Ms. Softy

I get disproportionately sad when famous strangers die. For instance, when I read online last night that Brad Renfro died I put my hand over my mouth and said out loud, to my computer screen, “Oh my God, no.” It was a fairly predictable ending, it’s true, not shocking actually, but still, I felt very sad. When Peter Jennings died I cried and was deeply affected for days. I’m still torn up about Adrienne Shelly. When the Oscars screen their annual memorial tribute I get overly sentimental, make everyone stop talking. I still miss Jerry Orbach. Still think about Wendy Wasserstein. I nearly take it personally when people admit they weren’t affected by the death of Princess Diana. I wonder if I have some overly-invested-in-the-loss-of-people-I-don’t-know disorder. If Britney Spears kills herself, I might even talk about it in therapy. I don’t even listen to her music (okay, I’ve heard that Gimme song which I actually sort of like). Are you like this?

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3 Replies to “Ms. Softy”

  1. I think about Wendy Wasserstein too. I don’t feel a personal loss but more a collective one for all the plays she would have written and for the mother she would have continued to be for Lucy-Jane.

    Unfortunately good ppl die everyday – but you (we) only know about those who are already in the pubic eye. That could be why you feel their passing more. Collective/public mourning for ppl we don’t really know has become more common with the rise of the intangible thing called ‘celebrity’.

  2. Wendy Wasserstein’s passing was so tragic. She had such little time with her daughter and I’m sure she had so much more to say. I felt that she really spoke my truth since I went to Mt. Holyoke too. She dramatized just about everything that leads to the moment when you don’t fill out the alumna survey because your life isn’t “good enough.”

    I also miss Jerry Orbach. Everything seemed pitch perfect on “Law and Order” when he was there. Otherwise, I can’t say that I’m especially moved when a celebrity dies. Just because I know of the person doesn’t mean that there’s a connection between us. On the other hand, if I was touched by his/her work, I’d likely be affected by his/her death.

  3. C says, “Otherwise, I can’t say that I’m especially moved when a celebrity dies. Just because I know of the person doesn’t mean that there’s a connection between us. On the other hand, if I was touched by his/her work, I’d likely be affected by his/her death.”

    This is precisely why I think something is wrong with me, because I’m nearly always affected. I never even watched Law and Order! But come to think of it, I think I connect too much with the aspect of personal loss than I do with the actual fame count of the person. I hate the expression “too sensitive,” but I got a chip in here that’s inordinately responsive to emotion.

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