Sometimes I forget that I live in a special city. After a while, glamorous Manhattan just became HOME. And what does one do at home? You know…boring shit…like having to exchange a sweater that I somehow bought in the wrong size, despite having tried it on in the RIGHT size. THAT was a drag…a mysterious drag, but still a drag.
Therefore, off I went back to Uniglo, hoping the cashmere sale was still on and hoping that they would still have that gorgeous purple turtleneck in the right size. As I rounded the corner from the 6 train to Broadway, I was confronted by a scene out of a movie! Actually seeing a scene being shot for a movie is so commonplace in NYC, I've ceased asking the workers lounging around outside the trailers what's shooting. I just quickly glance to see if someone famous is visible and either take it in or move on. Besides, it's usually just one of the trillion “Law & Order” shows or the latest “Sex and the City” clone.
The entire sidewalk was filled with screaming middle-aged men and most were snapping away like crazy with cameras. Oddly missing were any younger men or any women or any cell phones recording whatever was being photographed. There were rows of these screaming snappers, not neat rows, but more of a huge swarm, nearly spilling out into the street. I asked a younger man who was standing on the parameter of the excitement what was going on and he told me he had no idea, except SOMEONE famous seemed to be in the store.
I walked around the mess and easily entered the store. It was more of the same inside. As I kept away from the men and the flashbulbs, I made my way further inside and was able to finally see the prey: Katie Holmes and Suri Cruise. It was actually quite odd looking at them because they were in the same pose that we always see them in in magazines and newspapers. As usual, Holmes had her daughter cradled in the crook of her arm. The two just stood there like a statue of a Madonna and child. Neither moved an inch. Not even the little one's head moved. Katie just stood there staring straight ahead and Suri just looked to the side. They didn't even have a dear-caught-in-the-headlights look. They were strangely still and calm. Finally, I heard a man yell in an officious voice, “NO CAMERAS ALLOWED IN THE STORE! NO CAMERAS ALLOWED IN THE STORE!” while walking towards the photographers.
The pack slowly retreated, still clicking away. How many shots they needed of EXACTLY the same picture…since Katie and Suri had still not moved at all…was puzzling. Then, as the crowd backed off back onto the street, the mother and child gradually glided deeper into the store. “I hear her husband doesn't treat her well.” I heard a young man say to someone else. He sounded VERY sure of himself, very authoritative, very informed. What a jackass.
It was hilarious. It reminded me of how the women who worked in our home as housekeepers when I was growing up spoke about characters in their beloved soap operas. The entire household would come to a standstill when their “stories” were on TV and then, afterwards, the house would be abuzz with debates and arguments about what they had just watched. The actors were referred to by their characters' names and the staff spoke of these fictitious people as if they were not only REAL, but were as close to them as their own families and friends. I could never comprehend the deep sense of familiarity these soap opera characters invoked in their fans. It was FAR beyond anything I had ever felt about any of my pop star and movie star crushes…and that says a lot.
But, back to Uniglo…
I was on a mission and the mission took me all around the giant store in search of where the turtlenecks had moved since Sunday. I scored my sweater in the basement, plus another few sweaters that had appeared since then. Happily, the price had dropped another $10 from the already discounted ones on Sunday. And to think the signs in the windows that day had screamed “Final Holiday reductions now!” …or something like that. Liars.
I returned to the main floor and all was peaceful. I assumed that Holmes and her toddler had left the building and were probably being trailed down some other street or into some other store by the mob. What a way to live. Then again, at least the MOTHER had chosen this. She knew the baggage that came with her marriage to you-know-who. Maybe not the extent of it, but, certainly, that it was part of the package.
As I got to the checkout, the checkout ladies were still talking about the star sighting.
“Katie Holmes!” One said to another tersely.
The other shook her head.
“You don't know who Katie Holmes is?”
“She's married to Tom Cruise.”
“I know who that is.”
“Well, she's his wife!”
“Never heard of her.”
“She was on that show…”
“'Dawson's Creek'.” Another checkout woman interjected.
“You've never heard of 'Dawson's Creek' either?”
“Well, I never watched that show, but I certainly know who Katie Holmes is.” Added the third checkout woman.
As the lady waiting on me folded and tallied up my purchases, I asked if Holmes was ever able to actually shop. “Oh sure.” The woman said. “She was able to shop. She was just fine.”
Well, thank God! And the above should make anyone who's ever felt slighted despite achieving some degree of notoriety feel a hell of a lot better about themselves. That Katie Holmes should be a total unknown to ANYONE should certainly take the sting out of being rebuffed by some clipboard floozy in front of a club. And, hopefully, should make the slighted finally have the sense to hold their tongue before they utter that immortal question: “DON'T YOU KNOW WHO I AM??????????!!!!!!!!!!!”