October 31st 2014
I thought she was a bear.
When I first saw her.
There I was. Another day. Another dollar. At work. “Doing work.”
The porcelain gods were calling my name.
So I left my desk.
To the bathroom. Pressed the 4 digit code to get in. (Followed by pound.) Did bathroom things. Looked at myself in the mirror.
beneath the automatic faucet to summon some water.
I heard 5 beeps.
The 4 digit code. (Followed by pound.) Someone else was coming in. Which was entirely normal.
The someone who walked in.
Was a bear.
At least that’s what I thought, when I first saw her.
She was a blonde with a simple bob, blue eyes, bright red lipstick…and a full-blown, furry costume complete with a posse of people wearing all black t-r-a-i-l-i-n-g in behind her, carrying copious amounts of important papers and catering to her every need.
I only looked at her face for a moment. I didn’t know who she was. And I didn’t really care. Primarily because, I was distracted by the ensemble right before my eyes, so much so that I even asked the genuine question:
“Is there a Halloween party on our floor I didn’t know about?? I never got an email about…wait.”
And that’s when I realized.
That the blonde girl with the bob.
Standing in the bathroom.
Engulfed in a white furry onsie.
Was in fact—not at bear.
The number one pop star in the world.
Just standing there.
Waiting to be u-n-z-i-p-p-e-d.
And here I was. An accidental part of her clan. With dripping hands by default because her publicist was standing directly in front of the paper towel dispenser.
And I waited.
Because I needed that shit.
And as I waited, I watched her turn around, ready to be released from her yeti-like look, while her manager looked at herself in the mirror, reapplied her lip stick and said to me “No, there’s no party.”
And just like that, the chart-topping pop star, that I had seen in every diet coke ad, subway ad, pizza box ad, pharmacy ad, iTunes ad, pOp up ad, TV show ad and every other ad you can imagine.
(No, I did not make that)
Was now just inches away from me.
Doing bathroom things. In a pseudo bear suit.
And that was that.
When I exited the bathroom >>> there was a group of 4 men who looked at me entirely amused. Well aware that I just left an unexpected encounter with one of the most famous women in the world.
One of them laughed. While the other held her glittery wings. I felt strange and immediately
Back to my desk. TaPPed my co worker on the shoulder. And told her the news.
“No. I really think that was her.”
“Holy shit!” said a voice to the right.
“Taylor FUCKING Swift is in the bathroom and they’re barricading the hallways and won’t let anyone leave!”
Everyone was in the office was in an absolute panic. Doing research. Wondering why. Checking her twitter. Checking her Instagram.
Only find out that she was interviewing in our building.
Doing a “Halloween special” and dressed as what she called a “Pegacorn.”
And apparently not a bear.
It was pretty remarkable. That within moments of catching word of her nearby existence, everything about her whereabouts, her history, her new album, her thoughts, anywhere she was before this, or going next. >> were so accessible to find and so accessible to ask.
“Did you talk to her?”
“Was she nice?”
“Did she ‘shake it off” after she used the bathroom?”
“Was she pretty?”
“Was she skinny?”
“Did you take a picture?”
“I heard this about her.”
“And I heard that.”
“I read this about her.”
“And I read that.”
“Did you like her?”
“Was she cool?”
She was a barricaded hallway. A blown up Facebook status. A reason for panic. A cause of slow internet due to the sudden iNfLuX of google searches with her t-y-p-e-d o-u-t name. A mass text. A lingering topic of conversation. And quite frankly.
One powerful bitch.
When the chaos had simmered down, just a bit. I thought about it. And I thought about it a lot.
Specifically about the night just before this when I was in Brooklyn for my former boss’ birthday party, and he told me he saw my Instagram picture of the Allman Brothers Band‘s concert from earlier that week. Specifically, that I had attended the last concert they would ever play in recorded history. The one that put the finishing touch on their unbelievable career.
“I’m so jealous.” he said to me, as we all congregated with beers.
“They played for 6 hours!” I told him. “The show was completely sold out. And everyone there was so enamored with their presence. You could tell they were lifelong fans and they were so happy to be there for any and all of it.”
“I can imagine!”
“I actually saw people outside the theater holding cardboard signs that said ‘I’ve been to every show since I was 18 years old. I’ll pay anything for your ticket!’ “
“Man. That’s amazing.”
“It really was.”
“…You know…I really do think that being a rockstar then is different than being a rockstar now.” he said very factually.
“How do you mean?”
“Well back then, social media wasn’t a thing. You saw an artist for their talent. And that’s it. And other than sporadic paparazzi pictures or news articles, the only time you would ever see or hear from them, would be when they were on a stage, doing the only things they were known for doing. Loved for doing. And when they walked off the stage >> you never really knew if or when you’d see them again. But if you did, it would most likely be for their music.
And for that reason and that reason only.
These days, you can find celebrities anywhere. Find out anything about them. What they did backstage. What they said. What they’re thinking. Their stance on anything from cute cats to political rights. It’s an entirely different world. And we like them more or less because of it. It’s crazy.”
“We kind of know too much don’t we?”
“To say the least.”
I thought what he said was really interesting, and I didn’t have a single clue that less than 12 hours later, I’d watch his whole epiphany
Before my very eyes.
In the shape and form of a blonde-haired, blue-eyed beauty who lived her entire life on display. Known for her music but also her hair cut. Known for her music but also her weight. Known for her music but also her relationships. Known for her music but also her selfies. Known for her music but also her perceived facade pieced together by paparazzi pictures, pulled quotes, TV appearances and fleeting opinions of people who ran into her on the street, at an event or even the bathroom.
Because who wouldn’t want to know more about someone who’s glorified as being so great?
Whether that’s researching their successes. Or looking up their mistakes.
And then I thought about what a tough and strange way that would be to live.
To be scrutinized for every bad hair day. And praised for every moment I said something right.
Slapped on the wrist for doing something human. And endorsed millions of dollars for waving to a crowd.
Be able to do what I love every single day. Live the dream life. And get one bad review that goes viral and dilutes the whole damn thing.
And it made me realize.
We all deserve a damn break.
And a little bit a credit.
Because what’s a concert without a loyal crowd?
A political movement without a leader?
A brand without a customer?
A movie without a star?
Whether we’re the ordinary people who support the extraordinary.
Or the extraordinary that live to please the ordinary.
We all depend on each other for high-fives, good feels and damn good inspiration.
Which I think.
Makes us all an equal level of awesome.
And I have to say, that was a fabulous idea to run into.