It’s an ordinary Tuesday morning, as uneventful and routine as can be – for most people that is. For me, it’s another chaotic day of dodging the general public to avoid being mauled, because everyone thinks I’m Idris Elba. Yes, It’s obvious that we look exactly the same, but it can be quite the hassle resembling someone who is not only famous but widely considered excessively good looking. Not to mention the fact that we both ooze charisma.
On this day I want to go shopping in peace. I’ve had it up to here (I’m holding my hand up really high at this part, just so you know) with taking hasty late night trips to stores because shopping during the day with the rest of the lowly minions (no offense, regular people) isn’t an option. Going for a stroll, browsing the mall, sitting at a coffee shop – these are things I simply can’t do normally. I deserve the opportunity to live my life, as does Idris. We didn’t ask to share a profusely good-looking physical appearance and be famous – well, I suppose he did ask for the fame, but not I.
Since this particular afternoon had me feeling fed up with all of the restrictions, I firmly decided that I wouldn’t let looking identical to a movie star dictate my actions. I called a car to pick me up and drop me off in a busy shopping center. It arrives and I get in and it’s immediately clear that the driver thinks I’m Idris because he says “Hey, how are you doing?” desperately trying to chat me up because he’s certain I’m the famous movie star. “Where are you headed to?” he asks, nosily, probably hoping I’m going to a movie set or something. I lower my sunglasses over my eyes and give him a quick response, “The shopping center on 6th.” I say it with slight irritation in my voice so he understands that I don’t feel like talking about The Wire, or when there’ll be another season of Luther, or how it feels to be handsome & famous. Stick to driving and let me sit in silence, bloke.
We pull into the shopping center and the starstruck driver asks, “Do you want to be dropped off in front of any specific store?” I’m like, come on dude, I don’t need the special celebrity treatment! I’m no diva and I’m sure if he didn’t think I were Idris Elba he wouldn’t be basically begging to spend a few extra precious seconds in my presence while he dropped me off in front of a particular store. I pay, tipping him 25%, but I’m sure he isn’t satisfied because he thinks I’m the super rich actor, Idris Elba.
This celebrity worship continues everywhere I go for the next hour. I walk into J.C. Penney and not one, but two different times I was asked if I needed help finding anything by employees who couldn’t keep it professional and had to find excuses to talk to me. Just because someone is in movies doesn’t mean they need to be doted on. Shortly after, I go into H&M to buy a few things and after I pay the sales associate says, “Have a great day sir.” Again, I’m like, I get it, you think I’m Idris Elba, but can you save the silly, desperate effort to be excessively friendly to a celebrity?
As I walk throughout various stores people naturally make brief eye contact with me before looking away almost immediately, because they’re nervous or intimidated thinking that I’m Idris, and they want to appear normal. There are a few times where my gaze lingered to see if they’d come back for a second look and after I stared for several seconds, some of them gave me an annoyed glare, which probably meant they weren’t huge fans of Pacific Rim or something. Whatever. Oh and get this, I went to Cold Stone for some ice cream and I tipped $1 and an employee literally started singing to me. Treat me like any other customer, dude. Can’t I just be a regular guy who doesn’t get all of this unwarranted, over-the-top admiration?
You might think it’d be fun to look exactly like someone famous and beautiful but it’s truly taxing. It’s draining, it’s inconvenient, and it has far more cons than pros. I wonder why I have to sacrifice a normal life because I look (and give off similarly high levels of charm) like Idris Elba, the #2 runner up of People’s annual Sexiest Man Alive award in 2013. It’s just constantly Idris, Idris, Idris, but I not dris, he dris. The next time you think, “Wow [INSERT RIDICULOUSLY GOOD LOOKING CELEBRITY NAME] is gorgeous, I wish I looked like that,” just remember my struggle, and go look in the mirror and thank the heavens that your face and personality in the grand scheme of things are irrelevant. Ugh, I’ve got to go because these bloody coffee shop employees are saying I need to “seriously get out” and that they “closed 25 minutes ago,” which is probably code for “Can you step outside so we can get a photo and an autograph.” Alas, my difficult life continues.