You don't have to know the slightest thing about me to guess that I'm not a celebrity. (Wait, you HAVEN'T heard of Catherine Donaldson-Evans?? THE Catherine Donaldson-Evans?) I haven't even had my 15 minutes. I'M NOT BITTER, I SWEAR.
But having a baby changed all that. Suddenly, when I go out, heads turn as we walk down the street. People buzz around me like flies. Smiles from strangers are as plentiful as pennies. And there's just a lovely, happy aura all around. It's almost ... magical.
It has nothing to do with me, of course. It's all about my 1-year-old daughter. Here are 7 ways going out with my baby is like being with a celebrity:
1. Random strangers get giddy and googly-eyed around us. I seriously feel like I'm walking around with Robert Pattinson or Kim Kardashian when I'm with the baby. People make eyes at her, giggle like schoolgirls, and generally turn into sappy messes. It doesn't hurt that she has these big, beautiful blue eyes, makes cute faces, and says "hi" in a tiny little-girl voice to everyone. My husband and I once witnessed two skinhead types melting into twittering, cooing piles of goo when she smiled and babbled at them on the train.
2. Random strangers talk to us. I've always been a friendly sort. But now? It's like a steady stream of chitchat with people I don't know when I'm out with my daughter. "She has such big eyes!" "How old is she?" "What's her name?" "She looks like you!" Sometimes I'm ignored and they talk only to her. I now have an inkling of how Beyonce -- or her bodyguard -- must feel.
3. Random strangers shower us with compliments. All the raving makes me feel like I'm with Kate Middleton. "You're a beauty!" "What an angel!" "You're so smart!" Just once, though, it would be nice to get a compliment thrown my way. I mean, doesn't my hair look good today?
4. Random strangers bend over backwards to help us. This mainly happens when I have to get the stroller up the subway stairs. But even petite women cheerily offer to help, only to be huffing and puffing and visibly pained in the process. The other day, one such woman took on the task and, seeing us struggling, a third person -- a man -- stepped in. My daughter = the Pied Piper.
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5. Random store owners give us things ... for free. Everyone talks about how much money babies cost, but they can save you a bundle too with all the stuff you get for nothing from charmed shop keepers. Extra drinks, comped desserts, pastries on the house, little toys, candy -- you name it. Babies = swag.
6. I've become the invisible, non-famous friend. You know when a star is with some nobody and the paparazzi ask that nobody to step aside while they snap photos because who wants a no-name in a perfectly good shot? That nobody is now me. I might as well not exist when I'm out with my baby girl.
7. Actual celebrities approach us and are reduced to mush. Okay, full disclosure: This only happened once, but it was memorable. While we were on a trip out West, actress Kristen Bell and her fiance Dax Shepard came up to our daughter in a hotel lobby and fawned over her like she was the movie star. Kristen squealed in high-pitched baby talk, "Oh my GOD, you are SOOO CUUUTE!" Shortly after that, she got pregnant. Coincidence? I don't think so.
Does your child get treated like a celebrity when you go out?