Saturday, June 23, 2007

the life of a rock star

I used to think it might be kind of cool to be famous. To have the eyes and ears of everyone in the public. To be too well known to go out without causing a stir. As strange as it may seem, motherhood has changed that for me. I now feel for the stars as they hide behind over-sized shades and baseball caps trying to get a simple errand run, or enjoy a cup of coffee without incident. I have pangs of sympathy as they are busted by the paparazzi without make up, out walking the dog. I cringe when they are photographed in unflattering clothing doing things that every person does, but when done by a star, knocks them down closer to "our level".
Why has motherhood changed my sympathies? Why do I no longer think they should just have to deal with the downside of their own chosen career? I think it boils down to having the slightest taste of their total lack of privacy. Since having children I think I could count on one hand the number of times I have been able to finish a simple task without at least one interruption. It is difficult to find any time to manage basic housekeeping, cooking, internet surfing. Books? No, I don't read much now, unless that reading involves rhyming cats or typing cows. My public won't allow me that distraction.
I can't leave a room without a chorus of tears or desperate "bye bye"s despite my reassurances that I'll be right back. They'll just miss me too much for those few moments I'm away.
In the morning as I get ready for work, my audience tracks my every action. I am followed from room to room as I prepare my coffee, get dressed and put on make up. When I shower I fully expect at least one visit from a "fan" to make sure the bathtub has not turned into some kind of portal to another world. Yes, I'm still here. Wet, naked and soapy, but here. Thanks for checking.
When I use the restroom, the masses crowd the hall, crying and banging on the door until I surrender my privacy in favor of quiet. Well, not real quiet, but a relative quiet that I have learned to appreciate as a mother of two young boys.
It is only at work that I can resume my anonymous life as an average Joe. I can sip my coffee and read my email without sticky little hands working to grab the laptop. I can leave my office and return at my own pace, no one minds when I get lunch or even go to the bathroom. The vibe is different, more adult, unfrenzied by chaotic demands of children.
In the evening, when I return to my adoring masses, I am ready for the adoration. I feel like John Lennon stepping onto the tarmac with his fellow Beatles as soon as I walk in the door at daycare. It is intoxicating, and in a way it is as close to fame as I ever hope to come. Fame on a larger scale has lost its appeal. I'll take my own little fan club over international acclaim any day.


Stephanie said...

We are definitely living the same life. But privacy is overrated, no? A few years from now, we'll be crying on each other's shoulders about having to go to the bathroom all by ourselves.

Well...maybe not.

Mamikaze said...

Ahhhh, it has been 4 plus years since I have gone to the bathroom without having to be sure that other beings were safe. I figure, if they are my potty audience, at least I know they're not tearing up some other part of the house.

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