I ALMOST became famous yesterday. I was stopped by a journalist from the Evening Standard. Well, my blonde-haired, blue-eyed, skinny-jeaned friend was stopped by a journalist from the Evening Standard. But I was walking a few steps ahead. The journalist – let’s call her Kate – asked my friend for her opinion on the Royal Family and as she indicated to her photographer and his rather impressive DSLR, I stepped closer. Realizing that we were together, Kate turned to me said “oh and your opinion of course!” I was in.
She took my name, my occupation, my age. After stating that I was 27 but “only just”, we engaged in witty banter about the perils of entering your late twenties — “it’s all downhill from here” and so on. Then we got down to business. Kate asked why I think the Royal family are currently so popular.
I said that the photos of their tits and balls in the media help.
Realizing that this journalist was in possession of my identifying personal details, and that she had the power to share my opinion with an audience of thousands of commuter readers including my future husband/employer/landlord, I quickly retracted the statement and redeemed myself with some poignant and insightful observations. I spoke about the uniqueness of the present time whereby in celebrating the Queen’s Jubilee and reflecting on her reign, we are also acknowledging her impending demise. I contrasted the Queen’s frailty with the youth and glamour of ‘power-couple’ Will and Katherine, whose recent marriage not only cemented them in celebrity, but also symbolizes a new chapter in British history.
Scrawling in shorthand and nodding enthusiastically in agreement, Kate finally signaled to her photographer that it was time to capture the face behind this magic. I looked into the camera with a winning smile and with three quick, blinding flashes, we were done. Kate turned her attention to my friend who yabbered something about a merit-based society, while I basked in the afterglow of the camera’s flash. Kate and I exchanged a knowing look, and as we parted ways I called out: “Make me sound intelligent! I’m looking for a job over here!”
At work I was (literally) spinning in my chair with glee at the prospect of my upcoming fame, which only became awkward once when I tried spinning with no hands and almost fell off the chair into my boss’s lap. But I was too elated to care. I daydreamed about the autographs I would sign on my commute home. The double take of the dashing young man sitting opposite me on the tube when, after making flirtatious eye contact, he returns to reading the paper and pauses. He looks at the paper. Now back to me. He looks at the paper. Now back to me. I’m on a horse.*
As 5pm edged painfully closer I got my phone out in preparation for the onslaught of texts from long lost friends and former lovers. Still daydreaming (What page I was on? How many copies should I send my mum? Where does one gain access to a laminator in this city?), it came at 5:15. The first text. I was ready.
“Your friend is in the paper!!”
Needless to say I worked late to miss the rush hour paper frenzy of the London underground. Traveling alone and dejected, I was rather pleased by the sea of papers lining the empty chairs of the tube. Satisfied to see people leave behind what is clearly already yesterday’s news. I even spotted a man using a corner of the paper to wipe his nose. Little wins.
I walked home making no effort to step around any renegade papers on the floor, and looking forward to the warm hug of my apartment and the cheerful smiles of my housemates, where my brush with fame would be a distant memory. And as I opened the door…
“Your friend is in the paper!!”
It’s obviously because I’m not blonde.
*Note: Here I make reference to the advertising genius of Old Spice with ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’, not implying that I’m up for a ride. If you are not familiar with this masterpiece please educate yourself here: