I reached for an US magazine on the table in the customer lounge of my Ford Dealership. The lounge—they make it sound as if there is a bartender on duty offering Apple Martinis as a way to relieve my tension as I wait to find out how much my car repair will be. The truth about the lounge is that it is a small room which was probably once a closet. The décor resembles bus station bathroom chic, but it does have Wi-Fi and a big screen TV and oodles of magazines that range from supermarket tabloids to news publications. I know I could have opted for reading material that offered some brain stimulation, but I went straight for tabloid trash.
My philosophy of life is this: if I have to fritter away hours of my day in a waiting room or lounge while someone prepares to do something unpleasant to me or my vehicles, I want to read trash. I want my brain to melt into one gooey mess so that when they tell me I need a root canal or a new transmission, I won’t retain the information and embarrass myself as I cry out in pain.
I selected two of the most recent US issues that—believe it or not—were from 2013. Usually, in waiting rooms and customer lounges, the magazines are at least two years old which is fun because then I can play backwards psychic. I can look at the stories of celebrities and say, “I could have told you your career was spiraling out of control.” Or “Watch out, she’s dumping you for her newest co-star next year. Too bad you look so happy here.”
US Magazine has a regular feature in their issues called “They’re Just Like Us”, and in this featured section, the reader is treated to two to three pages of celebrities doing things that we “normal” peons do. For instance, there were photos of Jennifer Garner grocery shopping and Sarah Jessica Parker putting on her kid’s shoes.
Apparently, knowing rich and famous people do the same stuff we do makes us admire them even more. As US tells it, stars wear sweat pants, they change their kids’ diapers, and they belch after eating pizza which makes readers say, ‘Aw, they are real! I love them!” If menial activities define stardom, then hand me the Oscar right now. Does US Magazine need proof? I do poop patrol in my backyard daily. Send the paparazzi to snap a few photos of me and watch my meteoric rise to fame because nothing is more “They’re just like us” than hauling around a bag of doggie doo for the cameras.