a novel by JOHN GRABOWSKI

She’s good for it, certainly…

Adele

Seems that even superstars get their credit cards declined.

Pop singer Adele was shopping in San Jose, California the other day when an H&M store would not accept her credit card.

How embarrassing!

But in a way it wasn’t. Reports are that nobody even recognized that it was the pop singer proffering the plastic.

Somehow a celebrity who attracts thousands of screaming fans in concerts and millions of them at home can shop in San Jose and not even be noticed.

Yes, it happens all the time. You could bump elbows with celebrities anywhere and not know it. They are the masters of disguises. After all, they have to get out and about just like the rest of us, and while some of them have “people” who go about their chores for them…well, everybody likes to go into the world and do some shopping themselves sometime.

And that’s exactly what they know how to do…and do in such a way that you won’t even notice.

The takeaway from it to me is how celebrities are, at heart, just people like anyone else. But if you put an ordinary person up on stage in fancy clothes, people don’t get all excited. Why is that? And is it possible to do so?

On second thought, that may be what reality shows have been trying to do…with mixed success.

It’s also interesting that many can avoid the paparazzi even when they pretend they’re being bombarded. True Adele, for as recognized as she is, isn’t, say, in the same league as Jennifer Aniston. But she is certainly a big deal, yet she slipped out of fame’s spotlight surprisingly easily. Makes you wonder if all those “famous people” getting nailed by TMZ every night don’t, well, maybe have their publicists call the photog to tell them their client will be in a certain place at a certain time.

Adele says that although no one knew who she was, she was nonetheless “mortified.”

And she adds that she’d been able to use the card at other stores that day, implying it was all H&M’s fault, a software glitch or something.

But people were surely standing around her in line as this happened—and never knew it was she.

The opening scene in Entertaining Welsey Shaw is like this, with Welsey in line with civilians in a Manhattan Starbucks. I wondered as I wrote it how believable it was that no one else would recognize her, even though she’s hidden behind sunglasses and drab clothes.

Since then I’ve learned it happens every day. Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban once came into the coffee shop where I have written much of Entertaining Welsey Shaw. Ironically, that was one of the rare days I wasn’t there. I had to hear about it second-hand from staff. (And all the while I was home I kept thinking, I should head over today; I feel like I’m missing something.)

Back to Adele—maybe try your AmEx at Nordie’s?

They tend to have nicer stuff anyway.

 

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