Mourning for a celebrity

With all of the grief surrounding the recent celebrity deaths, it has made me think of an incident that happened to me a few years ago.

I used to work with a woman who was obsessed with People Magazine. She would pour over each week’s issue and revel in the lives and problems of Brittney Spears, Cher, Madonna, etc. You know the type. She lived vicariously through celebrities and would tell anyone who would listen about how she worried about these people.

One day I overheard her talking about how anxious she was about the problems facing Brittney Spear’s younger sister who had recently become pregnant. Now, mind you, I had worked with this woman for over 3 years. We sat beside each other in very small cubicles. And finally I had enough. (Everyone has their limits.)

I turned to her and casually said: “Do you know my sister’s name?”
She stared blankly at me.
Why do you ask? she’s says.
Well, you seem to know everything about Ms. Spears and her family…I was wondering if you knew anything about me and my family?
She admitted, that she did not know my sister’s name.

Childish of me? Of course. And I regretted it.

But I think there is a lesson there. Many times we become overly involved in the lives of those who entertain us, forgetting that there are REAL people in our lives who might also be interesting, and who might actually be interested about us in return.

I will mourn Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Ed McMahon and all the other celebrities who have recently passed away. Each in their own way, touched my life. But they reached out to me from a distance. They did not know me – but I am grateful for their contribution to my life.

But it makes me wonder. Does my doorman have a sister? Maybe I should ask.