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My Neighbor Matt Damon

pushing stroller

Truth be told, I don't know where Matt lives but I do know that it's somewhere in my neighborhood. I know this because almost every fellow Upper Westsider I know has spotted him here or there - at school, at the playground, at local restaurants - in the last couple months. Fine.

Yesterday was my turn. My sister-in-law J and I walked home from dropping Toddler at Preschool and one block from home, we saw him. At first, I didn't notice Matt at all, but spotted his wife. She is hugely pregnant (and I mean that in the most flattering way - she looks good - but also as if she is about to pop). When I am pregnant, I tend to have a keen radar for other pregnant women in my immediate vicinity. And there she was. Walking toward me, wearing a thick gray sweater, glowing. I then looked over to the man with her. A good-looking guy in a baseball hat and jeans and glasses. He pushed an empty stroller.

Only after we passed them did I turn to J and say, "Hey, that was Matt Damon."

J confessed that she had not noticed him. We agreed that Matt looked like many of the other dads we passed on our walk home. Dads who were on their way to drop kids at school, or dads on their way back. There was nothing assuming or conspicuous about this man. He looked like another anonymous neighbor.

And so. Yes, of course I texted Sister C (a big Matt fan) and said We just spotted Matt Damon! I was excited. I was excited to cross paths with such a big man and big talent. But more than that? I was happy to see that this celebrity was really just one of us. A parent. A person. A husband sticking close to his wife on the precipice of labor. A father dropping his daughter at school even though he could have any number of assistants do this for him. An Upper Westsider doing his thing.

Maybe it shouldn't surprise me that when the cameras aren't rolling some celebrities embrace lives that come close to resembling the rest of ours. Maybe my surprise here is prime evidence of the fact that too many celebrities do not go this route of outward "normalcy," that too may pose and parade for the paparrazi they all but invite into their worlds. Maybe the fact that I'm writing this post indicates that I am yet another citizen of this culture who has a mild obsession with the celebrity species. I don't know.

(Good for you, Matt.)


  • Any recent Matt Damon or other celeb sightings?
  • Are you surprised when celebrities appear to be utterly "normal"?
  • Do you think that the celebrities who get swarmed by photographers at every turn are somehow asking for it?
  • Why, as a society, do you think we are so intrigued by celebrities?

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