What movie stars don’t have

I imagine that many movie stars (I’ve noticed that many are much smaller than they appear on film) need to buy up the space around them because their egos are so big they can’t share the area around them for a hundred-mile radius. So they buy sprawling ranches in Texas, or 25,000 square-foot homes in Malibu, and they live there—maybe with one other person. “More money than brains,” my mom used to say. Who actually needs 25,000 square feet of living space? and 6 pools? and 16 bathrooms decorated with gold leaf wainscotting? Unless you have entire villages visiting regularly, I don’t see the need for it. And yet, I greedily lap up celebrity photos and gossip and judge their purchases with a “tsk tsk.” Perhaps because I’m envious? Or maybe because I want to think I’d do a better job spending all that money. But I highly doubt I would do better—because in the end, money makes a person crazy. It would be hard for crazy not to happen. If I had all the money in the world, I’d likely buy myself an island and have everything shipped to the gigantic crypt of selfishness I build there. Living with others requires a person to share, to come out of oneself and be charitable, kind, honest, patient, and good (amongst other things). It’s hard and sometimes, I don’t want to do it. And that’s where People magazine comes in—so that I can fantasize about not having to love my neighbour as I love myself. Ok, I’ll admit it. I’m a little interested in the lives of movie stars. I’m definitely not the type to be standing for hours outside of theatres at the Toronto International Film Festival with signs, but I’ve been known to occasionally browse through the likes of Hello or People to check out what the Duchess of Cambridge is wearing and what Martha Stewart is whipping up. And there are plenty of stars to be seen these days, which makes me wonder—why in the world would I care, even a little bit, about people I’ve never met, never will meet, who they’re dating, and the size of the homes they purchase? I think it’s because I dream of the space that money can buy. Not space like the final frontier—space like places all to myself, with nobody else around; space like private rooms in nice restaurants, deserted pristine beaches, and acres of untouched wilderness all to myself (okay, maybe my husband too). It occurred to me while reading an article about why we, as a society, are obsessed with the rich and famous (the science behind the “love”) that I’m interested in the lives of those with money because of what a person can buy with that money: privacy. “Privacy is a luxury,” I heard someone say at Madonna House (a lay apostolate founded by Catherine Doherty in Northern Ontario) and it’s a luxury that movie stars spend billions on every year. Maybe space and privacy is what they need to keep their sanity while navigating the lifestyles of the rich and famous. Who knows? But it’s not for me. I mean, even though I have my days, I am content with my life—a loving husband and large, joyful extended family, a 5-year-old golden retriever, and a sunshine-filled home with widowed neighbours on either side. They’re just nosy enough to be concerned with our welfare, yet disinterested enough for us to live a quiet, peaceful existence in harmony with one another. I have fresh tomatoes, hot off the vine, every other day and a delightful old lady who’s concerned about our pooch’s eating habits. I may not have more than I need, but I have more than I’d ever want. Photo source.

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