An Entitled Path From 'Laugh-In' To Break-In

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By Donna Britt
Friday, May 20, 2005

You've had a long day at work, a hellish commute and finally have arrived home. Stepping inside, you notice instantly that a previously closed window is ajar. You know:

Someone is inside your house. Hearing footsteps upstairs, you recklessly decide not to phone the police, instead grabbing a baseball bat. Slowly ascending, you burst into a bedroom, discovering:

A blond, blue-eyed and bubbly Hollywood star.

That crazy scene never happened at the cozy Takoma Park duplex where Goldie Hawn grew up -- but it could have. During a recent Washington visit to promote her new book, "Goldie: A Lotus Grows in the Mud," the Oscar-winning actress recently acknowledged that she so adores her red-brick childhood home and its attendant memories that she once climbed, uninvited, through an unlocked window to reminisce while its owner was away.

Before we get to "Is this woman insane?" I must confess: Very few celebrities spark the knuckleheaded belief in me that if I knew them, we'd be buddies. But Goldie's one of them.

She's so . . . likable. So warm. So gifted that her acting chops might actually be underrated -- bringing genuine pathos to such broad comedies as "The First Wives Club" is no snap. She comes off as Jay Leno recently described her: "The nicest person in Hollywood."

So why has Hawn repeatedly appeared unannounced at -- and once even entered uninvited -- a near-stranger's home?

People's homes are extensions of them. They are intimate and sacred spaces, as anyone who has been burglarized can attest. The stunning cluelessness demonstrated by Hawn's intrusions reminded me of basketball star Latrell Sprewell's insulted reaction last year to a contract offer reportedly worth between $27 million and $30 million for three seasons. "I've got my family to feed," Spre said disgustedly.

Do the little Sprewells eat hundred-dollar bills at every meal?

Each day and in every way, the public tells the rich, famous and gifted that they're more important and entitled than the rest of us. We suggest that inconvenient rules that apply to everyday schlubs need not apply to them.

Why are we surprised when they believe it?

If strangers constantly approached you gushing, "I feel like I know you!" how long would it be before you started believing they did know you -- at least well enough for you to take advantage of them?


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© 2005 The Washington Post Company

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