Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Ordinary People

How quickly the blossom fades and falls.
Edges tinged in brown,
trodden by the masses who pass without a glance.

How does the saying go? Better to have been famed and lost, than to never fame at all. No? Whatever, in short, back to the hum-drum life of the nobodies.

It was short, but it was sweet. That extra table suddenly appearing at the impossibly full restaurant. Magically being whisked to the front of the line at the Prefecture. Having the plumber call just to see if he could stop by and make sure everything was in good working order. The salesperson cheerfully and diligently searching the remaining stock of shorts to find your size.


But wouldn't it be nice to be truly famous in France? They love celebrities in France. I remember a French comic making a comment about how the French love equality and privilege. The line brought down the house, but being a newbie at the time, it flew right by me. Young(er), naïve, and virtually French-language-less.

Now it is so obvious, and humorous. Especially when ultra-rich Americans come to France and become indignant that they don't get special treatment. And you have to explain to them that no, it has nothing to do with you being gay, it has nothing to do with you being Jewish, it has nothing to do with you being black, (or oddly enough, all three at the same time). But... you aren't famous. Otherwise they don't care what you are, and especially, they don't care how much money you have. The restaurant closes at 2:30 for everyone... ah, unless, perhaps, if you are a celebrity. With celebrity comes privilege.

But even there, there can be a catch. Not just any celebrity. Discreet, humble, tasteful celebrities have the best chance at that impossible table popping up in the restaurant. A little too flashy, a little too arrogant, and back to the back of the line. (No snide comments about arrogance, we all have our weak points.)

It certainly doesn't hurt to be a Madonna or a George Cloony, but the ultimate spot of privilege in France is reserved for those rare few who are cultured, (tastefully dressed and well read) and famous, but poor. The magic combination. You can still claim to be one of the people.

We've got the poor part down pat. Now we just have to figure out how to get real celebrity status, scrounge up some cool clothes and memorize the names of a bunch of French authors.

2 comments:

Here, There, Elsewhere... and more said...

Soo true... love this post, like the tone of your blog - i'll be back..:)

NewWrldYankee said...

Can you give an example? Who is famous, cultured and poor? Other than you last week, of course? The poor, I have, maybe I am halfway to cultured. Famous? Not a chance.