When my husband started getting invited to Hollywood award ceremonies, I had a very clear fantasy of what these events would be like for me. I saw myself being fixed up to look gorgeous and then swanning around the party, hobnobbing with the best celebrities. But now that we’ve gone to a number of these events, up to and including the BAFTA awards nominees’ tea party in Hollywood last weekend (that’s where the picture of me above was taken), I realized it was going to be very different.

For one thing, it turns out that I don’t like meeting celebrities. It’s always awkward. I’ve met a number of them recently and, even if they are the nicest person on earth, this is how it invariably goes:

You say “Hi, I really love your work.”

They say “ Thanks.”

Then you both stand there uncomfortably waiting for a polite moment to get the hell away from each other.

Also, I thought I would love dressing up for these events but every time I’m offered a makeup artist to help me get ready, I find myself turning them down.

At first I worried that, deep down, I found myself too ugly for anyone to make a difference, so why bother? But then I realized I just don’t care. Situations where I’ll be judged for my looks make me completely lose interest. (That and I don’t want to outshine poor Charlize.)

I’ve come to realize that beauty and glamour are only fun to me when it’s play. The moment adornment starts to be a requirement I check out.

Really, the thing I like best about these parties is the free booze and food. Besides just liking to eat and drink, there was a time when I was living in LA where I was so poor that I could barely afford to eat Grape-Nuts. The only place I got real food was at Producers and Directors Guild events (my friends were in film school). So now when I see a free spread of fancy food it triggers my “OH THANK GOD I’M NOT GOING TO STARVE” reflex.

The reality is that I spend these events standing by the food table, mostly talking to people I already know, and looking pretty darn average. And while it seems like a far cry from the swanning and hobnobbing of my fantasy, I’m thrilled to find that I’m happy to just be myself.

the author

Babe Scanlon is a writer living and working in San Francisco. She's worked as an archaeologist, computer game designer, agent at Agent Provocateur and hypnotherapist. She is controlling your mind at this very moment.

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