I live down the street from a real life celebrity: not one of those fake celebrities who’s won a Nobel Prize or appeared in the local newspaper because she raised money for cancer awareness or bad complexion. This person is a real star, someone who has a job being famous all the time.
You may think I am here to complain about living practically next door to a paparazzi favorite, but I have no beef with her. She keeps her trees trimmed, and the trash is always tied up neatly on Wednesday mornings. All she ever seems to throw out are Venti Starbucks cups, anyway—not, say, crack pipes or gently worn sable coats. You don’t read about her running over seniors with her SUV, or going to wild sex parties featuring DJs and cupcakes. In fact, she seems like a quiet lady. She and her entourage come in and go out of her triple locked steel gates with nary a crash. When the lights are dimmed, there’s nothing more to see, no matter how high-powered your binoculars are. Really, I am so used to residing 8.5 lots down from her that I’ve almost forgotten that she’s famous.
But there’s something I do have to say based on my experience of living 547 feet and 3 inches away someone whose face you may have seen on the cover of Star and Cable Guide: she’s real people. Except for the camera crews filming her every move, and the fact that she carries a puppy with her to places where I wouldn’t think to bring a dog, such as the Partially Burned Children Celebrity Roast and the United Nations General Assembly, she is gracious and down to earth—at least that’s what I can tell from the interview on ET in which she invited Mary Hart into her kitchen to make cheese enchiladas.
I took the kids trick-or-treating to her place once or twice last year. She left a bowl out with a bodyguard to make sure that children only took one or two mini KitKats at a time. She mixed in some Mounds. Lorca and Lemon agreed that it was good candy from a great star and classy lady.
But most of the time, I’m completely indifferent to her. We haven’t had the opportunity to become friends, obviously. We keep very different hours, and who among us really gets to know their neighbors? She may be starting to be acquainted with me, though. The other day, I think I saw a gleam of recognition from behind her Dolce and Gabbana sunglasses and she made a grunt that sounded something like, “Why hello, aren’t you the woman whose I Used to Be a Volvo Seat Cover grocery bag I admire so much?” And then her bodyguard ushered me out of the way.
I don’t think we could really be pals, not in the long run. We’re at such different stages in life. I have children and she has her career. I just know that if I brought her to my book club, everyone would fawn over her. They aren’t used to being in such close proximity to celebrity, the way I am, in my everyday life. Janet, in particular, would probably look at her and say, “You’re on that show with the dolphin, aren’t you? Have some maple fudge.”
Janet is always trying to push that maple fudge on everyone. Some of us are on the Master Cleanse here.
If my celebrity neighbor did want to become friends with me, though, I wouldn’t mind. She’s probably used to having yes men around all the time, but I’d treat her just like I’ve always treated her: like she’s a regular, normal human being who lives on a normal street and in a normal oversized house. We’d sit around drinking Venti Lattes and having our nails done by foreigners. I’d even tell her that I think she should dump that actor/rapper boyfriend of hers (the rumors about him and the hamster were probably not true, but I have it on excellent authority that the stories about the trumpeter swans are on completely solid ground). She probably wouldn’t like everything I had to say, but when you’re besties, you should be able to tell each other the truth. Even if one of you is stupendously famous. And the other is in a women’s correctional facility.
Original art by Ilyse Magy.