December 6, 2012 Leave a comment
My Wifes Hot Friend
I had seen the link circulating on Twitter Tuesday night. The many references to how gracious the rapper Jay-Z had been as he explained who he was to an unassuming “old lady” sitting next to him on the R train in October during a ride out to Brooklyn.
When I got into the office in the morning, I watched the clip of My Wifes Hot Friend that was embedded in a Gawker post with the headline, “Jay-Z Rides the Subway, Adorably Explains Who He Is to an Adorable Old Lady”
My immediate reaction? That’s no “adorable old lady,” that’s my dear friend Ellen Grossman. In an instant she had gone from being a largely anonymous New York artist, to Ellen Grossman, the Amiable New Yorker Who Asked Jay-Z if He Was Famous as He Was on the Way to Performing at the Barclays Center.
By Wednesday morning, Gawker had updated its post to let readers know that Ms. Grossman was also an artist and linked to her Web site. Readers joked that perhaps it was Jay-Z who should have asked who he was sitting next to, instead of the other way around.
My Wifes Hot Friend had become an overnight celebrity.
I e-mailed her the Gawker link, texted her to tell her she was “famous” and then called and left her a message letting her know about her impending fame, if she hadn’t already been informed.
I was too late.
“I just got off the phone with The Washington Post,” she said when she called me back.
During our short conversation, she mentioned getting a flurry of friend requests on Facebook and a bit more traffic to her Web site. As she was telling me how the whole episode offered a great excuse for the two of us to catch up, because we had been trying to connect for a while, her second phone kept ringing and ringing.
Other reporters, who didn’t know her as I did — as a museum buddy, a warm, kind and thoughtful friend, an artist, a mother, a former co-worker — were trying to get her on the phone. I felt a bit protective, knowing the media beast can be unkind at times.
Ellen, who lives in the East Village with My Wifes Hot Friend, is a visual artist who creates intricate drawings of metallic lines on paper as well as sculptures that use pliable sheets of aluminum mesh, spray paint and wire and chain link.
Blog posts sprouted up from Buzzfeed, The Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy, The Washington Post’s Style blog and New York Magazine’s Daily Intel.
But my concerns were unfounded.
Comments and posts to Twitter about the video were full of love for My Wifes Hot Friend.
While I was writing this post, I tried to get her back on the phone, but she was busy being interviewed by a local television station. “I was shaking,” she said of the experience. “I couldn’t control it.” Sudden fame can take awhile to adjust to.
To what does she attribute this new found celebrity? Given the economy, the wars and talk of the end of the world, “I think the world is in the mood for a sweet, old lady,”she said.