"Mommy, because you sell books, does that mean you're famous?" my 5-year-old asked the other day. "No sweetheart." I smiled faintly with a look that said, if I had the energy I'd reach over and pat you affectionately on the head. Then she made a noise that surprised me. A disappointed one. My barely school-aged child was disappointed that her mother isn't famous. Why? Where does our obsession with fame come from (and for heaven's sake, why is the fame bug infecting 5-year-olds)?
I have no desire to be famous and, tbh, I have no clue why people do. I can understand if you're passionate about your craft (whether it be acting, singing, writing, whatever) and your fame is a byproduct of great success, but to crave fame for its own sake? No thanks. I read recently that Jennifer Lawrence regularly calls her mother in tears because she finds it so difficult being in the public eye. No kidding. The idea of life in a fishbowl, millions of eyes pressed to the glass, is wholly unappealing. People slag off the Kardashians and their ilk for being fame whores, but at least they seem to handle the attention exceptionally well. They don't appear to be ticking time bombs or crumbling under the pressure like other celebs. Famous people and rehab go hand-in-hand for a reason. Imagine feeling like you can't have a bad hair day or can't leave the house without full makeup (which I pretty much do every day). Imagine never having a natural facial expression outside of your house for fear of being caught on camera in a grimace or an unflattering pose. It sounds like an invisible prison to me. I'll have my tantrums in complete anonymity, thanks.
So while I hope to sell loads more books in the future, I hope I am never recognized on the street, unless it's by Hugh Dancy (move over, Clare Danes, yee of the Homeland crazy eyes) or any les desirables from the cast of True Blood. In that case, I'll take my chances on being caught laughing with food in my mouth.