My niece Bridgett recently called me a stalker and I beg to differ with her—because a stalker, I am not. What I am, rather who I am, is a person who has no problem showing affection for those I deem simply wonderful.
Yesterday, to prove her point, Bridgett drew a time line from around her eighth or ninth year until now. Year nine she quoted, the ten or eleven Backstreet Boys concerts I dragged her to even though she didn’t enjoy their music. Year twelve, she highlighted my George Clooney fascination. Under thirteen, she pasted a picture of Denzel Washington. Year fourteen was what she called the Year of the Pitt, Brad Pitt. I went back in time to Clooneyland during her fifteenth year. The sixteenth year, the current one, she has decided that I am the skank of all skanks (not sure of what this title entitles me—hopefully a small crown and a sizeable check, but I seriously doubt it) since I spend one half of my free time searching for Star Trek’s Chris Pine movies and the other half looking for any television show or movie that contains NCIS’ Mark Harmon.
After rolling my eyes at her work of art, the sarcastic but ever supportive aunt that I am was quick to inform her that her timeline was poorly done (that’s the teacher in me). It lacked details and accuracy. First of all, it didn’t include the early years, the years before she and her overly analytical mind were ever born. The timeline did not include my ex-husbands, Don Johnson and Tom Selleck (yes, I was both Mrs. Sonny Crockett and Mrs. Thomas Magnum at one time). There was also that small thing with Depp when he was on 21 Jumpstreet. Then let me not forget those remarkable days with Antonio Banderas (talking about that whip, ladies!), Matt Damon, and my attempts to get my groove back with Taye Diggs.
Nevertheless, none of those imaginary relationships, or fantasies if you prefer that term, made me a stalker, and I had to explain all of this to Bridgett. Stalking is such an ugly term, and since there are some serious stalking laws, I can’t just let her go around calling me a stalker. Hence, the huge need for clarification.
So I liked the music of the Backstreet Boys and was a die hard fan; along the way, I never neglected my home and family. My adorable husband, Kurt, even went to several concerts with me. Once I met a lady who had gone to thirty-six Backstreet Boys concerts. This lady stopped paying her bills to go to the shows and even lost her husband. That my dear, I explained to Bridgett, was stalking.
Yes, I own every George Clooney movie ever released and have seen each one at least six times, but who can blame me—George Clooney is hotter than lava and probably the most talented actor in this galaxy.
Yeah, yeah, I went to see the new Star Trek movie seven times, but it would have been a great movie even without Chris Pine. Yeah, I left Atlanta and flew all the way out to Los Angeles to see Chris in Farragut North a few days ago, but hey, Chris Noth (Mr. Big) was in it too). Plus, it was a really great play. I took the husband as well, and surprisingly, he enjoyed the play because it centered on political issues. I imagined the play was about something, but did it really even matter what? Chris Pine stripped down to his boxers for one scene. Do you really think I was listening to the dialogue? Please note here that a stalker would have been arrested at the play for jumping on stage and assaulting Chris Pine. I was in my seat the entire time—thank you very much. There was life after the play too; I didn’t fly all that way for one play. There are theaters in Atlanta, you know. Despite the poor Californian economy, Los Angeles is still the city of dreams and stars, and boy, did I take it all in. What a blast I had!
On and on, I went with explanation after explanation for each year, but Bridgett still persisted in calling me a stalker. Finally, I had to break it down for her—the difference between showing affection and being a stalker. Showing affection meant that you really liked someone; in this case, a celebrity. With affection, you don’t write your favorites on a regular basis (maybe once but only once and not to propose or anything of that crazy nature) and you don’t chase them like you’re paparazzi. If there is a signing or some event open to the public, you might attend just for a sighting, but that is it. You may fantasize about more, but you don’t truly desire more. You may or may not purchase every item related to that person, but not to the extent of neglecting yourself or any of your personal or work relationships. Showing affection is what I do.
Stalking is what I do not do. Stalking (being obsessed beyond belief with someone) requires a great deal of work, and to be honest, I am a lazy heifer. Stalkers follow people around on foot and by car. They climb trees, fences, and whatever stands between them and their obsession. Stalkers also don’t fear going to jail. First of all, I have bad knees (just recently had knee surgery on the left one). Driving? Well, I love to drive, but I hate to buy gas. Unless my favorite celebrity is giving me a gas card, then they can give up on me driving around chasing them. Tree climbing? Remember what I said about the bad knees. I’m almost forty, remember, and I haven’t climbed trees in over thirty years. I’m not sure if my knees still bend. And I have a huge fear of going to jail. In those movies, the toilets are out in the open, and I don’t even like to go when my husband is in the bathroom. I need privacy. Not to mention the fact I don’t want to be anybody’s girlfriend. I’m not opposed to homosexuality, of course (because I’ve seen some very hot chicks—okay, you can add Ellen to my “affection” list), but I’m sure the lesbians in my jail cell would not be of the A-list type and I am heterosexually happy with my spouse.
Stalkers also dig through trash. I don’t even like touching my own trash. Stalkers write dozens, sometimes even hundreds of letters. Have you noticed the price of postage these days? I remember back when you could mail a letter for twenty-five cents. Those were the days. I can’t afford to be a stalker. I have to buy groceries, buy clothes for the kids, take the animals to the vet, and pay bills, things like that.
I also think stalkers must be outgoing people. I believe you would have to be extroverted to follow people around and write them personal notes. Since I’m very shy, I would not be a good stalker. I don’t think I could string two sentences together if I was in front of any of my fantasies.
Even more importantly, I’m not a stalker because even though I enjoy looking at other people’s pictures, I still don’t want to be in them. I’ve never seen a cuter family than my own, and this includes my youngest daughter when she’s dressed liked Pippi Longstocking and my husband when he’s whining about having to shave and get his hair cut. Stalkers always want more. People who show affection, like me, appreciate what we have.