“THE TIME I WAITED AN HOUR TO SEE THE BACK OF ROBERT REDFORD’S HEAD”—A SHORT NARRATIVE BY LAUREN DEITZER
Let me set the scene:
It was Summer 2017, I had just gotten off work, and I drove through the city of Hamilton to get home and traffic was backed up for miles. I was super annoyed because the whole downtown was blocked off and it added an extra 20 min to get around it. I eventually got home, laid on the couch and looked at Instagram. As I was mindlessly scrolling, I stopped in my tracks. A friend had posted a picture of a movie shoot going on in Hamilton, the city I just drove through. She had posted about how cool it was to see Casey Aflec and Robert Redford in her home town shooting a movie. “Oh my gosh, the traffic was because of the movie they are shooting downtown”, I thought. Immediately, I got up and started heading for my car. My dad stopped me and asked if I wanted to hang out with him, and I said, “sorry, gotta go!”, and hopped in my car. For some reason I just had to see those celebrities. How could I not if they were so close?
I zoomed back down to Hamilton, waited in more traffic and eventually found a parking spot and briskly walked towards the downtown area where bystanders watching the filming where being corralled. I became one of the hundreds standing around with their cameras ready, waiting for a celebrity sighting. At that point, a couple thoughts crossed my head. “What does Casey Alfec and Robert Redford even look like? What movies were they in? Would I even recognize them If they walked by? Oh well I just have to see them”.
So I spent the next hour waiting around with middle aged women that couldn’t stop talking about how in love they were with Robert. All of the sudden, the women starting yelling, “Oh my god, that’s him! There he is! Robert we love you! Ahhhh!!!!”. I got out my camera and started blindly taking pictures in hopes to have proof that I saw a celebrity. I asked the women where the saw him, and it turns out he was standing about 100 yards away with his back faced to the crowd. The people around me were in tears for this man, just from seeing the back of his head. “That’s it? That’s him? He’s kind of old”, I thought. Then Robert went back into his set and disappeared from view yet again. I waited longer to see him and he never came back out. I walked back to my car and drove home, wondering why I wasted so much time just to see the back of Robert Redford’s head, a man I had no connection with. I so blindly wanted the chance to just see him so I could say I did and think I was cooler.
I laid awake that night still thinking about it. I blew my dad off so casually to see the back of some dude’s head. But could anyone blame me? There was hundreds of people there that day that did the same thing. Why are celebrities such a big idol for us? Just at the thought of one, a lot of us don’t think twice, stop everything and run towards them, even if they have no significance to us. It’s the first right answer in our heads. And we do this for so many other things as well. It turns us into a people dependent on media, the approval of others, and it never fills us up. We skip out on the opportunities to actually think. We skip out on valuable time with our loved ones. We skip out on the richness of life.
What would’ve happened if I would’ve chosen to hang out with my dad that day? Maybe we would be closer today, or have a really funny memory, or maybe not. All I know is I can’t get that wasted time back, none of us can. We can only take time to think twice and not immediately throw ourselves into what everyone else is doing, but stop and enjoy the little things. So let’s do it. What are we afraid of? Let’s stop being afraid of missing out and do what makes us feel most alive.