Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Being Gracious

more photos here
Somewhat recently, we went to the Freedom to Marry event here in the city. It was called "Cheers to 10 Years," and was sponsored by Skyy Vodka, so the drinks were great -- I never expected vodka and prosecco to work so well together. After a tear-inducing performance, we mingled and enjoyed some good food. There were a couple of celebrities there, and it's always fun to see them in person to see how tall they really are, or if they're even more pretty off-camera.

I am, however, the absolute worst at recognizing celebrities. The first celebrity I saw after moving here was Christina Aguilera shopping at Ricky's, but I would never have known it was her had there not been, quite literally, two screaming women collapsed on the floor out of sheer excitement. The biggest celebrity I've seen is Madonna, but I'm sure I wasn't the only one who had to be informed in that case, considering she was wearing a big coat and an over-sized winter hat.

When someone points out a celebrity in the room, I'm very unlikely to say anything to them, but when I have, it's always interesting to see how they react. Sometimes bodyguards won't let anyone close, but the celebrity will look over with a shy and appreciative smile. Sometimes a fan's "have a good night," will receive an eye-roll. It certainly says a lot about the person to see his or her reaction.

While there was nothing dramatic to report from this event, it made me think about the celebrities I've seen who have been terrible at faking appreciation towards fans. For me, this was highlighted by the unending graciousness displayed by the civil rights attorney who launched Freedom to Marry, Evan Wolfson. He is, to those who follow the politics involved, a type of celebrity. Personally, I'm more likely to trip over my words when I speak to someone known for his brain than someone known for his beauty, and this was exactly the case when I thanked him for his work. You can imagine how appreciative I was when he not only made it into no big deal, but then insisted on talking to us for a good amount of time. He was the epitome of a gentleman, and it made me respect him even more.

Celebrity or not, being gracious is extremely important -- not only is it the polite thing to do, but more importantly, it is a true kindness. It may be fun to watch the drama of mean people on television, but when it comes to real life, we could all benefit by showing a little more kindness to one another, don't you think?

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"There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- God damn it, you've got to be kind."
-Kurt Vonnegut