Sunday, December 16, 2007

When I was a kid I wanted to be famous. I desired it more than the Hugo: Man of a Thousand Faces doll that I wrote on my Christmas list every year. I imagined that I would do the talk show circuit telling anecdotes about my rise from humble beginnings to my crazy celeberity lifestyle. In my youthful imagination, people speculated about who I bedded and wondered if there would be a sequel to my last critically acclaimed comedy. I had two drivers. My day driver was black and we would talk "black folk" talk while he did the driving that I couldn't do because I had to rest from my busy schedule of personal appearances and product endorsements. My night driver was white (and mostly likely a straight male), in case we got pulled over by the cops. White Driver and I would hardly ever speak except at holidays and on his birthday. My celebrity life meant I was always in the loop. I was a trend setter and bon vivant. I attended the best parties where I was always charming but bored.

Then I grew up. I still want the Hugo doll but I'll take a pass on the fame. Fame, that wonderfully intoxicating drug that feeds the ego of the love-starved the way Old Country Buffet feeds Senior Citizens and families without taste buds. Still, it is an interesting life. The recognition, the stroking, I answered an ad on Craigslist titled, "Want to go to a party in Palm Springs next Saturday?" It was placed by a celebrity photographer. His photos of a blond bombshell grace the labels of a special edition wine named after the certain 50's and 60's sex kitten turned cougar emiritus.

The photographer wanted to meet someone new and take them to the launch party for the wine in Palm Springs. After a series of emails followed by phone conversations and lunch, he chose me to take to a swanky gathering of rich white people in the desert. I would be going to Palm Springs for an adventure and 24 hours away from Los Angeles. I still love LA but you have to step away from it sometimes to keep your sanity.

We took off Saturday late morning and pulled into town in time for a late lunch. After lunch, we strolled down the streets of a place that time forgot. If you don't count the Starbucks. It is quite (or did I mean "quiet") a place. You can see what PS has going for itself here but I can save you the time and tell you the answer is nothing. It does, however, have some hidden and quirky gems including it's residents and great houses. Arguably the hippest and coolest mansion to see in PS is one that they call Leisureland. That is where the launch party was held and that was where I met the certain bombshell sex kitten and a certain Latin singer and guitarist without the hammer he wished for so dearly.

I was urbane and charming in a very cute outfit and I felt for a moment that I was famous. Not as famous as the bombshell sex kitten or hammer wishing Latin singer or even the sexy DJ that played the gig but I still felt electric and special. I suppose I was special by default. I was the only guest (as opposed to hired help) that was under 40 (younger guys did arrive later for the all important after-party). I was the only guest that made less than a 6-figure income. And I was by far the darkest skin guest all night. So, basically, I learned through the evening that being famous is feeling alienated and different from the group and then receiving lots of attention because of your difference. It actually wasn't that bad. Maybe I can handle being famous. Perhaps I should continue my childhood dream. Fame can't be all that bad, can it?

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