Tuesday, April 14, 2009
I'd Like to Thank the Academy
I was reading one of my favorite blogs today, one that has about 750 registered followers to my 12.
Shout out to the 12: You rock! Please keep reading. Shout out to my older sister: Please figure out how to register so I can get to lucky 13!
Anyway, this blogger was talking about how she had been nominated for the Blogger’s Choice Best Humor Blog award, and she encouraged us to vote for her and others we might know in the blog world.
At the end of her post, I saw the words “And ANNA! Don’t forget to vote for Anna.”
No. Couldn’t be, could it? Could I be the Anna she was talking about? Sure every little girl age 6 and under is named Anna these days, but in the 30-something blogger set? Not such a common name.
I let a glimmer of hope enter my head that not only did a famous blogger consider me one of her special peeps, she was putting my name in ALL CAPS and asking her legions of followers to vote for me for an award I not only didn’t know existed, but I didn’t know I was nominated for. Heady moments, heady moments.
When I followed the link, I quickly saw that not only am I not the Anna in question, the Anna in question is ridiculously funny, and just gained a vote and a new subscriber: ME.
My confession today is that I have a long history of being a weird melding of total insecurity and self aggrandizement all rolled into one big dysfunctional package.
While I have oodles of insecurities and get stressed rising to what some might see as the tiniest challenge, I also expect accolades for the most minor achievement, real or perceived. Sounds a lot like the generation of children we are supposedly raising. Ahead of my time, perhaps?
I remember sitting in the Café-torium in grade school, having just won the coveted Leadership Award at the 6th grade banquet. I didn’t consider myself any great leader, but it felt great to be recognized for something, and I must admit I had the whole sweaty palm, nervous excitement thing happening right up until they announced my name.
Next, the announcer said she had one more award to present. “This is for a special girl in 6th grade who has shown dedication and determination beyond her years.” The wheels started spinning? Could it be? Two awards in a row?
Dedication and Determination? Well, I did quit piano lessons, but maybe they didn’t know about that yet. And, as the youngest child, I didn’t learn how to tie my shoes until 1st grade, content to have my friend Yvonne do it for me. In fact, I still couldn’t dive into a pool because I didn’t want to look stupid trying. Oh well—details, details!
She continued, “This student woke up before dawn every day to hone her special skills.” Before dawn? Hone? Maybe some of the facts were altered ever so slightly, but I could still picture that fancy red white and blue ribbon around my neck for whatever (dubious) distinction I was about to be awarded.
She concluded, “One day this young woman will be a world-famous figure skater and we can say we knew her when! Cathy DePaul, come accept your award.” Okay, so she lost me at world-famous figure skater.
However, I’m convinced if the announcer had started with, “This student was born a poor black boy, son of sharecroppers in rural Georgia,” I still would have been on the edge of my seat, ready to claim my award. Why? Why? Why?
Both Molly and Jake have confessed to me in quiet moments of snuggling, that this has happened to them, too: Jake when he was certain his Pinewood Derby car was going to win the design award for his Cub Scout Pack, and Molly, when she thought she would earn a solo, or duet, or trio, or any speaking part in one of the school concerts.
Molly whispered, “Right before they say the winner, Mom, I really think ‘It’s me, it’s me, It’s gotta be me.’ Then it’s not, and I feel like crying, but I don't, and I feel like pretending I never wanted it in the first place.”
Ahhhh. Ahhhh. Ahhhh. I hear ya’, sister.