Sometimes, I forget that I’m not a celebrity. Every single day of my life, I feel like I’m being chased by the paparazzi. No, I do not mean that I’m über-talented or ridiculously gorgeous or highly gifted or anything like that. Please allow me to explain.
I have lived in the same city my whole life (except for a brief single-gal stint where I lived elsewhere for two years). I spent three years (my very first job, in fact) working at a local sporting goods store and the following almost-decade waiting tables at a restaurant that was about a stone's throw away from that store. I went to school for 13 years within a square mile of both of these jobs. I attend church within that same square mile. Some could say I don’t get out much. All of this means that I can’t go anywhere without running into someone I know.
I have a girlfriend who teases me about this constantly. We’ll walk into a restaurant and I’ll scan my surroundings and choose my seat wisely—in other words, I’ll sit in the most inconspicuous spot where I am least likely to spied by a former customer. Another friend of mine prefers to call this “hiding.”
So every Sunday when I do my grocery shopping, I usually see at least five people I know. And that’s on a slow day! Sometimes (well, not anymore since my child will not take a bottle and I can’t be away from him for more than two hours), I will go to a far-away store just so I can fly under the radar.
Many mornings at the gym, I used to have the same gentleman come stand by my machine, tap me on the shoulder and give me a big toothy grin waiting for some kind of acknowledgement. So I’d have to take off my Beats by Dre headphones, lose my place in the magazine I was trying to read, and break my pace in the middle of my run just to have the same repeated conversation. We don’t work out at the same time anymore, so luckily this doesn’t happen these days.
It’s not that I’m antisocial or unfriendly or anything of the sort. I have great reasons, and they usually fall into the following four categories: a) I look like crap or b) I’m rushing or c) I haven’t seen my friend in awhile and we’re trying to catch up or d) I’m enjoying some much-needed alone time. Most times, it is Option A in combination with one of the other three possibilities.
So next time I see you in public, don’t be offended if I hide from you. Just kidding. :)