"It's as if a great bird lives inside the stone of our days and since no sculptor can free it, it has to wait for the elements to wear us down, till it is free to fly." Mark Nepo

Sunday, February 22, 2009

My Oscar Habit

The Academy Awards is tonight. 

I've been looking forward to this night since the end of last year's event. I've planned my weekend so that I can  get myself upstairs in front of our television early enough to see every single minute of  every single bit of it. I will watch from the first of the red carpet until the end of the credits - hours that will go too fast. 

I'm willing to pay the price of mad knees, complaining back and a too tired Monday. I will not be answering the phone, doing the dishes or playing with Toby. I will not be available for conversation, even during commercials. Those are for bathroom breaks and refueling.

I'm not one to go to Oscar parties. The one year I did, I missed a lot of good stuff because there was so much talking going on. I prefer having the whole experience to myself. Walt will drift in and out, but mostly I'm on my own.  Just me and all the dreamy little girl parts of me and all the hopeful teenage parts of me, and maybe a cat if she sits really really still.

I haven't seen this year's movies. I often don't care for the nominated films because of their dark intensity or too-commercial quality. More often than not, I disagree with the Academy's choices in almost every category - whether I've actually seen the performances or not.

That doesn't matter at all. This is not a place for reason. 

It's the magic that draws me year after year after year. Even knowing that it's manufactured magic doesn't faze me. I feel the excitement of the winners, the disappointment of the losers equally, and feel more alive for both. I imagine myself in the gorgeous gowns, grateful for Judi Dench and Helen Mirren and Emma Thompson in the last few years. I admire the handsome men, although more and more thinking they could be my sons, which greatly diminishes their impact as fantasy  material. 

I love seeing Jack Nicholson in the front row every year. I wonder how he manages that. I wonder if those people in the front few rows are enjoying the experience, or if they're worried about winning, or about keeping body parts where they belong and breathing at the same time. I wonder if the thrill of being nominated and recognized will be enough to soften the pain of not winning. I wonder if the thrill of winning will last beyond tomorrow morning.

I wonder at the hungry sapling women in Barbie gowns and borrowed jewels that are worth more than the Gross National Product of many small countries. Are they happy? Am I contributing to their unhealth by watching the show? What would it be like to have lunch and get to know them?

Mostly I wonder why I find such pleasure in something so superficial and fleeting and frivolously expensive. But not enough  to be willing to give up this Oscar night habit.  Three hours until the red carpet. I can hardly wait.

photo from Flickr


kario said...

Have a lovely, indulgent evening. Too bad they're held on Sunday nights, but at least next year, you can sleep in on Monday ;-)

Love you!

Carrie Wilson Link said...

I am JUST the same way, for all those reasons. This year I've got Woohoo watching with me - kind of cute, kind of buggy. Every time my eyes well up she says something mundane and breaks the moment. Next year? Back to just me.

Mark Lyons said...

I don't watch the Oscars, but I love it that you do. And I love it that you can dream...and share the joy and pain with the winners and loser alike. We all need a little fantasy in our lives.



Amber said...

Didn't you think it was a GREAT show this year? I loved the changes they made, and how it was produced, and Hugh Jackman-- hello!
It all felt Old Hollywood.


contemporary themes said...

I didn't even watch this year. I guess I missed it all! I love how much you look forward to the show!

Jerri said...

I'm right beside you in spirit, watching every moment and cheering for the ones who tremble as they talk or show their gratitude.

Loved Hugh Jackman. How about you?