I don’t get recognized a lot. Radio gives you what I think is the right combination of celebrity and anonymity. A lot of people know who I am, but most don’t, which is both understandable and even preferable. Despite a long career on radio and television, I don’t really care to be famous, or any more famous than I need to be. Just known and hopefully liked well enough to keep my job as long as I want it. Just so we’re clear on that.


I do have a few famous friends, though. Some I’ve known from early obscurity, and a couple who have shown up in my life fully, famously, formed.  I have one dear pal who is so well known that we can never die in an accident together, because if we did, the headline would blare (FAMOUS FRIEND’S NAME) KILLED IN ACCIDENT, and then, in smaller print, “local woman also dead”.


I’ve come to accept and appreciate that I can walk down the street, or drop into a coffee shop, or cut someone off in traffic, or drink too much and fall down the stairs at a popular nightclub with no underwear on, without really attracting undue attention. Occasionally I will notice someone looking at me with furrowed brow because I look vaguely familiar. Am I a neighbor? An actress on TV? A lesbian gym teacher? Once, on a train in Scotland, a bunch of school kids from Aberdeen asked if I was Sharon Stone (speaking of no underwear). Of course I told them I was, bless them.


Ad and billboard campaigns complicate matters, of course. There’s one happening right now, I’m sure you’ve seen it, with Darren and I strolling down the street, or stealing each other’s coffee. It’s fun to see yourself on bus shelters and such, although you run the risk of blackened teeth and devil horns. I think I look quite dashing with a curly moustache, and would grow one if I could, so take that, vandals.

Darren & I sharing fancy coffees...yum!
Darren & I sharing a fancy coffee…yum!


Having a familiar face can induce odd encounters. Last week, just before the long weekend, I was nearly T-boned turning right at a green light by a car that ran the red. Just blew through the intersection at full speed, nearly taking out a cyclist as well. I was furious, and pulled up next to the car at the next intersection, where this time it had elected to stop. I honked my horn, rolled down my window, and proceeded to berate the driver, a middle-aged man, while his wife stared at me, mouth agape, from the passenger side. “Do you know you just ran a red light? DO YOU? You just missed me, and almost hit a cyclist! WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU?” The driver, clearly shaken, actually thanked me, and apologized. His wife, also shocked, took a moment, then said “You’re Maureen Holloway, aren’t you?” I didn’t know what to say, so I said yes, and then drove away.


I should have told them I was Sharon Stone, and that I was not wearing any underwear.


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