Dear Famous Person,
I sure am grateful when I write a letter of admiration to a complete stranger (they used to call this fan mail) and that complete stranger writes back. It means so much to me. I know Complete Strangers are busy and sometimes do not want mail, so sometimes I say in my email “You do not need to respond” just to let the person know I am not asking a question, nor asking for money.
Many people that I know personally are now Famous People or semi-famous. They aren’t in the headlines every day, but they are Making it Big in their own right. They might be my friends from grad school that I knew well, or instructors I had and spoke to many times in seminars and in private, or people I have corresponded with in the past. So relatively speaking, they’re Famous People. They’re published. They have faculty jobs at universities. Several are deans, many are tenured. When they speak, people listen and care about their causes. They have established their place in the world, sold tens of thousands of copies of whatever, and now, there’s no chance of ever not being heard. They command respect from other people. It’s like this aura around them.
Why do they not write back when I write to them? Rather consistently, I might add.
I’ve noticed that slowly, their noses have started to turn up. It’s barely noticeable at first, but I sure have noticed it. What the hell happened to most Famous People out there? Peons like me (and many of my readers who have also been marginalized) don’t even matter anymore. We get the bounceback message. That vacation responder.
“Sorry, I’m too busy for the likes of you. Don’t waste my time.”
Or, more likely, no response at all.
It would be okay, except knowing that these very same people are Old Friends who do remember me, who used to be my pals, is sickening to me. How much longer are they going to keep acting like snobs? Since when does that Lucky Break make a person any better or more worthy than anyone else?
No, the Lucky Break only makes it easier. Dear Famous Person, so you aren’t alone anymore. You aren’t struggling anymore like the rest of us. You struck gold. So goodie two-shoes. I’m supposed to be thrilled. I’d be a whole lot happier for you if you would come off your high horses and say HI, HOW ARE YOU? now and then.
I really do not want to hear about hard you worked, how much you struggled, the “You can do it too” line. I no longer believe that stuff because nothing I am doing is working.
Snobbery won’t earn my respect. In fact, I do not think it’s noble, nor giving, nor charitable to be a snob. I don’t think it’s a sign of good character to brush off peons like they are flies. So no, dear Famous Person who used to be my friend, I don’t respect you as much as I really want to.
Dear Famous Person, if you are going to preach You Can Do It Too, then come talk to us. Speak to all of us, not just to those folks in the “bound to succeed” track. Speak to people on the street. Speak to those who are drunk or those you consider “stupid.” Speak to those who do not speak well without correcting our grammar nor censoring our swear words. Just listen to us and hear us out. Quit being a snob. Be an all-inclusive person, and realize that all humans are worthy. Then, maybe you will earn my respect.