Role Reversal

The last time I went to Live With Regis and Kelly, two of the young actors from All My Children were in the audience. (In case you’re an AMC fan, they were Maggie/Frankie and the “new” JR.) After the show, I walked down Columbus Avenue to catch the 1/2 (I still think of it as the 1/9 though, because I’m now an old veteran, since I’ve been here before “9/11”, when it was still the 1/9) (what is this — “Fun With Fractions”?), and I was right behind the two of them. They were joking around, acting like the krazy kidz I’m sure they are, and about a block away from the studio, “JR” turned to leave. That left me on the sidewalk right behind Maggie.

The way I gawked at the back of her head (her hair actually looked a little greezy), you would’ve thought I was sharing a sidewalk with Sarah (or maybe even Sandra) Bernhardt. Of course, the first thing I had to do was compare her, size-wise, to me. She’s shorter, I noted with a touch of superiority, and probably a touch thinner, I realized with swift hatred, but then again, that’s probably an illusion because she’s shorter. Thus satisfied that the short, slender actress and I were really of the same size, I was free to note/gloat that she was wearing a ton of makeup that she certainly “needed”, while I, of course, was a natural beauty whose oh so subtle makeup was worn out of desire and not of necessity. Still, her jeans were certainly hipper than mine, her boots snappier (I instantly lamented not wearing a kickier pair), her jacket funkier. But that didn’t stop me from taking advantage of my proximity to her when both of us stopped at a red light a couple of blocks from where she and “JR” had parted ways.

Say something, I goaded myself. Just fucking say something. Don’t just stand there. Say something.

So I kicked myself in the ass with my not-as-groovy boot, turned to my left, tapped her on the shoulder, and said, “I’m so glad you’re back on All My Children!” (In case you don’t watch the show, “Frankie” was killed, the actress was off the show, and then she returned as Frankie’s twin, “Maggie”.) (I’m sorry, but I don’t write the stuff.) I don’t think I “gushed”, but I may have. I do think I was “cool”, though. Even though I may have grinned excessively. She grinned (nice teeth), laughed (cutely), and thanked me (graciously and genuinely) (I think).

So I followed her for about another block and a half, until thankfully she stopped at the entrance of a building to talk to some guys she apparently knew. Otherwise, I’m sure I would have followed her around town like the stalker I was quickly, shamefully and lamely, becoming.

Now what does this have to do with anything? And who the hell cares if I saw a minor actress who is virtually unknown to anyone who hasn’t watched All My Children in the few months since her character was introduced? I mean, hey, it’s not like she’s Tori Spelling or anything.

Well, I began to think how funny it would be if a “celebrity” were to come up to a “normal” (you know what I mean) person, such as, well … ME … and, grinning maniacally, tap me excitedly on the shoulder and breathlessly say something like, “Oh, I just adored you as Word Processor #2 at DiPaolo, Bach & Freeman in 1986! And you were riveting in your three-week temp position, in 1991, as Relief Receptionist at Margolis & Fine!” And then that celebrity would follow me around town, taking note of the cut of my jeans, the swing of my hair, the heels of my boots, the size of my hips (slim, and oh so trim!), and what I bought at the convenience store (just a bottle of Evian, thank you). And then go to the studio, and, while in the makeup chair, sipping her Evian, rethinking the cut of her jeans and the hipness of her boots, grab the arm of her co-star in the adjacent chair, and say, “You’ll never guess who I saw on the street today!!!”

And then the co-star would ask what I was wearing, where I was going, if I was half as gorgeous in person as I looked on TV …

… and at the end of the day, when we’d all be lying in our beds, worrying about tomorrow and what to wear, maybe one of us would realize that the next day we’d all still be just a bunch of ridiculous girls in jeans and boots, walking down the same city sidewalks.