As I sit at my laptop in my room at Hotel Bel Air sipping on rose after recording a new podcast for Intimate Knowledge, I am really just feeling myself.
Like. Pinch me. For real.
“What?! Who?! Wait, WHERE??? But WHOOOO?” I internally – and also somewhat verbally – exclaim to the reporter who’s exhibiting a carpe-diem-swagger as we come face to face. Ever the astute fan – and since I am so adept at sussing out anything relating to pop culture – my clever eyes immediately hone in on the emblem on her sweatshirt: all this as the woman with the video camera and the exceptionally bright flash bulb beam straight into my line of sight. Despite this challenge I instinctually know to adjust my vision directly to the less-than-fastidiously monogrammed application of the white letters “TMZ” to the black Wal-Mart hoodie… worth $19.90 on a full price day.
And let me be clear: Never have I seen such a glorious sight.
“Meghan! I am looking for YOU!” TMZ reporter girl says.
You’ve got to be freaking kidding me.
I manically scan the perimeter for the minuscule chance I might actually see a real Hollywood celebrity as I slowly turn my head with the realization that this poor sick world actually thinks I’m the celebrity to celebrate.
With less than 3.7 slow-mo battings of my lashes my dampened spirits rise to new egotistical heights as I begin to devour the intensity of this moment: TMZ wants to talk to ME!
“It’s cool. I’m cool. I got this. I’ve done this before,” I think to myself. (I haven’t.)
I give an interview that is entirely way too long on the most esoteric pop-culture subjects. <Sidenote of note: I’m all of a sudden super glad my best girlfriend has updated me on the status of Meghan and Harry so I can be all pop-knowledgeable in all the polarizing ways ‘n stuff.>
7 minutes later I am 98% positive I have worn out my welcome with TMZ. (But in my defense I was waiting on my valet to arrive… when my car was literally parked on the street in front of me (by Valet) the entire time. Was this because I was reveling in my TMZ bombardment or because I literally had zero clue what my rental car looked like? Truly, we may never know the real subconscious reason.)
Just to really make sure my welcome is entirely exhausted, the TMZ reporter actually wraps up the interview, turns off the flashbulb, and retires for the evening followed with a long bubble bath of essential oils to process her sickening fruition that she has relegated her self-worth to people of my celebrity caliber: this is the thought she experiences as she opens a well-worn copy of “Pride and Prejudice” to wind down. I know what you’re thinking but c’mon, stop stereotyping! Just because she went to an extremely respectful Journalism School and just had to sell her soul to interview a vapid nobody -me – (who was awkwardly exuberant) it just really accentuates everything that’s wrong in this world. P.S. There were no creative liberties taken by me regarding this paragraph whatsoever… but also please don’t ask for my bibliography. Thanks.)
Alone again without that radiant flashbulb shining with such entitled magnificence in my wounded eyeballs, I finally look at the Valet guys who are solidly in their mid-20’s. With what I believe to be an expectant twinkle in their star-struck eyes they then so non-romantically ask me, “Did you really date an athlete? Who was it?”
“Yeah, where’s my car? Is the transmission messed up? I don’t really feel safe in it… it’s a rental… but I’m not saying I’m better than a rental (**BUT I REALLY AM**)…”
“Uhhh, ma’am, (MA’AM! When did I turn 73?!) I don’t know I just drive valet cars.”
Note: So now I know that valet drivers are not in my dating demographic. That was one way to find out what I already expected, but to everyone reading this who has ever related to me, now you also know not to pursue valet people. It’s a learning process…
Ok sorry this is boring… fast-forwarding…
I get in my car and call my mom in Missouri, “Mom! Oh my God! I made it!”
“MOM! Just listen! I was at a hip HOLLYWOOD restaurant at a meeting with my AGENT and when I went to leave TMZ BOMBARDED ME!!”
-Moment of silence to let this sink in.-
“That’s great, honey.” says Mom.
“Yeah no kidding, Mom! I think this means I’ve made it! Let me recap, I am starstruck in Hollywood because TMZ WANTS TO EXPLOIT ME!”
I’ve never been so flattered by exploitation in my life!
And this, my friends, is the raw truth of a new-age “celebrity” brought to you in the most self-deprecating form.
(And TMZ, let’s totally do this again. I’ll be exceedingly cool about it just like I was this time…. “Don’ttttt leavee…. waitttt where are you goinggggg… come back!!!!!!!!!!”)