I never thought I’d be the type of person who felt the need to interact with a celebrity I spotted on the street, but turns out it just depends on the celebrity.
It shouldn’t shock anyone to learn that I’m enthralled by celebrity culture. Not necessarily enthralled by celebrities themselves, but the world that surrounds them; the way we build them up and tear them down, the way we idolize them. In many ways they’ve taken the place of the Greek gods and goddesses and Hollywood is just the modern day equivalent of Mount Olympus.
But when it comes to seeing someone you regularly see in Us Weekly, how do you react? I’ve always felt that approaching them is somewhat pitiful. You can’t say what you want to say, because you’re not going to tell them, “Hi, sorry to bother you but I think you are really cool, and pretty and OMG we should go get drinks I think we could be best friends.” No.
Last night I broke my rule. I quit pretending to be jaded and became a full out fangirl. It was horrifying and also kind of satisfying.
While seated in audience waiting for “Asuncion” (written and staring Jesse Eienberg) to begin, my friend thought she saw none other than Ashley Olsen enter the theater. Because I’ve literally had a crush on Eisenberg since at least 1999, I was a little distracted. I spent the next ten minutes wondering if really was her and wishing it was already intermission so I could go look.
Full disclosure: I love Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. I grew up with them. I’ve seen all their movies and TV shows (recognizing how awful all their work has been). In the summer of 2005 I actually slept Queen Street outside of MuchMusic with my sister and a friend, waiting to get wristbands to an interview the twins were giving later that week. And I can’t even tell you the amount of time I spent that year looking for a shark tooth necklace like the one MK was wearing. OH. MY. GOD.
These were the girls who taught an entire generation of young women how to smile without showing their teeth, effectively bringing the phenomenon known as “duck face” into the mainstream.
While my interest in the Olsens has dwindled considerably in the last few years, spotting them in New York has remained on my to do list.
Back to the present day. At the show’s intermission, I needed to know for sure if it was really, truly her. I walked down to the stage area and attempted to make it look like I was examining something on stage. When I turned around to walk back to my seat I got a good look at the blonde wearing a white fur stole. It was her. But which one was it? I couldn’t tell. And I can always tell them apart — they really look very different. Her eye caught mine as I was confirming her identity and I attempted to look away.
Returning to my seat, I felt a rush of adrenaline sweep though my body. I was actually having a chemical reaction to seeing her. I decided it was in fact MK because Ashley doesn’t wear her hair um… quite so… greasy shall we say? But as the second act of the play went on I sat there wondering what the best course of action would be after the show. I wasn’t ready to let my experience with Mary Kate end yet.
Afterwards we waited outside for the theater to empty. MK was among the last to leave and she stood outside smoking a cigarette, likely waiting for Justin Bartha — one of the show’s stars and Ashley’s ex-boyfriend.
Another burst of adrenaline hits me. I can feel my heart pounding, I’m smiling like an idiot. I actually feel sick and it’s official I’m starstruck. Against my better judgment I pulled myself together only to walk over to the tiny actress and say, “I just wanted to let you know I’m a big fan.” She smiled sweetly and said, “Thank you.”
In an instant I’m overcome with regret. I can’t believe I just did that. I’m so lame. And the worst part is that I just want to tell everyone about it.
This is why being starstruck might be one of the most awful feelings in the lexicon of human emotions. It’s like a rejection before you even put yourself out there. I didn’t want her to say thank you, I wanted her to say, “Oh cool. You seem great too. Here’s my number, there’s a party later, you should come.” Or something like that.
And I think that’s what most people are looking for when they approach a celebrity. They want the admiration returned and 99.9 percent of the time that is not going to happen.
As I walked away from theater and from Mary-Kate, who was not beginning to draw an audience, I felt this mixture of shame and elation churning their way through my body, as though they were each fighting to be the appropriate reaction to the encounter.
The takeaway is this: I’m not breaking my rule again because being starstruck is just rather depressing in the end.
I had never noticed Slate’s “Corrections” column before but it really bothers me. I know they are trying to be transparent and take accountability for the mistakes they’ve made, but is it really necessary to devote a post each week to calling out writers who made a small typo?
It comes across as more mean-spirited and snobbish rather than being about transparency. It’s one thing to get a fact wrong, that does deserve a correction but to bother letting their readers know that a writer misspelled Finnegans Wake, because they added an apostrophe is beyond ridiculous.
Of course it’s because Internet commenter for the most part are nit-picky people who have never written (especially for the Internet) a day in their lives. They just love, love, love to expose a typo. It’s like a triumph for some of them and I just don’t understand.
Online news sites across the board regularly receive complaints about proofreading and whenever I see such a comment on a post I’ve written it really bothers me. Not the people who simply point out a typo, but the people who feel that it typing “teh” instead of “the” makes the entire article void of all integrity.
Most sites don’t have copywriters. You’re lucky if another pair of eyes glances over your post before it’s up for the world to see. It’s not as though writers particularly enjoy publishing something with a typo, no one wants that next to their name. It’s not as though we just write something and throw it online without checking. But try catching typos after you’ve read the same article 20 times. Your brain is wired to be able to read the word the way you intended to write it, and thus it’s much harder to catch the mistake.
So to all the people who somehow get off on degrading someone’s work because of a small typo; it is just petty. Writers proofread as best they can, but we are all human and some mistakes are always going to happen. So chill.
*I hate making typos and caught a number of them before publishing this post. If you find any extras please be kind.