Yesterday morning I rolled out of bed (actually, I rolled out of couch, because the baby had been crying in the night and she and I slept downstairs), pulled on a sweater and threw on my flip flops and headed out to buy my wife a cup of Mother's Day coffee. I was wearing, to make the mental image a bit clearer, a pair of blue plaid pajama bottoms, a white undershirt and a black zip up sweater. My hair was doing its best impersonation of an electrocuted toupee.
I walked up to the barista and ordered my wife's coffee and she said, "I loved your book."
This had never happened to me before. I blinked at her in surprise, wondering if, perhaps, she had mistaken me for Stephen King or John Grisham. My brain soon informed me that this would make no sense whatsoever. I paused long enough, thinking what to say to her, that she followed up by saying, "Your book. Imaginary Jesus."
I stammered something suave like, "How did you recognize me?" As if I had been in disguise, or had a secret identity.
She told me she had seen me speak at a conference and recognized me from there, and we chatted amiably for a while. The whole time I wondered if I should explain why I looked like I had been living in my car. Should I tell her that I didn't expect to see anyone who would recognize me in any way? Would she care?
And that's when I realized, "This is what it feels like to be famous!" It feels like a mix of mild confusion and surprised embarrassment. In case you were wondering.
And, in conclusion, the next time I go to visit Peet's coffee to be served by my new friend Jenny, I promise to at least put a hat on.