Not to toot my own horn, but I’m great with meeting new people. I’m a good, if random, conversationalist, and I remember people’s names and biographical information and store it away for the next time we meet. However, I would be a terrible person to take with you as your plus one to any event where celebrities might be attending. Because I am scared of famous people.
Well, not scared exactly. Just intimidated. If they are Oprah level famous, and in danger of becoming a household name, I probably am afraid of meeting them. There are exactly three people on my list of celebrities that I’m okay meeting: Dolly Parton, Michael J. Fox, and Neil Patrick Harris. Oh, and Betty White. I’d be cool meeting Betty White.
For me, meeting a famous person would be like this:
Except the famous person in question would probably not also know who I am, and therefore would be more comfortable yelling for security when I try to hug them or convince me to let them babysit their kids.
(As a side note, I’d be totally cool with meeting John Krasinski and Emily Blunt. They seem fun and like they would be just as random meeting me as I would be meeting them.)
In imagining what it would be like to meet NPH (Neil Patrick Harris, DUH), my mind went somewhere like this:
One of two things would happen. First, I’d faint. And when I came to in his arms, I’d just start stroking his hair and mumbling “Legendary” over and over. And then I’d try to slip him my number so he could call me whenever to babysit Harper and Gideon (his adorable children) and as security was dragging me away, I’d begin singing Side by Side from “Company”.
Or, second option: I’d move into his house. He’d wake up in the morning and find me in the kitchen, wearing an apron that said “Kiss the Cook”, while making omelets and toast like nothing is weird. I’d be all, “NPH! David B! So glad you’re up! Here’s some vegan green juice! I’m going to take Gideon and Harper to the beach where we’ll make sand sculptures of our family! Oooh, let’s get a DOG! We can name him Doggie Howser! We’re the best family ever! PEOPLE magazine, just look at us now!”
According to my former roommate Liz, who has heard me ruminate about meeting celebrities many times, NPH would either call the police or just go with it. I’m hoping for the second.*
Now, I am not a crazy person. I know how to act in public, around influential individuals. Sheesh, I was raised by a woman who has never met an awkward moment or a stranger, and a man who has met every president from Ford to the second Bush PLUS Neil Armstrong. I know how to behave. Yet when a certain famous person in the industry celebrated by my workplace appeared at said workplace, what did I do? I did not walk up to him, introduce myself and ask for his autograph. No, I wandered aimlessly around the area where he was loitering on the phone and stocked brochures. Which, yes, is part of my job description, but really could have waited. And when I was walking up the stairs while he was walking down, I AVERTED MY EYES FROM HIS GREATNESS. Because I didn’t know what would happen if we made eye contact.
I know celebrities—aside from the Kardashians—are normal, decent people. I know they live ordinary lives, where they pick up their kids from school and shop for tomatoes. I’ve seen US Weekly, I know how it works. But unless they’re obscure or only revered by me and a small group of other like-minded individuals or are unlikely to be alarmed by my behavior, like Ann Patchett, or Prince Philip of Edinburgh (I’m scared to meet QEII, but not Prince Philip, as he seems like a BAMF), I’d rather if they stayed far away. Like 500 feet. Then I can admire them from afar and say I’ve seen them and they never lose their mystique.
And that’s why my list is so specific. I feel like these four individuals are exactly the same in real life as they are in fake life. I won’t be disappointed by meeting them. Dolly Parton’s stage persona is her own personality. She is that warm and good-hearted, I KNOW IT. Michael J. Fox—I love him. Enough said. I’d meet him in a heartbeat. Betty White is America’s Grandma, she’s seen everything and she probably gives good hugs, and smells a little like cinnamon and dogs. NPH would at least probably agree to sign my funny bone, and would sing a duet of “Summer Lovin’” with me. I’m sure I’m missing some other equally genuine famous people, but I don’t want to meet the ones who are like “Oh, it’s such an HONOR for YOU to meet ME.” I want to meet the people who are just normal and kind and help me feel comfortable. Because otherwise I will need medical attention from spazzing out. Like Lauren Graham. I’ll add her to my list. Every time I watch an interview with her, I become convinced that we are meant to be best friends. According to many of my friends, I’m basically Lorelai Gilmore, and since Lauren Graham also seems totally like Lorelai in real life (they even have the same initials!), I think we’d get along.
I’m sure I’m missing some famous people who I’d be okay with meeting, but 97% of the time, I’ll probably want to avoid them. Just so it doesn’t end like this.
Now, I’d meet Meryl Streep, but not Oprah. Oprah is just too intimidating. Meryl seems like she’d have a couple cocktails with you and then tell you some awesome stories. But when it comes down to it, I’m probably happier never meeting anyone famous than meeting anyone famous. That way I can stop carrying around paper bags in case of a panic attack and just be myself. Because that’s the thing I’ve learned from celebrities—just be yourself. Even if your true self is slightly spazzy and prone to dreaming about being NPH’s nanny.
*All use of gifs were inspired by my friend Natalie Babble, who blogs and snarks lovingly at http://alivingcenacle.blogspot.com/.
P.S. If you buy me this t-shirt, I promise to wear it on the days when I think I might meet NPH. http://www.snorgtees.com/t-shirts/wwnphd
P.P.S. I apologize for the solicitation. It won’t happen again. Or if it does, it won’t happen often. Cross my heart and thanks for playing.
Soundtrack for this post: Gotye and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
What is Hannah reading?: The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin; Emma by Jane Austen.