Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Celebrity Sighting!! Run Away!!!

'Twas the day before Thanksgiving
And all through the town
Everybody went shopping
At WalMart in Tooele.

Including George Lopez. 

Yep. That George Lopez.

Who was behind me in line (there was an old, oblivious man between us, but still...)

I looked back at him, I admit. I had to confirm for myself that he really was behind me. But I did not stare. What I was severely tempted to do was to crane my neck to see what he was laying on the conveyer belt. But I didn't. I controlled my baser impulses, realizing that he's just a guy. 

My dad's semi-celebrity status when I was growing up (and his serious discomfort with it) has made me always very cautious about celebrities. That and my own personal anxieties involving folks staring and crowds and strangers makes me very uncomfortable in unfamiliar situations. Even when I went to a favorite author's book signing, I was terrified that I didn't know what the proper etiquette was for such an event. My anxiety very nearly kept me home. Not to mention that I grew up being taught good manners-- and they don't get tossed out the window because someone nearby happens to be famous.

So I'm always rather embarrassed by my fellow humans whenever a celebrity is out in public. One man in his 20s yelled across the front of the store to his wife: "Honey! Looky thar! It's George Lopez, the actor! H'yuck!" Okay, okay. Maybe I added the "looky thar" and the "h'yuck", but the rest was all him.

The checker got more and more nervous by the minute, as Walmart employees gathered around and Tooeleans clustered, taking turns asking for autographs and photos. George was very kind and accommodating, he appeared alone (sans posse or family) and didn't seem at all annoyed or bothered. I'm sure he's used to this kind of thing. 

But I was very uncomfortable with the way the local yokels gawked and stared and wouldn't leave him alone. I kept thinking, "Let the poor man buy his 10-items-or-less and be on his way." Of course, it didn't help that my transaction was taking for-e-ver. I started sweating. I get nervous. I may even have a slight anxiety problem. 

I didn't stay. For one thing, I have no camera on my phone or iPod. (Have I mentioned that I NEED an iPhone??? For my blog? For my life? For the world?? I hope Santa's listening.) For another, there were shameless people descending on the poor man in bigger and bigger numbers. I took my 10-items-or-less and hurried out of the store. I hate crowds. I despise shopping in them, and I'm not really a fan of Walmart, so rather than risk a full-fledged panic attack (I've only ever had one. And it wasn't at Walmart. But better safe than sorry.) due to the things I hate most all in one place, I left.

After jokingly saying, "He sure seems patient. I think that would drive me crazy." And one of the toothless lunatics sliding past me to get to George said, "Well, if yur famous..." I guess that sums it up. Well said, sir. "If yur famous." 

To quote (and agree heartily with) my 16-year-old son, "I want to be rich, but I don't want to be famous." 


Shelly said...

Cafe Rio posted on their web site that he was there too! I'm like you, I would have taken my stuff and ran, I hate Walmart!

Chris said...

Pardon me while I lay down after vicariously sharing your experience. Thank goodness I was never THAT famous. But I'm not rich either. Hmm. Tradeoff. And one more thing ... George Lopez? Tooele? Really?

Steph said...

Yes! And the day before Thanksgiving?! Weird...