I recently flew home from New York City and as I prepared myself for a few mind-numbing hours in the airport waiting for my flight, I glanced around to my fellow passengers, also killing time. The elderly couple, with their adorable travel-agent printed tickets sitting patiently staring at the gate waiting to board a flight that was 2.5 hours away, the business travellers flipping through e-mails on their laptops and the young mother balancing a toddler on her hip, desperately wishing that the flight would not be delayed. I was without my own toddler for this flight, and glanced over at the woman with a sympathetic look that only a mother can relay when I realized I recognized her. Squinting and mentally going through my mind’s Rolodex, I realized that I didn’t actually know her, but I knew her. It was Olivia Wilde.
After swiftly elbowing my husband to confirm that I was not just seeing things, I settled back and watched, fascinated, as someone that normally only appears on my TV screen effortlessly moved around the terminal with her toddler while going largely unnoticed by our fellow travellers. While travelling with a nanny, she played with her son, took him on walks and soothed him when he didn’t appreciate being moved to another gate at the last minute (me neither, kid, me neither)
She boarded the plane quickly, travelling in business/first class, and I boarded right behind her. My husband and I watched as she tried to get her son situated in his seat, and even shared a few words with her as we sympathized with her plight as parents ourselves. As we landed and ran off the plane to get through customs and on the journey home, I was not at my best. I was tired, hungry and airport lineups do not bring out my happy side on the best of days. We managed to leave quickly and get to the car and drive home. It was only the next day that I realized poor Olivia had been greeted at the airport by paparazzi and despite having just gotten off a 7 hour flight with a toddler (her second one of the day, according to her instagram) she smiled and looked the part of celebrity as she left the airport. I guess that is why celebrities are not like me. Me who ran to my car as fast I as humanly possibly could and snarled at anyone in my way.
So I want to say thanks Olivia. It’s easy to put people on a pedestal – especially celebrities – and forget that there are real people with real lives behind them. It’s easy to see the glamorous lives people lead on Instagram and feel bad about yourself for not living up to the pictures in the magazines. It’s quite another to realize that celebrities also do all the things you do – and do it with grace and style. A great #LaVieEnLuxe lesson.