I don’t typically like pepperoni, but the pepperoni Sicilian pizza at Prince Street Pizza is to fucking die for. Their regular slices are good, too, passing my pizza test of but is it good cold? — but the pepperoni Sicilian — the pepperoni is meaty, with just the right amount of heat, and it curls up beautifully, loaded on the springy crust and tomato sauce and cheese, no skimping here.
I went to a meet-and-greet earlier tonight, and, when you asked who was going to meet-and-greet, I said (or, really, yelled), CLAIRE FROM HEY CLAIRE! I love her!
She’s the only Youtuber I watch religiously, the only “influencer” I like and follow and whose recommendations I’ll check out. She’s Korean-American, adopted, raised by a single mother who sounds like a badass. She has a cat named Bruce, and she lives in LA, and she makes these beautiful, cinematic videos, and she also vlogs. She has amazing hair and a gorgeous, sun-drenched studio. She also, like her mother, is a fucking badass.
I love her.
You’ve watched her videos with me, and you’re not as into them as I am, but you’ve said, I get it. She seems … real.
Yeah, right?!? I said, maybe too loudly, too enthusiastically, but you were used to my enthusiastic nature by then. She seems human. Like, I know she’s got a persona because that’s inevitable, but still — she seems real. And not perfect. I like that she doesn’t try to seem perfect.
I want to tell her all that in person, but, of course, I fumble and say little more than, Omg thank you I love your work you’ve helped me through some tough times, really quickly and breathlessly before running away. You say I should have stopped and chatted, but I say I never know what to say, I’m too awkward, blah blah blah, before you interject to say that I really should give myself more credit, I’m not nearly as awkward as I think I am.
But i get nervous! I say.
That’s normal, you say.
She was really nice.
I got pizza from Prince Street.
So fucking jealous. Did you get the pepperoni?
Of course. Who do you think I am?!
Later, I think more about why Claire means so much to me, why I’m still following her, watching her, even after so many years. I think that, yes, there’s the thing about her that’s human, that feels relatable and genuine, but then I think about why I write and create and share my stories, and I think it comes down to a very basic human want and need: connection. Claire’s videos have often made me feel less alone, especially during depressive episodes when I felt dull and broken and damaged — and you say, I get that, and I’m sorry you went through that. I’m glad she was there for you. I hope she still keeps being there for you! But I’m also here for you, so save me some pizza, damnit — Prince St. is the fucking best, I’m so jealous!