Monday, October 25, 2010

i'm sorry snookparisblakehillary-cyrus...

Yup, That's me.

Do you remember a time when the people that were famous, on covers of magazines and in the news had accomplished something? Is it at all in your memory banks, a yesteryear when notable people were the ones you looked up, aspired to be and you just knew they were more talented than you, smarter, and better looking. Ok, maybe not better looking. Who could possible be more better looking than YOU?!

I think I remember that time. Please tell me I'm not having a weird wheat gluten, caffeine, sugar and red wine haze. Not again.

Well, I was bemoaning this fact with a friend a few weeks ago. It became a heated conversation about this "NY Times Bestselling author" that bounced onto one of the morning talk shows to promote her latest novel. She's on some prime-time teen soap show that the kids love and she was going on and on about her book and her process and the character inspiration and I was literally waving my hands at the TV along with talking back at it. Yup, that's the picture of well adjusted.

My friend is a writer, a really good one and not just because he's a friend. He's not that great a friend, he's just got mad talent. I have other friends, better friends, that are writers as well and sadly--they are not that talented. He (the talented one) can't get published to save his life and is pouring drinks for a living. I am NOT a writer, but when I pitched a book idea to a big NYC publishing house for a design book they said, " We LOVE that idea, but you need to me more famous for us to publish you." Ugh. More waving of hands and talking loudly.

My writer friend and I both happened to mention this TV appearance of this actress to see if the other one had seen in it. We had and we both had the same hand gesturing, loud, AYKMWT (are you kidding me with this?!) reaction.

Of course the topic went off into all other areas of success, especially in the public eye, for people that just don't seem to deserve it. Where's the talent? Where's the knowledge, the paying your dues? We couldn't find anything to aspire to when it came to these names that were being tossed around during breakfast.

Then it happened. I was a High Point, NC last week for the furniture show. I was speaking at a couple of events and walking around to take in all the great innovation in design as well as meet some of the talented and creative people that are inspiring our industry. I love being there--it's a high for a design geek like me. The high was about to come to a crashing halt. I was walking the floor at one of the showrooms where an event was taking place. As I passed a group of other designers I overheard one of them say, "That's that TV design guy--Him being a designer is like Paris Hilton calling herself an actress." OK. Good to know. Good. To. Know. I shouldn't have been surprised. Actually, I realize that what I do on TV isn't going to make me a design world darling and I'm really OK with that. I have never courted that or would even know how to. I've taken hits before for not following the traditional path to design and being what some professionals have called me while sneering "self taught" and "cheap." All of that has been a knock here and there, but it never winded me. Then why did this? Maybe I should be flattered, right?! OMG, you think I'm as famous and rich as Paris Hilton?! Are you listening publishing world?

So what was it about that simple sentence that made me catch my breath? Why did I feel so hurt? I had all these great comeback lines in my head and I was ready to turn right around and calmly dispense with one of them. OH, I'll show you! Paris Hilton of design my....AND then, I stopped myself. The reason it hurt was that I felt judged. That's it. I wasn't even invited to be a part of the conversation before a complete stranger could just "know me."

All of a sudden, all these thoughts came flooding into my brain like a swell of tanning lotion being squeezed into one of Snooki's precious, petite little hands. I too have judged without knowing.

I vowed to be less judgeey. It's a word.



Nancy from NJ said...

wow...just wow. You, unlike many in this unkind world, have feelings, a conscience, morals, values...should I go on? Their 'opinion' was unjust because I've seen and been inspired by your designs. I do see how you took a step back though...we all should take a step back and look at our true judging skills. I bet we all do come up a bit short... Nancy

Beth said...

I second Nancy's "wow...just wow."

For what it's worth – and yes, I'm judging the dude who made the crack – his analogy is crap. And I know this to be true because nothing Paris has ever done has caused me to practically bounce off my couch with excitement for what I'm seeing. But I have had that reaction to you and your work. And those who make snide comments about others are often jealous that they lack similar talent themselves.

That you held your tongue was admirable. But know that if I would have been there with you, I would have dressed him down on your behalf. Jerk.

P.S. This is very well written. Count yourself among your writer friends.

Samantha said...

I love this post, for many reasons. The main one, it confirms why I have always gravitated to you and your work over the years. There's a real person behind the incredible talent.

Unknown said...

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot .... You have more talent and creativity and output than Paris Hilton has in one strand of her overprocessed hair.

Golden Rule People!!!!

Monica said...


The fact that you did not respond reveals your true character. You are much better than they will ever know and you have a lot of fans (which they probably don't!).

Personally, I miss seeing you on TV. Your enthusiasm, passion and love for blessing people is inspiring. You are authentic and fun and that's what makes you great.

Remember where you were and where you are and where you are going. It's the path that God has created for YOU. Enjoy it and everything He brings that makes you come alive.

Be blessed,

Katy said...

I think you should know this.

About once a month a few of my girlfriends and I get together and watch old episodes of Clean Sweep, 24 Hour Design and Rate My Space that we have recorded. We have them listed by types of rooms and design styles. When we're having a design/style dilemma we say, "What would Angelo do?" You have inspired, entertained, taught and touched our hearts in ways that you may never know. I believe it is those qualities your design "friends" were reacting to and their own insecurity.

Continue to be who you because there's a huge group of people out there that need you.

Much love and respect,
Katy from Texas

Samantha said...

Good thoughts, Paris. (However, do not ever get caught on a sex tape or with coke in your purse. I'll be judgy then.)

mrsben said...

Ah Angelo, you know what they say, "talk is cheap".

The main thing is that you know who you are and just as important you have never forgotten your beginnings. In my opinion, that alone deserves a Lifetime Achievement Award as there has been many a successful person who cannot say the same.

Jen said...

It's sad really. When we use words without thinking, and we all have, it really cheats us from true experiences. For what it's worth, I think you're brilliant.

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