And The Oscar Goes To ...
Did you all watch the latest Academy Awards show? Quite a spectacle with all the Hollywood VIPs and wannabes in their pricey designer gowns, tuxes and ostentatious bling-bling strutting down the red carpet to the opulent Panatages Theatre, settling into their plush seats, and breathlessly waiting to learn if they had won a coveted Oscar — or if, instead, they would be forced to smile good-naturedly on camera and applaud a rival who had beaten them out. Win or lose, all the nominees at least had their moment in the spotlight.
But what about the rest of us? How come we don't get public acknowledgment for our achievements? Don't we deserve an award? Since it would admittedly be less significant than the Oscar, we could call it the Oscarette. It would be smaller than its illustrious namesake and made of plastic; but, hey, it would be better than nothing, right?
I can see it now: Me in my fluorescent Wal-Mart creation (complemented by my Payless flip-flops and Dollar Store jewelry) sitting at a table at I-Hop with my fellow nominees, waiting to learn who will get the Oscarette for (drum roll, please) Making The Bed Every Morning Before Leaving The House.
My competition is stiff — my cousin Mary who dusts and vacuums every inch of her home every single day; my neighbor Gen, a former nun, who trained in housekeeping for eighteen years under the demanding tutelage of Sister Agnes Frances, a name feared in all of conventdom; and my Aunt Philomena, who is required by law to keep sunglasses on a table by her front door for her guests lest they be permanently blinded by the spotlessness within.
I am choked with emotion. It is truly an honor just be nominated among such illustrious company. If I am lucky enough to win, I hope I will not forget to thank all the little people who helped me along the way.
Oscarettes could be created for dozens of categories, including:
Closet Cleaning: Someone who goes through his or her wardrobe and actually gets rid of some stuff certainly deserves an award. This prize may go unclaimed, however, since I, for one, have never heard of anyone ever doing this.
Courage to Face The World, Even On Bad Hair Days: Since celebrities would not be eligible to be nominated for an Oscarette, Donald Trump would be prohibited from competing, leaving the field wide open for the rest of us.
Balancing Your Check Book Every Month: A monumental achievement that undeniably deserves recognition.
Saving — And Eventually Also Eating — Leftovers: Simply storing them in the fridge for a few weeks and then discarding them disqualifies any candidate, which narrows the field considerably.
Not Throwing Your Computer Out The Window When It Crashes and Destroys Five Years of Work: Certainly such restraint merits a reward.
Cheerfully Sharing The Remote And All Household Duties With Your Spouse: A category for husbands only. There may never be a winner.
Answering All Your Phone Calls, Even When Your Caller ID Reveals The Name of Someone You'd Like To Avoid: This could be classified as a humanitarian award.
Resisting The Urge To Play Computer Solitaire Instead Of Working: To be awarded by the winner's boss, along with a thank-you check of $50,000.
Leaving A Note For The Person Whose Car You Scratched In The Parking Lot, Even If No One Saw You: A Ripley's Believe It Or Not contender.
Reading Your Child Her Favorite Bedtime Story Every Night: Also known as the "I'm so sick of Good Night, Moon I could vomit!" Oscarette.
Other unsung heroes and heroines to be honored include those who exercise every day and pass up that second piece of cheesecake ... limit their TV viewing only to PBS cultural offerings ... declare every penny of income, documented or not, on their tax returns ... make their own coffee every morning and donate to charity the three dollars they would have spent at Starbucks ... never criticize their boss — even if they're self-employed and their boss deserves criticism ... flossing their teeth every single night ... don't sneak into the 8-Items-or-Less checkout lane with nine items ... don't pretend to be young by refusing all senior discounts ... and many more.
The list of categories is interminable — just like the Academy Awards. Come to think of it, a special Oscarette should go to anyone who can stay awake for the entire Oscar show.
What do you think? Wouldn't we all go out there and tackle our everyday, humdrum lives with new enthusiasm, knowing we have an opportunity to some day hear those magical words,
"And the Oscarette goes to ............ You!"
Ooops! Look at the time! If I don't leave right now, I'm going to be late for my dentist appointment.
But first I have to make the bed. Don't want to jeopardize my nomination!
Editor's Note: Rose Mula's most recent book, The Beautiful People and Other Aggravations, is now available at your favorite bookstore, through Amazon.com and other online bookstores, and through Pelican Publishing (800-843-1724), as is her previous book, If These Are Laugh Lines, I'm Having Way Too Much Fun.