I was looking at an apartment in Brooklyn. It was, as usual, on the small side. One of the rooms was in the shape of a “Z,” so that there was really no possible way for a bed to fit. Which was too bad, because it was supposed to be a bedroom.
“There’s a big one for sale a couple floors down,” said the broker. “You wanna take a look, for fun?”
Well, of course I did! I spend at least 20 minutes a day on StreetEasy, staring greedily at NYC real estate I can’t afford.
We walked in. It was definitely bigger than the last one, but not huge. There were floor-to-ceiling windows with a view of Manhattan, glittering in the distance. Wow. It was incredibly well-decorated. An accent wall to the left, with silvery patterned wallpaper. A wooden farm table surrounded by ghost chairs (clear, sturdy plastic). A little flashy, playful chandelier, a graceful bench with a royal blue seat. And then I saw the photos. The very good-looking couple smiling from every wall. Here were wedding pictures– the beautiful blond bride laughing, her head thrown back.
Wow, good photographer, I thought.
My mind went ruefully to my own wedding photos. Was it possible that I had not thrown my head back to laugh even once? Seriously? Was nothing hilarious the whole day?
The broker was giving me a meaningful look, but I missed it.
We went into the bedroom. It was small — with only a couple feet between the foot of the big, plush bed and the wall. There they were again, grinning from above the plump, brown velvet headboard. The very attractive young couple who obviously owned the apartment.
The broker nodded their way. He made a comment I didn’t catch.
This was getting weird. What else was I supposed to think about the couple?
And then we were back in the main room, and I noticed a stack of Sports Illustrated calendars on a chair. On the cover, a model in a tiny bikini posed seductively. OK, really weird. Why did they have so many? Did they collect these things? Kinda kinky.
I looked more closely at the model on the Sports Illustrated calendar, and something suddenly clicked.
“Wait…” I said, “Is she?”
“Yes!” cried the broker triumphantly. “It’s Brooklyn Decker! This is her apartment. And her husband, Andy Roddick, the tennis star!”
Andy Roddick. I knew that name. My parents played competitive tennis and my dad talks a lot about famous tennis players. I had never heard of Brooklyn Decker, but apparently she was some kind of supermodel or something.
“Most people get more excited,” said the broker, a little accusingly.
“Oh, sorry!” I said. I tried harder. “They’re really famous!”
“Yes, they are!”
Then I noticed the lamp. It was the same lamp I have in my apartment. Suddenly, I felt fantastic about myself. Brooklyn Decker, the supermodel, and I have the same lamp! I am a body image blogger who writes about why it’s OK to not look like a supermodel and my own struggles to feel good about not looking like one. Brooklyn Decker is a supermodel who is now moving to LA to work on her movie career (the agent told me). But we have the same taste in lamps.
I went home happy. I wrote to my friend, who works at a big magazine, to tell her the story of my brush with fame.
“Oh, there’s no way she picked that lamp,” said my friend. “That was a decorator. I’ve interviewed her and she really didn’t strike me as the homemaking type.”
“Oh, are you sure?”
“Yeah, totally sure.”
I told some other friends the story. “Brooklyn Decker!” shrieked one. “She’s so hot!”
“Who’s that?” said another.
It was my dad who was the most excited, though.
“Andy Roddick! You were in Andy Roddick’s apartment! Great tennis player. And he’s a really good guy. And it sounds like his wife is a good person, too. I read an article about their marriage. Very traditional. You’d be surprised. People think she’d run around on him, but she’s very committed.”
Well, there you go. They did look awfully happy in those wedding photos. Happier, I’d say, than she looked in her bikini.
It’s too bad they’re moving, really. We could’ve been neighbors– if I’d bought the little apartment with the “Z”-shaped bedroom. How cool would that have been? Riding the elevator with a supermodel? Maybe they could’ve come over for dinner. We could’ve talked about our similarities. How we lived in the same building. How we had the same lamp.
Or maybe it’s better off this way. I’ll keep blogging about not being a supermodel. She’ll keep being one. She’ll be in movies. I’ll write stuff. She’ll be named the Most Beautiful Woman in the Universe. I’ll comb through my wedding photos for one of me, laughing.