A Brief (and Bittersweet) Brush With Celebrity

I have some quirks. (News to you? Really? Check out just about anything I’ve ever written here…)

One of them is based on my time living in New York City. For a couple of years, I lived in Queens. I would venture into Manhattan periodically. But without fail, every time I ventured into Manhattan, I expected to see a celebrity. Because Manhattan is where the celebrities are…

Surprisingly, I have a pretty good track record when it comes to reinforcing this ridiculous expectation. Today was more of the same. Accompanying The Queen as she shopped for a belt (or jeans- or a bag- or a top- etc, etc, etc) we saw the one and only Steven Van Zandt in a Manhattan store. He seemed in a hurry but was kind enough to smile and acknowledge my brief interruption. (“Excuse me, sir, I’m a huge fan.”)

As I quickly assessed whether I could stretch my luck into a bonus selfie with the aforementioned rock star, actor, and world’s second most iconic consigliere (unsurprisingly, George Hamilton did not place) I was suddenly celebrity-blocked by the woman working the counter at the store. She proclaimed loudly, “A celebrity! A celebrity!”.

Mr. Van Zandt looked mortified. He paid for his purchase and beat a quick retreat out of the store. My opportunity for a celebri-selfie vanished as quickly as it popped up.

[Dear reader: this next bit is intended as a personal note to Mr. Van Zandt. You should stop reading.]

Mr. Van Zandt- please allow me to share what I think must be the same visceral revulsion to the young woman’s exclamation that you felt. I appreciate your acknowledge to my greeting. I can only imagine how frustrating it must be to have a mundane interaction derailed by such a gauche display. (I am referring to her reaction, of course.) Given another time and another circumstance, I’m sure that you would have been enchanted by the wit and plain wisdom in my writing. I’d imagine us collaborating on your next project. It would have been wonderful. But Shop Girl ruined it. Excuse me for a minute…

Dear Shop Girl- you are dead to me. Don’t expect me to autograph this post for you. Well, unless you’re really a fan…


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