I saw this woman with really short hair in the grocery store. I always notice women with really short hair because I have really short hair, so it’s kind of a solidarity thing.
“Nice hair,” I thought, admiring how it tufted a little.
She turned slightly and I could see a sliver of her face. I paused, mid-step, my shopping basket held aloft. She was stunning. Like, abnormally beautiful. Like, freakishly attractive. Like—
Oh, wait. She was Anne Hathaway.
OK, so this was exciting for several reasons.
- I have lived in New York City for four years now, and this was the FIRST time I’ve ever run into a celebrity. I have friends who see Matthew Broderick on the street literally the first time they’re in the city. When they’re visiting me, right after they come up out of the subway. Every other person I know in who has ever been in this city has come across a celebrity. My mother-in-law once took an elevator with Tracy Morgan. I was beginning to feel like there was either something wrong with my eyesight or maybe I don’t ever leave my apartment. Or I am cursed.
- Anne Hathaway is a classy celebrity! It’s not like running into JWoww or something.
- She has short hair now.
She is also really, really skinny now. I think both the short hair and the skinniness are for a role. In Les Miserables.
As soon as I saw it was Anne Hathaway, I got predictably weird and tried to quickly turn away so that she didn’t catch me staring at her. I marched purposefully up to the meat counter and ordered lots of sliced turkey. Then I glanced surreptitiously over my shoulder. She was gone.
I went around to the other side of the store, for cheese and bacon. And then doubled back for a loaf of bread. And some of those crab rolls. And pasta and tomato sauce. And then some more cheese, because you can never have enough cheese!
I caught another glimpse of Anne Hathaway between aisles. She had her sunglasses on now. Shit. She was obviously feeling stalked. She was with a bearded guy, who seemed to be her boyfriend (fiancé, I found later, when I looked it up). They weren’t speaking to each other, and seemed uneasy and a little grim.
I wanted to get out of the store as quickly as possible, now that Anne Hathaway had her sunglasses up as a warning. I went to the register, lugging my many pounds of food, and the guy behind the counter ran it all through the scanner. At the last moment, I realized that I really needed a cookie. There were a bunch in this jar, sitting right there on the counter.
“Wait!” I said. “Can you add a cookie?”
“Yeah, of course,” he said. “Just one?”
I thought about it. They looked so soft and delicious. And I was going to have some friends over later…
“Give me three,” I said. But then, what if there wasn’t enough for everyone? “No, make it six.” And what if people wanted a second cookie? “Okay, eight, actually. Give me eight cookies.”
He started fishing them out of the jar, eyebrows only slightly raised, when suddenly, the air changed, and I realized that Anne Hathaway was standing directly behind me.
This was the line: me, Anne Hathaway, her fiance. In this tiny store. She was like six inches away from me.
The guy got cookie after cookie out of the jar. It took a while, because the neck of the jar was narrow. I could feel Anne Hathaway standing there, being stunningly beautiful and somehow heartbreakingly delicate behind me.
The guy went to ring up my cookies, but then he realized that the order had already been complete, so he had to redo it or something. And then the act of attempting to redo it caused the computer to stall, and he got frustrated and awkward, perhaps aware of Anne Hathaway, and started typing things really vigorously and angrily. “This is so weird,” he said. “It’s totally shutting down.”
And then Anne Hathaway and her fiancé and I stood there for a long, long time, as the guy wrestled with the computer that had been broken by my need for many cookies. The fiancé put some of their groceries on the counter. I guess he was tired of holding them. They weren’t getting much. Most of it seemed to be kale. There was definitely no bacon or cheese. There was definitely, definitely no cookies.
It was deadly silent, except for the protesting noises from the computer.
After an eternity had passed, I had started trying to joke around with the guy behind the counter to prove that I was either so cool that I could joke around in the presence of a movie star or that I hadn’t even noticed Anne Hathaway this whole time and she had put her sunglasses up mistakenly. Take that, Anne Hathaway, I thought. As far as you know, I didn’t even notice you!
“Technology never wants to get along with people,” I said. “It’s like it’s just plotting against us. Until eventually robots just take over the world. Led by this computer, probably.”
I am funny.
And then the computer was fixed and I managed to pay without dropping my credit card or eating everything in sight and I quickly left the store, wondering why I’d worn such a lame outfit to the grocery store that day. SUCH a lame outfit.
And I felt sort of bitter, because really, I wasn’t trying to make Anne Hathaway uncomfortable in any way. I was just admiring her really short hair.
But after I ate a cookie I felt a lot better about the whole incident. So I ate another, too.
Kate’s blog, Eat the Damn Cake, is 8 cookies worth of fun and won’t crash your computer.