What would you do?

Imagine for a second that you wanted to buy jeans. Seems like a simple enough process – get in your car, go towards the store, park your car, go in, try some jeans on and check them out, pay and leave. I’m sure many of you have done this. It’s very transferable to any of the many purchases you’ve made. Probably the only time you’ve run into any issues is during the holidays when everyone goes en masse to the malls of their choice.

Now imagine you’re Britney Spears. Yes, Britney Spears. Regardless of how much you pay attention to the tabloids, you KNOW just how much drama she has to deal with. I’m sure every single one of you reading this has a different opinion on Ms. Spears. Some of you might think she deserves all the drama she’s dealing with – it’s part and parcel to the life she wanted, right? Some of you might be indifferent. Some of you might down right LOVE her. I’m asking you all to suspend all of that and put yourself in her shoes for just the next few minutes of reading this post.

Ok, you are now Ms. Spears. You think to yourself, “Hey, I really want some new jeans.” You know that they carry this line almost everywhere now: Macy’s, Nordstrom, etc. What if they don’t have all the choices though? Might as well go to one of Paige’s retail stores. Oooh. There’s one on Robertson, across from the Ivy. Cool. Wait… Last time you went shopping on Robertson (Intermix), you got mobbed a bit. Better bring a friend and security. Alright. Destination, check. Means of transportation, check. Big burly security dude, check. Let’s go.

You get to PPD and it’s fine. Get in the store just like anyone else. As a precaution though, they lower the blinds for the store. Now no one can look in. Heck, they even lock the doors. Cool. Blinds down, doors locked, no one will even know you’re in there. You suppose people can speculate, but you’ll be out of there in NO TIME. Let’s get some jeans!

Sounds pretty simple, right? WRONG. Somehow the word gets out that YOU are inside PPD, thus the lowering of their blinds. One person calls someone.
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They call someone else.
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This someone else calls a bunch of other people.
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You have no idea, but TONS of people have gathered, and they are armed. They don’t have guns or knives, but they have electronic hand cannons – CAMERAS – and they fully plan on using them on you. How do you get out? Easy answer would be to walk out and into the car, but obviously, this is a BIT more complicated now.

So how do you get out? Well, here’s an option: Have building security secretly get your car ready. Have someone call LAPD to be Moses and part the red paparazzi sea. Jump in the car and BOUNCE. That’s exactly what happened. Not one LAPD squad car, but THREE arrived on the scene. That’s SIX officers and their only function for the next few minutes is to get you into your car. Fantastic use of their time right? Certainly there are crimes that need to be tended to, right? Well, that would be the easy way to look at it, but when you’ve got to deal with this:
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the conventional sort of gets thrown out the window. I didn’t capture this, but some of these very paps surrounded the car when it was attempting to leave. CRAZY.

Ok. You’ve been Brit and you’ve gotten jeans. Can you even start to imagine what goes on in her head? I spoke to some people outside of the store. They asked me if I too was trying to get a picture of the ever elusive Britney. I said, “No. I’m trying to get a picture of the paparazzi trying to get a picture of her.” They then asked me why on earth would I want that? Well, here’s why: I know that I’ve had dreams of hitting it big somehow and all that great things that go along with that. If I had to deal with this EVERYTIME I stepped foot outside, much less more than ONCE, I’d be done. Sure, it’s part of the entertainment machine. Sure, someone MIGHT have tipped off the paps that she was going to be there. That still doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. At the end of this day as I was driving home I thought, POOR BRITNEY. Now, I don’t know if this sort of thing has contributed to her recent troubles. She used to be just fine with the same amount of attention, but something shifted and she’s where she’s at now. Everyone’s got a breaking point, and if I was in her proverbial shoes, it would have been AGES ago.

So… draw your own conclusions. For me, this just illustrates that everyone’s got their own lens, pun not intended, with which they see and experience things. I really can’t let myself be in a position to judge when I don’t have the same frame of reference. I have the odd experience of working on Robertson where I see this sort of thing happen all the time. Perhaps not to this same extent, but it happens literally every day. I was off work, walking to my car, and fell into all of this. Figured I’d share with all of you.

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~ by Francis Orante on April 3, 2008.

4 Responses to “What would you do?”

  1. Yes, poor Britney. That actually does kind of suck to have to endure that. My question is, why not just have her assistant get her jeans for her. I’m sure the paparazzi aren’t clamoring for a pic of Brit’s assistant. Or maybe they are seeking that elusive photo of the assistant to put up on the equally or more-so elusive underground website devoted to them. I’d rather be Kim Caboos-ian. I saw her at Starbucks just up the way from Paige’s, and no one noticed.

  2. yes… Britney needs a break… she should move to Montana and hide for a while… phase out for a bit.. then come back fierce!

  3. Great post and thanks for sharing it. Everyone is so quick to judge her and others in her position but until you’ve been there you have no idea. I can imagine it would be terrifying. I’m also glad to hear that it was recently determined that Princess Diana’s death WAS a result of the paparazi chasing her. We certainly need to set some rules and guidlines and start dishing out accountability.

    It all goes back to the golden rule, do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

    Note: I’m not a celebrity. I just play one on Twitter.

  4. Awesome…thank you for saying it, I couldn’t have said it better…Bravo sir Bravo

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