I was peeing at work yesterday and scrolling through instagram, as one does, when I came upon a post by Kylie Jenner. It was a photo of her rich little talons receiving a sparkly manicure.
Tuesday. About 1 p.m. “it’s about that time again”Although I needed to stand up and return to my long to-do list I couldn’t help but linger and revel in my envy for a moment. Does she realize, I asked the bathroom tiles, how vastly different her life is from the rest of the world?
I’m far from facing financial hardship or really any hardship in general. For that I often feel a profound sense of gratitude and even a calling to help those less privileged than me. But sometimes? Sometimes I’m peeing and stressing about the hours of office work I have to complete in a given week in order to pay my bills and a photo of Kylie Jenner’s afternoon claw catapults me into a less noble corner of my brain.
Sometimes I luxuriate in my metaphorical riches and other times I’m a pathetic little balloon, exhaling all perspective, deflated that so many of my dreams feel far away because I can’t financially risk them.
Sometimes I just want to get a manicure on a Tuesday, super casually.I returned to my desk but the question lingered. Could Kylie Jenner, one who found her fame purely through nepotism and narcissism, possibly fathom the extent of hardship she’s dodged? I understand there are universal human struggles, but we’re dealing with an iceberg here.
“Do you think?” I asked Austin later. “No way. Are you kidding me?” Okay okay. I liked his confidence.
On my way home from work that day I was reading a celebrity interview and the journalist lobbed a classic. “If you weren’t a _______, what would you be doing?”
My love for this questions is old; I remember gobbling up the answers in teen magazines as a kid, jumping at the chance to imagine these people as normal. Like me maybe?
But they always disappointed me. Most famous people are too removed from normal life to even conceptualize the experience of, let alone imagine themselves in, say, a sales role for a SMB tech marketing company in Phoenix. Maybe I’m generalizing and not giving celebrities enough credit, but they don’t need me or it, so I can live with that.
“I’d be a painter. I love to paint.”
I turned a couple commuters’ heads with my joyful scoff. Right on the money. Straight off a kindergarten DREAMS poster or list of barbie careers. The consistency of these kinds of answers is hilarious, precious, and a little scary.
Of course you would be a painter!
Later that night Austin and I were watching Mr. Robot, an entertaining hacker show that rips so blatantly off of Dexter I almost feel guilty watching it. The scene was of a board meeting wherein a couple of main characters were sharing some information with their directors.
The scene played out the same way most TV scenes do, that is to say: of another world that we’ve all accepted and recognize but which is mostly nothing like the one we live in.
I laughed imagining all these actors shaking out their limbs, getting into the right headspace to play #businessmen and #businesswomen with no experience to draw from aside from other movies about the workplace.
Art imitating art imitating some convoluted version of life?Perhaps this is why I’m so drawn to shows and movies with realistic dialogue. Awkward silences and interruptions and circular conversations on screen are to be treasured like the rare and special gems they are. But I won’t hold my breath.
I want to believe celebrities are ~just like us~ as much as the next person. I really do. But I’m beginning to think this inclination of mine — to place normal human logic onto famous people and compare myself to them — is futile and depressing. Perhaps I’m better off scooping them into my alien bucket along with people who like Rush Limbaugh and calling it day.
Then maybe I won’t waste so much brain space on a Tuesday. Because really, my nails are conveniently short and bare and I have a lot to get done.