This Sunday the Academy Awards will be on TV. It’s one of my favorite television events. Which is odd, considering I generally don’t know the majority of the actors nor have I seen the majority of the movies. I’m actually not sure exactly when this phenomenon took place.
I used to know things. Now, sadly, not so much.
I can vividly remember listening to the radio or watching TV with my parents and asking their opinion on this song or that artist or some movie star, only to look up at their faces and see them looking back at me. Blankly. They had no clue who I was talking about. Nor, for that matter, did they seem to care. Their mid-lives were occupied with other pressing things and my young self couldn’t fathom how any of that would take precedence over knowing who was who and what was what in the entertainment world, let alone not really caring about it.
And now I get it. The kids ask me if I like this song or that group. Do I think this star is beautiful or that one just plain crazy? And I search the very little brain space I have left in my head to recall any shred of detail about the people and things they are referring to so I can respond in a way that they don’t think I live in a completely oblivious black hole of numbing monotonous adulthood. But nine times out of ten, I’ve got nothing. And I look back at them. Blankly.
This always seems to ring home very loudly just as the world gets ready for the Academy Awards. I catch snippets of previews of the movies that are nominated and what the beautiful and glamorous stars will be wearing. And I realize I have not heard of half of the stars and have only seen one of the movies they are talking about. And I wonder WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN?!
It wasn’t always this way. As young married adults with a little bit of disposable income we saw every movie the first weekend it came out. Every weekend. Every movie. We went to concerts and listened to the radio turned up too loud. I shoved entertainment magazines in the grocery cart and we stayed awake watching late night TV. I knew who was who. I knew what was what.
But somewhere along the line things began to change – jobs, babies, kids, responsibilities, sleep deprivation. There was not enough pocket change to keep up with all the movies and concerts and People magazines and nowhere near enough hours in the day to justify staying up with late night comedians on television. I went from knowing all the actors and movies to knowing very few. And nowadays if we do see a movie, it’s on the couch at home and I am lucky to make it through the previews without falling asleep. Shameful. I laugh as I look back and remember telling myself that this very thing would never happen. But here I am and so it has.
I still love the Academy Awards. I love watching the stars arrive in their beautiful evening wear, ohhhing and ahhhing at their jewelry and hairstyles. What’s there not to love about the red carpet?! The girls have started to enjoy it too. For a few years now we have watched the red carpet coverage and discussed who had the best dress, hair, etc. The girls are still too young to see most of the movies nominated, but they are not old and out of touch like their mother, so they know the names of the actors arriving in limousines and posing for cameras. The red carpet pre-show and opening acts are about all that they get to watch since we are east coast viewers and I am the mean mom who likes everyone settled and in bed on time on Sunday nights. But we make the most of it before they go off to bed and I fall asleep in front of the TV.
Last year we decided to have some fun and make our own awards for the red carpet. The girls made up the categories and named the awards “The Besties.” The only rule was the categories had to be positive (i.e. no award for “biggest train wreck” or ” worst fashion disaster”). Some of my favorite categories that they came up with are “best smile,” “kindest eyes,” “most genuine,” “best normal hair,” and “happiest to be there.” We watched together, and everyone voted on their own papers for who they think won each category. Surprisingly, we had near unanimous winners. So either we all have similar styles or the standouts were pretty clear. I’m not sure which.
If you are looking for some entertainment while watching the red carpet download this printable and play along. We’ll see who wins “The Besties” in our house this year.
And we’ll see if I can make it through the awards show without falling asleep.