Walking down (up? over?) Bleeker Street on Tuesday, Kent nudges me and hisses, “…felicity…” I look up and see Keri Russell walking towards us, as beautiful as anyone I’ve ever seen before. Kent, my adoring husband, is nearly dumbstruck. We are outside the Marc Jacobs store, and I window shop for handbags while he catches his breath. “She is. Really pretty…” he finally says. Yup, great, thanks, now buy me a cupcake, I respond.
Remember when we saw Felicity? he asks later. Yes, I remember. “She was so…pretty…” he says again. I nod. “Not as pretty as you, baby you’re the prettiest, Iloveyouandyou’rebeautifulisaidiloveyoubest…” Kent, I say…Sweetheart…it’s okay. Felicity is really, really pretty. It doesn’t hurt my feelings to hear you say it… “I know, I know, I just wanted to make sure you knew that I think you’re pretty too…” ENOUGH! I interrupted; just get me another damn cupcake.
I have as much insecurity as the next person, more depending how the next person feels about her hair on any given day, but one thing that has never bothered me is hearing my husband talk about his favorite female celebrities. (Please note that I object STRONGLY to him discussing whether or not he finds my own friends hot. Real people – keep it to yourself, buddy.) I know he has a wicked case of the hots for Uma, and has ever since she took John Travolta dancing, and I know he would trip over his own feet if Catherine Zeta-J0nes ever walked past him. I can deal with that, no problem. It’s not exactly a laminated list, but I know Kent’s taste, and he knows that if Mark Ruffalo knocked on my door, I might just have to take my top off and throw myself at him.
So at a few recent holiday parties, I had no problem joining in discussions about Who’s Hot and Who’s Not (Lindsey L0han? Still hot among the men, coke habit and all). My friend Pastry seemed inclined to squeal and shriek and protest when her fiancé admitted to liking pretty much anyone, but I can nod along and talk about how hot I find Scar1ett J0hansen or how beautiful Natalie P0rtman is (because duh, she is stunning and I think most men in America either want to fuck her or take care of her, probably both after seeing Closer), but suddenly, words were coming out of my husband’s mouth that I had never heard before. Words like, “…Alicia Keys…” and “…Rosario Dawson…” Wait, what?? I asked him. You think Alicia Key is hot? He nodded, “Oh, definitely.” Beck’s husband Dan concurred. But she’s like, young, and has cornrows…I said. Kent shrugged. “Girl is hot.” And Rosario Dawson? I can’t even think of a movie we’ve seen with Rosario Dawson in it. He may have seen her on Celebrity Poker Bullshit, but his taste in women (UMA! Julianne Moore!) seems to be changing. Oh, and Maggie Gyllenhall, he added. WAIT A DAMN MINUTE, I said, because it seems like these celebrities are all DANGEROUSLY CLOSE to being real people. And it is FINE to talk about SuperHot Celebs (George Clooney! Benjamin Bratt! Naomi Watts! Clive Owen!), but no, no, NO you are not supposed to find the indie-imperfect-ride-the-subway-like-you-and-me types hot. NO NO NO!
One of the great and terrible things about New York is that at any given point, a celebrity can actually appear as a real person, trying on jeans or buying a book or hailing a cab or walking along Bleeker Street. And as much as I love a good celebrity-spotting (I looovvve it!), I prefer my celebs to be Bigger Than Life and the “real people” to be less attractive than me in my husband’s eyes. None of this, “She wasn’t wearing makeup or anything but was just so beautiful and real,” crap, not from my husband’s mouth. I want Brad-n-Jen all dressed up and golden, and I want Ha11e Berry to have terrible skin if you saw her up close. Keri Russell, incidentally, has flawless skin.
(Okay, I have to interrupt to say that since the last paragraph, which – let’s be honest - was going nowhere fast, I left the computer and the apartment, even, and went with my husband to have lunch in SoHo. And after we ordered, I looked up and realized that Alan Rickman was at the next table. I motioned to Kent to move closer, and whispered that “Alan Rickman is right behind you…” to which he responded with a blank look. “The bad guy. From Die Hard. Is behind you,” I said, and his eyebrows rose in appreciation and recognition while in my head I just kept thinking SNAPESNAPESNAPE! and wanting to hear him say “Mr. Potter,” because I am a pop culture dork.)
So let me return to my previous (weak) point…that celebrities are regular people, blah blah blah, they shop at Sephora too, yadda yadda yadda, and it’s one thing to admire the on-screen beauty of an Oscar winner and another to catch your husband ogling her while she tries on shoes, self esteem blabbity bloo blah blee, Felicity. Pretend the previous paragraphs made sense and move on.
Let’s forget where I was going with this entry and take it in another, much more IMPORTANT, direction. Which is to say that: I only saw Felicity because I was Not Working, and HELLO! Not working is the greatest thing ever! EVER! I love not working. I love it so much that I am wondering if there is any way to take maternity leave without actually having a child. Not working is fabulous, and every morning, as I keep my pajama pants on for as long as I damn well please, I look around my apartment and think, MAYN, I love Not Working!
I start my new job a week from Monday and I left my old job on New Year’s Eve, which essentially gives me 16 days of Not Working, and it has been so great! When you don’t work (but know that in the future you will have paychecks again, a crucial point), you can have long lunches at fancy restaurants with cocktails and dessert and espresso and then you can walk around downtown and see celebrities and pretend like you have enough money and time to try on every single shoe at the Barneys Co-Op store, and if you want to see a movie at 4:00 in the afternoon, you totally can, and you will have no problem getting a good seat. I have one friend who doesn’t work, and I used to sometimes wonder if I would like that or not. Well, the answer is YES, I WOULD LIKE IT A LOT and No, I would not get bored and depressed. I would be happy. And healthy! Because when I am Not Working, it is easy to find time to exercise, because I can do it at 11:00 a.m. or 3:00 p.m. or 6:00 p.m. or not at all, and in between exercising or not exercising, I can brew more coffee and check my email every three minutes and I can take a NAP, even! Not Working is really quite ideal, and clearly, others have discovered this, because everywhere Kent and I have gone (he is Not Working and also Not In School due to winter break), there are lots and lots of people, none of whom appear to be rushing back to work. Ever. And they don’t look bored or depressed. They look happy. They look like they also love Not Working. The West Village is full of people Not Working, and they don’t look too worried about it.
Since my tenure of Not Working began, I have spotted three celebrities, bought one pair of boots, eaten at Babbo, Otto Enoteca, Blue Ribbon Bakery and Balthazar, seen two movies, taken the dog running twice, done three loads of laundry, read one book, planned one bridal shower and hunted for gold shoes at four vintage shops on the Lower East Side. It’s been a very productive 6 days. Not Working frees me up so that I can take care of all the crap that had gotten pushed aside by…Working. Tomorrow Kent and I are flying to California to visit my family, something hard to do when we are Working. And when we come back to New York next week? A whole week of Not Working before I have to start my proper grown-up Corporate Job, which I’m pretty sure will require me to get up before 9:30. Do you know what doesn’t require me to be up by 9:30? Yup, Not Working.
Next week will be a busy one: I’m planning on getting a massage AND seeing a movie. Oh, and haunting the streets of the West Village, looking for more celebrities.