Living in Los Angeles, you grow accustom to seeing members of the paparazzi occasionally darting about here and there as you go about your daily life. Sometimes they are in big packs, hanging around outside a popular night club. Sometimes it's one stray photographer running madly down the street, steadying his massive camera against his chest, chasing some irresistable target. Once, I saw a swarm of them in Hollywood, taking pictures of Paris and Nikki Hilton getting into a Hummer limo.
And it's always just a teency bit thrilling.
On Sunday, mere hours after the invention of the sauceholder, I was walking down Robertson in West Hollywood, leaving my friend's birthday gathering at The Abbey. Up ahead I spotted the bright lighting and red carpet of some sort of highly publicized, celeb-attended event. It was at an art gallery, and the party must have started much earlier because there was no one standing outside except for a guy with a clipboard and two paparazzi types.
Walking right in front of me was a couple holding hands. I watched as one of the photographers eyed them, trying to discern if they were anyone of note. But they just passed him by and he did nothing.
Then as I got closer to him, his eyes locked on me. His hands reached for the camera hanging around his neck. Without taking his eyes off me he lifted the camera, then hesitated, then just as I was right next to him he lifted it up and FLASH! Instinctively, I tilted my head and smiled, then kept on walking.
At first I thought, "How flattering!" I was mistaken for someone famous! But who? Some seriously misguided strangers and a few friends have told me I sometimes look like Audrina Patridge (and that would be fine if what they meant was my boobs looked like Audrina's).
Even if this guy didn't peg me for a specific celebrity, then I must at least carry myself in a way that suggests I could be seriously important and famous. And to think I hadn't even washed my hair that morning.
But then as I continued the walk to my car, the inevitable self-doubt and paranoia set in. What if he went to a meeting the next day, projecting all of his pics from the event on some big screen, flipping through them one by one in front of 5 or 6 tabloid editors.
Paparazzi Guy: Here we have Eva Mendes, and Russel Brand, Bradley Cooper, aaaaaand then there's this girl. I wasn't sure...is she someone?
Editor 1: Her? Nah.
Editor 2: With that fat face?
Editor 3: And look at that oily hair.
Editor 1: She looks like the kinda girl who'd put marinara sauce in the cupholder of her Ford Focus hatchback.
Paparazzi Guy: Yeah. What was I thinking? She's a loser.
Okay, you're right. Why would this scene ever actually take place? Well, it probably wouldn't (I hope). But you never know.
So I guess what I'm saying is, if anyone sees my face or my torso in a "What Not To Wear" person-on-the-street, tabloid photo ensemble... burn the magazine immediately and don't ever tell me.