This year, I failed at the Oscars. I failed at the Oscars because I didn’t watch them. I didn’t even write about them, something I’ve done extensively for the last four ceremonies on my blog, moviemusereviews.com. This year, however, I did nothing. The Oscars were the red carpet/stairs and I was Jennifer Lawrence, only no one saw me fall.
Even that bad joke is really a 2013 Oscars recap joke, that’s how bad it is, and as much as I want to shake my blunder off like it’s nothing, I just can’t seem to let it go.
Ok, that was a 2014 Oscars joke. (I said I didn’t watch them – I didn’t say I had no idea what was going on.) But even though I knew who and what films were nominated and could swear to you that almost 100 percent of my mental Oscar predictions came true (saw the Gravity sweep with a loss in Best Picture to 12 Years a Slave coming for miles), I felt out of touch, like someone should try revoking my cinephile license.
I was in Houston Sunday night, staying with some wonderful friends who moved there from Chicago a couple summers ago. I intended to be home for the Oscars, but flights are cheaper on Monday mornings. Although my friends don’t have TV, our plan was to stream the ceremony, which ABC offered for the first time this year, but when the time came, it wasn’t working. We tried again and again, but eventually we gave up. So we spent more quality time together instead, which I treasured, but the movie nerd part of me was crushed; I essentially ignored his annual birthday party.
I also acted like I didn’t so much as care his birthday was coming up. For the years prior to this one, I would start preparing for the Oscars Dec. 1 by following the awards season buzz like a hawk, studying up to make Oscar nomination predictions. After the nominees were announced in January, I’d spend the weeks leading up to the ceremony analyzing every single category (even best documentary, short subject, despite not seeing any of the nominees) on my blog and predicting the winners. By Oscar Sunday, the suspense would boil over, and I would be glued to the screen. After analyzing the show the next day, I would sigh in relief that it was over and do the whole thing again 9 months later.
And I did it all for fun. I did it for free. I did it because I loved it. Just as I did with everything else on my blog, and another website (or two) that I wrote and edited content for over the course of three years.
Then, last March, I got a full-time job with JUF and Oy!Chicago, a job that has nothing to do with movies (except when I write these blog posts). (In a cruel poetic twist of course, I received the call with the job offer while at a movie theater.)
It all went downhill from there for the movie nerd part of me. I struggled to see movies in theaters or at home, especially in a timely fashion, and some reviews took weeks to complete. I wrote no feature stories or fun movie content to supplement the reviews I did write. My movie mojo had disappeared.
Everyone has their Super Bowl. Everyone has something that not’s a value or a priority but a pure love: a sport, a hobby, an event, a holiday or even a second professional passion, which every so often comes to a boiling point. It’s a time when the world stops and we must stop anything from tampering with our little love affair; we want to completely lose ourselves to it. For some people, that’s the Oscars. For me, it’s the Oscars, the actual Super Bowl, my fantasy football draft, and a few other things. At times, however, for one reason or another, our lives interfere with and impede our Super Bowls, and that disappointment stings a little.
The real challenge, however, isn’t dealing with the pain of a missed Super Bowl. It’s not about forcing yourself to understand that this passion isn’t all that important in the grand scheme of things and that you should get over it. Rather, it’s being able to recognize that where you are, what you’re doing, or who you’re with, is totally worth missing a Super Bowl for.