than look once. That said, there are people who look like people and being sure is hard to say. I resemble Meryl Streep and I am relatively sure I've had more than a few people stare at me sometimes with wondering-- could it be? Nope, it isn't, but they have never asked-- although friends etc. have mentioned the resemblance. I guess if we don't expect someone to be where we are, we are less prone to ask. The one I would have liked to stare at, many years back, was the man I was pretty sure was Clint Eastwood. He was tall, wearing a t-shirt, with a woman who looked like his wife back then. He was in a place that it'd not have been surprising to see him. I'd have loved to stare-- but manners protected him.

    I don't know if Coulter has a tattoo. She's certainly a beautiful woman with that gazelle neck, but when I see her on TV, i prefer to watch without the sound ;)

    1. You are much more restrained than I am, Rain :-)


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