Thursday, August 30, 2012

Reluctant Celebrity

Incognito family at the State Fair
Last Fall we went to Texas. At the airport, I saw a lady standing about ten feet from us in the security line. She caught my attention because she seemed a little out of place. Dressed in black from head to toe, she was also wearing her sunglasses inside. Who does that? I thought.

I glanced at her and went back to tending to Elijah, who was jumping up and down. He would have run through the airport if I let go of his hand. The little girl in line ahead of us, pulling her rolling backpack just like her mommy's, was staring at Elijah as I tried to manage our boy and my bag.

Just then my mom leaned over and said, "Hey, that's Diane Sawyer." I glanced back at the woman in black and realized that it was indeed the news anchor.

As I grabbed my shoes to place them back on my feet, the TSA agents were chatting with each other.

"Oh, she tries to be all inconspicuous, but we know who she is," one said.

"Diane Sawyer, right?" I said with a sly smile, even though they weren't talking to me.

"See!" one of the TSA agents responded. "She noticed her. Oh, some celebrities come through and want everyone to notice them, but she tries to be subtle. We still know who she is, though."

"I wouldn't want to be a celebrity," I told them as we gathered our things from the security checkpoint and we all pondered the lives of the famous.

Back home after our trip, Andy, Elijah and I went to the grocery store to replenish our refrigerator after being gone for two weeks.

As we perused some things and Elijah jumped up and down while holding my hand, I could sense an older gentleman standing nearby staring at our son. Just when I was about to say something (because he was kind of freaking me out) the man said, "I have a grandson with problems." His voice and face were full of melancholy. I honestly didn't know what to say. Obviously, Elijah must have reminded him of his grandson and brought up sad feelings, but I wasn't so fond of how he handled approaching us - by staring and standing super close (and generally creeping me out). I think I said, "Oh," smiled at him and we all went on our way. He didn't offer up any more conversation and neither did we.

Sometimes I think I know how it feels to be famous; it feels like there are eyes on us wherever we go. Often they are happy eyes, as I hold our son's hand and he bounces down the sidewalk like Tigger with a huge smile on his face. Most people smile back. That's when I don't mind that people notice us.

When we're met with blank stares or pity or just general disgust, I kind of hate standing out from the crowd (oh, I notice). I understand wanting to be inconspicuous, to just blend in with everyone else, to be able to go to a grocery store (or an airport) and to be able to melt into the background.

I think our little family gets, at least to a tiny degree, what it's like to be famous. Sometimes it'd be nice to throw on some black clothes and some sunglasses and go incognito. I get it, Diane Sawyer. Sometimes, you just don't want all of those eyes on you.


Anonymous said...

Look at your family looking all incognito. What a blessing to be a part of this family. I enjoy standing with you. Elijah invoked a few looks from the crowd as he smiled and enjoyed the music at the Leinie's Band shell. Sometimes it's hard to stand out in the crowd. But it's not hard to be a part of a "stand out" family. Right? Love, GrammaKat

Unknown said...

I frequently feel like we are on display for the world to see and (sometimes) judge. I keep thinking it will get easier to handle. But it hasn't yet. I also keep thinking I won't feel guilty for not being embarrassed by Boo's behavior. But that doesn't happen 100% of the time either.

Janet said...

Great post! We are a 'celebrity' family too.


Smithsholidayroad said...

Love your family pic! Coop actually thinks he is a celebrity now! Lol he is always saying " how does everyone at school know me"? ( possibly your walker or power wheelchair gives it away) ;)

Shell said...

So perfectly put. It would be nice to just blend into the crowd sometimes.

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