If the Mayans were right about the apocalypse, I'm going to be really disappointed. For one, I just renewed my Costco membership and want my money's worth. And for another, I recently read an article about Suri Cruise. If the world is ending soon, it means that one of the last things I will have read in my life is about Suri's park playdate.
I'm embarrassed to admit that I clicked on a Suri link. But, in my defense, they're everywhere. (And, yes, that's a horrible defense.)
Googling her name and the word, "walking," brings up nearly four million search results. "Suri" and "eating" gets you about four million results too. "Suri" and "playing" yields one million more than that.
Suri gets almost as much press coverage as both presidential candidates, but she's not running for office. She can't even vote. Or drink. Or smoke. Or drive. Or go on most amusement park rides. All of this begs the question: Why are so many people paying so much attention to a 6-year-old?
I have a theory. But, it's not my theory. It's Dana Carvey's theory, and I'm paraphrasing. When I was a teenager, he told Johnny or Jay (or maybe Arsenio) that if you put a grapefruit -- any grapefruit -- on its own television channel for 24 hours a day for a few weeks, it would become famous. If you then took that grapefruit on tour, people would want to see it. They would stand in line at shopping malls. They would take pictures of it. They would tell other people that they had seen the grapefruit from TV.
I'm not trying to compare Suri Cruise to a grapefruit, but I do think the reason she is so famous is because she is so famous.
The problem -- our problem -- is that she's just a 6-year-old girl. And even though her parents are famous, she's just a 6-year-old girl. And even though her famous dad jumped on a couch and then trotted out her famous mom on TV to declare his love for her and it was utterly bizarre, the girl's only 6. And even though she does have beautiful clothes and pretty hair, at the end of the day, she's still 6.
If one of my friends or your friends started posting regular updates on Facebook about some random little girl who lived down their street, we'd probably think it was, at best, a bit odd.
If one of my friends or your friends started posting photos of the random little girl who lived down their street throwing a tantrum, walking to school or playing at the park, I'm quite certain that neither of us would hit "like."
Is it so different from reading "Suri Cruise Throws Tantrum Over Puppy," "Suri Cruise Attends First Day Of Private School, Tom Cruise Absent From Big Day," "Katie Holmes Takes Suri Cruise and Younger Friend on NYC Playdate"?
I have another confession to make:
About two and a half years ago, I was browsing around ABC Carpet & Home in New York City with a friend. On our way into the store, we walked past a throng -- a great, big gaggle -- of paparazzi. It was the kind of turnout you'd expect for the President. I think you know where this is going.
My friend and I saw her. And yes, she was as adorable as you'd imagine. More. She was wearing fuzzy slippers and bunny ears, for Pete's sake. My friend and I pretended to be looking at chairs and tables, but we were eyeing her and Katie. I hung around much, much longer than I would have otherwise. I stayed until they left. And later, I told other friends about our sighting in great detail. "She was wearing bunny ears!" When pictures of Suri in her bunny ears went viral later that day, I emailed them to my sister. "Those were the bunny ears!"
It was a lot like seeing the grapefruit. Except, it wasn't.
Follow Melissa Sher on Twitter: www.twitter.com/thismelissasher