The celebutante lifestyle
I learned a new word this week — celebutante.
Being a student of etymology, which is the study of the origin of words, I realized “celebutante” was formed from two commonly used words — “celebrity” and “doofus.” It’s a noun that means “a doofus who associates with a well-known, popular doofus, who makes more money than Michael Bloomberg.”
I’m joking, of course. Actually, celebutante is a combination of the words “celebrity” and “debutante,” and I came upon it while I was reading a story about actress Pamela Anderson, whose career was notable for her lack of clothes. The story said her husband, Rick Salomon, was a “celebutante,” largely because he hangs out with rich and famous people and sometimes marries them when the opportunity presents itself.
One of the pioneer celebutantes was the legendary Kato Kaelin, who became famous for his hair’s chronic static cling and for being a freeloader at O.J. Simpson’s guest house and testifying at his murder trial.
The story said Salomon was a film producer, whose “oeuvre” included a sex video with Paris Hilton — another celebutante known for her many appearances in supermarket tabloids rather than any gainful employment, which leads me to believe she should put her talents to better use saving the endangered piping plovers. That’s a wading sea bird, in case you didn’t know.
Marriage is a great way for ordinary people to meet celebrities. Unfortunately, celebrities usually inbreed, so the average guy can’t break into the club by proposing to Jennifer Lawrence on Twitter. They generally date, marry and divorce their own kind, which is probably why they behave as erratically as they do. Sometimes, however, they go outside the clan to marry their bodyguards, their nannies, their gastroenterologists, their yoga instructors, their hairdressers, or their kindergarten teachers.
While this practice is generally frowned upon in the celebrity community, it is endorsed by evolutionary biologists who believe it’s necessary to preserve the gene pool and prevent celebrities from becoming as endangered as the piping plover.
The same thing happened in the olden days. Nobility couldn’t marry commoners because it was frowned upon. I learned this from watching Downton Abbey, where the taxi driver had an affair with the countess or duchess or whatever she was, and they got married against her family’s wishes. Then she died, which goes to show you terrible things happen to the rich and famous if they break the secret code.
Now that jobs in publishing are as rare as piping plovers, I want to reinvent myself as a celebutante. There are occupational hazards, however. Hobnobbing with Kate Upton or Rihanna is going to require an attitude transplant since I generally break out in hives when I’m around celebrities or even read about them, which presents a big problem because I love reading about them.
In fact, I prefer reading the Page Six gossip of the New York Post to Tolstoy or Dickens or the directions for my Vitamix blender.
I also suffer severe gastrointestinal pains, so the only way I am going to be a successful celebutante is if I carry around a bottle of Pepto-Bismol and a tube of Clearasil. The celebrities who get me really queasy and irritate my skin are Lady Gaga, anyone whose name begins with K, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Amanda Bynes and her alter-ego Lindsay Lohan. (Whatever happened to her?)
To start, I’m going to meet celebrities by going from raunchy club to raunchy club, rubbing my cheeks against their cheeks and bashing bottles over the heads of paparazzi.
Isn’t it exciting to bask in the glow of someone else’s fame even if they’re creepy? Actually, this is how we raise our kids — to be celebrities in their own minds, which is why Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and all those other social media contrivances give them the sensation of being famous and fuel self-obsession.
We should be teaching them that it’s OK to be ordinary. It’s OK to be a good person, because famous people are often not good people. This is why the life of a celebutante is a dangerous one.
Fame corrupts — almost as much as politics.
Joe Pisani may be reached at email@example.com.