A very common phenomenon

Tony Curtis talking to a lot of people he doesn't know. Washington DC, February 2007. U.S. Navy image in the public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Tony Curtis talking to a lot of people he doesn’t know. Washington DC, February 2007.
U.S. Navy image in the public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

“[Fame is] like having Alzheimer’s Disease. You don’t know anybody, but they all know you.”Tony Curtis

“Being a star has made it possible for me to get insulted in places where the average Negro could never hope to be insulted.”Sammy Davis Jr.

“Everyone wants to be Cary Grant. Even I want to be Cary Grant.”Cary Grant

“With fame I become more and more stupid, which of course is a very common phenomenon.”Albert Einstein

This post is for everyone who has ever felt overlooked or under-appreciated.  I suspect that includes most of us.  Today we hear directly from those who have been there and know: fame isn’t always as wonderful as it may appear to be.

If you’re reading this blog, it almost certainly means you aren’t famous.  Today, I encourage you to join me in celebrating our (relative) anonymity.  Though social media and ever-intrusive forms of surveillance have seriously compromised the privacy we once took for granted, we can still go to the grocery store without being mobbed for autographs or castigated for our political views.  As celebrities might be quick to tell you, that’s something for which to be thankful.

Go ahead — have as many bad hair days as you like, wear your most comfortable clothing, and ditch the self-conscious worries about what people are going to think of you.  Unless you have someone nearby snapping cell phone photos and posting them to Instagram, no one is likely to notice.  Besides, even the people you may see face to face probably are looking more at their smart phones or portable devices than they are looking at you.  In a weird way, the digital revolution may actually give some of us MORE privacy than we had before.

So dress for less stress, and I’ll see you at Kohl’s or Cracker Barrel or Target.  But you might not recognize me.  I would never post a photo online that shows what I actually look like most of the time! 😀

One year ago today:

Awareness of an audience



  1. Lol, See you at Kohl’s :o)

    • Hee-hee – I’ll be at the women’s clearance rack! Or maybe in the shoe department. 😀

  2. HarryS

    Gee,I would bet a plugged nickel that I would know you anywhere, anytime.

    • Harry, you just might. I’ve been told that a fast-talking thick southern accent is relatively rare, so it might be a dead giveaway. If you hear someone chatting on like a 33 rpm record set on 45, that would be me. I’m assuming you are old enough to understand that reference. I can talk almost as fast as I type — I mean, keyboard.

  3. Haha ha! That’s good! And true – I can just ignore the crowds, and they’ll ignore me. Ah, blissful anonymity!

    • Don’t you love it? If it’s sunny you can wear your sunglasses to be even more incognito.

      • Oh, that’s priceless! So no one will know that they don’t recognize me! I’m laughing – I’m going to remember that, next time I put on my sunglasses!

        • Plus I’ve noticed that I look about 10 years younger in sunglasses, hee-hee! Seriously, I read years ago that wearing good (broad spectrum UV blocking) sunglasses EVERY TIME one goes outside can help prevent cataracts. I found that I got fewer headaches when I started wearing them. Oddly enough, I lived in California, Texas and Hawaii and never wore them regularly, but I’m hooked on them now. Maybe it’s the vanity. 😀

  4. singleseatfighterpilot

    And while you are enjoying that digital age privacy, don’t run over that pedestrian that is about to step off the curb, right in front of your 30 MPH automobile. (Oh, never mind, he just ran into a light pole, and dropped his smart phone – mean as it sounds, I hope it got broken.)

    • WELL HOW DO YOU LIKE THAT? Just as I was reading your comment, some numbskull almost ran me down as I started to cross the street! I got so upset I ran into a light post and dropped my smart phone! Why don’t these drivers watch where they’re going? Pedestrians have the right of way! JUST KIDDING, I don’t even have a smart phone, but my MP3 player can be just as dangerous sometimes. I do hope the pedestrian’s smart phone didn’t break. I already feel sorry for that person because he/she probably gets honked at a lot. I should know!

  5. Creative thought

    • Thank you!

  6. Anonymity is not necessarily a draw back. It has to be comforting to know you are not always under the world’s watchful eye. Especially as clouded as that eye is. How can anyone be honestly judged; by those living in glass houses.
    Yet, we can be famous and heros to those who matter the most. Our picture may not grace the cover of time magazine, but does hold a place of honor on someone’s refrigerator.
    It truly matters not what anyone thinks of us; except for one. For many, what matters, is what they think of themselves. Unfortunately, for the fewer, what matters, is what God thinks of them.

    • Alan, I suppose the best possible scenario would be if we could somehow see ourselves through God’s eyes. We would feel more humble, but also more loved. A great combination. I love your observation about having a place of honor on someone’s refrigerator! Last year after my blog anniversary party, one of the readers who requested a fridge magnet was kind enough to send me a few treasured things, including a photo of the magnet I made for her as it looks on her fridge, complete with photos of her adorable grandchildren. It made my day! (Thank you Pat!)

  7. Julia, I can’t imagine that level of “always on” that celebrities have to contend with. I really like to put my make up on everyday and fix my hair but I do these minimal details for ME! I’ve had a bad hair summer but I’m the only one that noticed. This summer humidity has given me more “scare-do” days than I care to remember. 🙂 See you at Books A Million!
    Love, Sheila

    • I’ll be prowling the shelves in either the literature or history or craft or reference sections, if not the sale books. You might have to look extra close since I’m sometimes sitting on the floor to look at the lowest shelves. I love that term “scare-do” – I had never heard it! I’ll bet it’s been said a lot behind my back, though! 😀 Someday I may go back to wearing makeup on weekdays but for several years now it’s been a Sunday-only thing for me. I love it but just can’t seem to make the time. I run at VERY slow speed in the morning.

      • Just keep in mind that MORNING lasts until 11:59. Heehee! 🙂

        • Hey, I never thought of it that way. Although you wouldn’t know that by how slow I get started sometimes. Especially on Saturdays!

  8. LOL! I don’t think I could dress down much more. I live in jeans & t-shirts and it’s been so long I’ve forgotten how to dress up.

    • No wonder I always have such a relaxing time when I go on those virtual walks with you and Jez and Max! You clearly know how to enjoy life! 😀

  9. raynard

    Julia, I’ll see you in Cracker Barrel before I see you in ” TarJey” I have a co worker who lives by me saying” I see you all the time’. I dont look for people anymore but ” dont drive straight ahead with my nailed imbedded in the steering wheel either lol. be blessed

    • Raynard, if it’s winter time, look for me to be as close as possible to the fireplace at Cracker Barrel. I just love those big stone hearths. 😀

  10. This is something I am grateful for – not being a celebrity. 🙂 Each time one of them takes his/her life we feel grateful though just for a while. But still fame is so irresistible.

    • Anne Lamott said fame is like a drug, and I believe her. It can be so destructive to happiness, and yet people are drawn to it as moths to the flame. I would love to have the “perks” of fame but I don’t think the trade-off would be worth it. My hope is that the advances of technology, being able to connect to others via the world of social media and other digital venues, will give people the chance to connect to each other in an interactive way, rather than passively watching celebrities and getting more interested in their lives than we are in the lives of those around us.

  11. Carlyle

    This one is priceless!!!

    • Thank you Daddy! I’m so happy you liked it. I really enjoyed and appreciated those quotes, so I hope others did too.

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