It does not matter whether I’m in a state of enjoying my job or enduring it. Every now and then, it hits me like the alarm for an event I plugged into my phone but have otherwise forgotten: Oh yeah, I don’t really belong here.
It’s not the institution, for which I’m very proud to work. It’s not the department, in which I’m happy. It’s just a feeling – I know it to be true – that I was born for something else, something that tells a better story, something that pays me in spaghetti-O’s but is my passion and happiness, even when it’s hard, hard work. Right now, I pursue this else beside the day job. And occasionally, thus, the feeling as above.
Today was – well – Monday. I’m not a super fan of the Monday. Or even a fan. Not usually. I went into this one fairly glad, though, to get back to routine, to the days when the mail comes again and banks are open. But, the feeling didn’t really last. Which is why I was so very glad to realize it was Emmy night.
The Emmys on a Monday? I know. The mind reels. This show has apparently not been on a Monday since 1976. Seth Meyers told us that in his opening monologue, and I felt so grateful. Usually, these awards shows – these glimpses into something that feels a little more akin to that for which I was born – they happen on Sunday, making me even more tired on Monday and even more disappointed I’m not sleeping in from my late-night dinner with the entire cast of anything.
But this Monday, the idea of the party got me through. That, and this Diet Coke, which I drank while pretending I shared it with Mom. A few notes on the fun:
I am so cliche when it comes to Julia Roberts. Obviously, we are supposed to fawn over this woman as the star who makes any awards show complete. And I totally do. There are men I feel this way about, too. But she’s the only woman I can think of. And that’s it. I don’t think she’s the most beautiful or the most graceful. She doesn’t usually wear my favorite dress of the night or give the most moving speech. I’m just glad when she is there. I appreciate her. I like her Danny Moder and her crazily old-fashioned baby names and how she looks good in every hair color there is. She’s Julia Roberts. I buy in, and I’m okay with that.
Seth Meyers. I loved when he said of television, “You never have to text Television, ‘You up?’ Television is always up. Not like the movies, which makes us put pants on and go to their house and spend forty dollars on soda.” This is so true. You know me – or, at least, I think you do: I like pants. I like Movies, and I like Movies’ house. But this joke did for me exactly what it was supposed to. I just got it. And I agreed.
Red. My favorite red carpet look, hands down, almost every time, is red. Which doesn’t seem like the way to go against a red carpet, but there you have it. The red dresses almost always move me more than all the others.
It’s so hard to say goodbye. To people we don’t know. There is an intellectual study about why in the world we truly care about the death of someone we did not actually know. It’s just facial recognition, really, the ancient feeling that they must be in our tribe because they’re so familiar; and it hurts to lose someone from the tribe. I don’t know. Maybe we’re also just grateful that this person overcame lazy and selfish and I’d rather not try than fail just enough to actually give us something. They gave it to us. I know, we gave them money in return, and maybe they got rich. But in the beginning, when they were on a stage every night for a year to say the exact same lines over and over again, when they cried on camera seven times in a row at 3:00 in the morning when absolutely no one and nothing is glamorous – at all, when they auditioned and failed and auditioned and failed and auditioned and got told they were too fat and failed but kept going back, they gave. I don’t need you to believe that. I believe it. I’ve been moved by stories way too many times. I’m grateful, and I’m heartbroken that I could give nothing in return that was good enough to make him want to stay.
As much as I loved Sarah Bareilles singing Smile during the In Memorium, I did not enjoy the music throughout the rest of the show. It was weird. Most of the time, to me, it wasn’t even music. How young do they think we are? Was that a record scratching? But I loved the bit with the Q&A (“Who has the bathroom key?”). I loved everything Amy Pohler, the moment when Julia Louis Dreyfus pretended not to remember dating Bryan Cranston on Seinfeld, Billy Crystal, the idea of putting lyrics to current television theme music (but maybe without Weird Al), and the way Julia felt when she had to announce one winner in arguably the biggest category of the night (minus best in show), what with Matthew McConaughey having the chance to win an Oscar and an Emmy in the same year, if only he hadn’t been up against the Breaking Bad guy.
It wasn’t a magnificent night. It wasn’t, maybe, elegant or epic and sweeping. But it was awfully good for a Monday. And it’s television, after all. You don’t even have to wear pants.