notquiteold

Nancy Roman

She’s Back

One year ago I attended a party and met a woman who truly fascinated me. Or at least, her ego fascinated me.

I had described her as “celebrity-lite.” She is a minor (very minor) TV personality on one of the local daytime talk shows.But she wore her negligible fame like a twenty-carat tiara. I was actually impressed – not by her meager stardom, but how amazingly high she carried it.

I mean, I am really proud to have written a book. And if the opportunity arises, (any small opportunity –  any teeny-weeny opportunity, I admit it), I certainly jump at the occasion to mention it. (with trumpet flourish). But my boasting pales in comparison to her grandiosity. I have a lot to learn in the Conceit department.

And I had another lesson last week.

I went to the same party and once again, Celebrity-Lite made a grand entrance.

Like last year, she brought a change of clothes. Several actually, so she could get more than one round of compliments, I suppose. I could be kind though, and say she wasn’t sure what the weather would be like. But honestly, both her outfits (or maybe more than “both” – I only saw two) were lightweight summer party outfits (“breezy”, I’m sure she calls them) – and both her swimsuits were…well…swimsuits. It’s not like one was for July and one was for an arctic swim.

I envied her the luxury of having a selection though. My husband and I had a different event to attend in the morning, and the morning weather was chilly and drizzly. And though the weatherman called for clearing skies, I am not one to put much stock in a forecast. When I see rain, I usually think “It’s raining.” I’m stubborn that way.

So anyway, I had dressed in faded jeans and a long-sleeved gray baseball tee. I looked very casually cute, but not exactly ready for a swim. My husband had packed a bathing suit, and told me I was being really dumb not to bring mine – the hosts have a marvelous pool – but for some stupid reason (relating to my goosebumps) I didn’t bother.

During our morning event, I was fine in my “more autumn than summer” outfit. But as we left and drove to the afternoon party, the sun came out. Those damn weathermen – they only get it right about 1.7% of the time, and this was the day.

The air steamed up, as we arrived at the party. Now it was sunny – and hot – and humid.

Not too bad at first. I’m the type of person who likes being warm. But given an hour or so in the sun, I began to wilt in the heat.

We played bocce. Guess who I drew as an opponent?

The sundressed starlet versus the overheated (but stylish) unknown author. And that unknown author had never played bocce before. Starlet had her own balls. Yes, she has a remarkable set of balls. I managed, though the sweat was puddling in every crevice of my body, to score 2 points to her 12, (Our husbands also played, but that’s immaterial.)

Pool time. Most everyone changed into their swimsuits. Except of course, the morons who thought it would be too cold to swim.

I rolled up my jeans – about 3 inches – which is as far as you can go in skinny jeans, and sat by the edge of the pool with my feet dangling in the water and my jeans slowly soaking up another six inches or so. But it was cooling, and I felt a bit better.

And Celebrity – now holding court in her swimsuit – came up to me and generously offered me a change of clothes.

“I have another outfit. Very lightweight loose pants. I’m not going to wear them after all, and they would be a lot cooler than your jeans.”

“Oh, thanks,” I said. “I really appreciate it, but I’m feeling okay now.”

And then she said:

“You should try them. Really. They have a very stretchy waist. So they might fit you.”

I was speechless.

I wish now (of course) that I had taken those goddamn pants into the bathroom, waited three minutes, and brought them back, with the (loud) comment: “Oh it’s a shame, but they are just HUGE.”

But you know the nicest thing about being a writer rather than a celebrity?

Revenge.

anne lamott

52 Comments

  1. Deb

    Ugh. I do not, as a routine, like those types of people very much.

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  2. You should have tripped her and pushed her into the pool…then said, “Oh, my… I’m sooooo sorry…”

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  3. These are the kinds of stories that absolutely MUST make it into one of your novels. These sorts of people NEED to be written about!

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  4. Chris

    You should really thank her – for giving you inspiration and material

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    • Yes, unpleasant people can be a good source for material.

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  5. Oh my goodness! Who are these people?!

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    • There is an endless supply. My father always warned me to beware of people with just a little bit of power. Because those are the ones who can’t wait to use it.

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  6. Oh dear …

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    • That’s EXACTLY what my mother said when I told her this story. (and “oh dear” is wicked swearing for her!)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sadly, my language is far saltier!

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  7. What a witch! Shew, next time elbow her into the pool or into a freshly manured patch!

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  8. A writer can have his revenge (thinks Paul Bettany’s ‘Chaucer’ in a Knight’s Tale deleting slimy characters from history) and you can always do things on paper that you’d never dream of doing for real!.

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  9. You had me at “Celebrity-Lite.”

    She sounds dreadful … and reminds me of a former neighbor of ours in Texas. A New Jersey girl, very pretty, big dramatic wardrobe, always out-doing everyone. Invited us to a BBQ described as “casual” and kids were included. We arrive in tees, shorts and flip flops, she’s dressed like someone out of “Mad Men” — you get the picture. At the time that really ticked me off but looking back, I can still hear her insecurities screaming ….

    This woman definitely belongs in your next book 🙂

    MJ

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    • Making a wardrobe change in the middle of a picnic is just plain weird.

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  10. Love Anne Lamott and that quote is perfect for Ms Celebrity-Lite. Sounds like a woman who needs a lot of outside attention to feel good about herself. You, on the other hand, know you rock and can write your revenge post without having to brag about it. 🙂

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    • I like to brag as much as the next person. I just try not to do it at the expense of the next person.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Meow! Wished you had made the huge comment or maybe posted an unflattering picture of her rear end…

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    • The craziest part – (not to be even more boastful than her, but hell, why not?) – the skinny jeans I was wearing were a size six.

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      • Love it, that lady sounds like she has a big butt, or maybe she is a big butt.

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  12. You comment about her “having her own balls” was tongue and cheek, right? I’m surprised she didn’t travel with her hairdresser and makeup artist.

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    • She did possess her own set of bocce balls. And other ‘balls’ as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Thanks for starting off my day this way. Beautifully written.

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    • Thanks… it’s been thirteen days and I am still seething over “stretchy waist.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • If you end up entertaining her at your house some day and she asks where the lady’s room is you can direct her to its location and say, “And don’t worry, I’ve blacked out the mirrors for your viewing comfort.”

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Dana

    Are there “wild pitches” in Bocce? You could have beaned her! 😉

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  15. Ha! I love that you know just how to get your revenge on that twit.

    There’s a reality show called “Botched” that I like to watch. It’s about plastic surgery gone wrong. On one episode a young lady I had never before seen wanted her obviously-worked-on lips reworked-on for maximum plumpage. She said several times something about being a celebrity, being famous, being in the public eye, and how she had to look her best. I thought maybe she was a Broadway actress and my not recognizing her just showed my own lack of culture.

    Turns out she snagged her 15 minutes of fame a couple of years ago by parading her dirty laundry on a sad reality show about unmarried 16-year-olds who get pregnant. Jeesh! Some people, eh?

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    • Those fifteen minutes of fame probably have more star value than a local daytime chat show. By the way, my mother tells me that she comes across as very passive-aggressive insulting on TV too. I’ve never seen her on TV, but my mother is a very credible witness.

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  16. Wow, talk about hoity toity. Your husband is a genius, by the way. I’m wondering if this lady is ever seen in the same clothes twice? I can’t think of anything else to say besides she just doesn’t sound like a nice person and I’m positive she would bore me to tears if I ever had to have a conversation with her.

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    • And she kept walking up to the bocce balls to point out that hers was closer. Yeah, thanks. I can see that.

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      • Well thank goodness she was there to point that out for you.

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  17. Surprised she didn’t bring her own pool.

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  18. I am not good with witty rejoinders but I know you will come up with something for the next time you see this ridiculous human being.

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  19. Great! Too bad you can’t send her the post. Or maybe you can, if you don’t care that she’ll know where it came from!

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  20. That little picture is one of my favourites and I keep it on my desk top for just such an occasion. I believe you found the perfect one.

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  21. Who is she? Never heard of her. And sometimes, revenge is best served boiling hot rather than refrigerated.

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  22. She’s so vain, she probably thinks this post is about her.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Had she been a Texan she would have worn a tiara, just sayin’. She needs to be written about, the problem is she would not recognize herself.

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  24. Things you think to say after the event (1) ‘Sorry, but my skin reacts badly to mass produced

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  25. Celebrity -lite ( what a great phrase) – she was a pageant girl, right? Sounds like it that where she got her practice for “Lording over all” (as some would say), costume changes, and “see how helpful I am” suggestions/remarks.
    Tripping her into the pool is too cliche…maybe a remark like once she changed outfits, “Oh, glad you changed outfits. The other one had that odd brown spot on the seat, sat on some chocolate, perhaps? – never mind the cleaners can work wonders” / “Oh, whew, you finally realized that last one once stretched to fit was a tad, well…like those recalled Lululemon yoga pants.”
    Lovely fodder for writing indeed.

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  26. She sounds terribly draining! Fake people are always tiring to be around (pity they don’t realise it though).

    I love that quote at the end!!

    Like

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