Let me start by saying that I love the Oscars. I love them more than the Olympics. More than watching the ball drop in Times Square on New Year’s Eve. Only slightly more than the Golden Globes. I’ve hosted countless Oscar viewing parties. Participated in, and won, multiple betting pools. Spent hours watching red carpet coverage and cried at every “In Memoriam” tribute. It is the one live television event that I truly care about. The only thing that kept me from watching last year’s live broadcast was the fact that I spent the night in the hospital with my husband because he had fractured his jaw. And when we returned to our apartment the next evening—even though I already knew who had won and which of Ellen DeGeneres’s jokes had flopped—I still watched the whole damn thing on Hulu.
Ever since I was a little girl, Oscar night held a glamour and excitement that I can only compare to Christmas Eve. In my family, we didn’t watch the Superbowl; we went out to our favorite pizza place because it would be empty and my parents hate waiting to be seated. But staying up late to watch the Oscars was tradition. Billy Crystal was like a God to us and we still talk about his big opening numbers. Like that time Billy arrived on horseback! The time when he was wheeled onstage Hannibal Lector-style! Even today I could watch his various “It’s a wonderful night for Oscar! Oscar, Oscar! Who will win?” medleys on YouTube for hours. My mother and I played a game during every thematic movie montage to see who could name as many of the films as possible. I even loved the ridiculous choreographed dance numbers. After the last award was given, I would return to my bedroom and practice my own heartfelt acceptance speech while standing on my bed in my nightgown. Continue reading