By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen
Carole Townsend

The Oscars are coming!
By Carole Townsend

The 87th annual Oscar Awards ceremony airs this coming Sunday, February 22. I know this, because my sister makes sure I know when it’s scheduled every year.

She loves these things; all the awards shows are right down her alley. She’s an avid follower of who’s wearing what, who’s marrying or divorcing whom, who’s having a baby, and all that stuff. I have tried to keep up with all that information, but for the life of me, I just can’t muster enough interest to do it.  

A couple of years ago, my husband and I were traveling with my sister and brother-in-law. We were all together when the Oscars aired, and for the first time in my life, I settled in and watched them with my family. My sister amazed me; she knew everything about every actor and actress, and she knew about every movie that was up for an award. It was like having our own personal red carpet reporter with us. I was impressed.

We watched the entire ceremony, well into Monday morning if I’m not mistaken. Under other circumstances, there’s no way I’d put myself through it. It’s not that I don’t enjoy movies. I do. But I know absolutely nothing about Hollywood gossip.  I know even less about fashion, especially haute couture. If I’m wearing a relatively new sweatshirt (one purchased since 1985) and dark leggings, I’ve exhausted my knowledge of how to dress. 

I know nothing about Hollywood celebrities and who’s married to whom this month. It’s too difficult to keep up with, and I have a hard time figuring out why one would want to do that, anyway. We have four children and if I’m even partially apprised of what’s new in their lives, I feel smugly informed.

My husband and I get to go see a movie in an actual movie theatre about four or five times a year. We call those our date nights. Therefore, I only recognize maybe one or two movies actually in the running for an award. The rest of the nominated films sound like foreign, artsy films that have English translations at the bottom of the screen and will likely make me cry. I hate to cry.

Three hours into the awards show that we watched a couple of years ago, I kept thinking to myself, “Surely it’s winding down. How many more categories can possibly be rewarded?” another couple of stars would sashay out onto the stage and  struggle to make the audience laugh, or struggle to simply stand upright, or to stand, turn and not trip over the miles of fabric trailing out behind her. Or him.  The dresses were both fabulous and dangerous.

And just as the program was drawing to an end (I could tell the end was near because many of the nominees themselves were falling asleep)  Jack Nicholson wandered out onto the stage to introduce First Lady Michelle Obama, who revealed the film voted “Best Picture.”

What? I was confused. Did I fall asleep? Did someone change the channel to CNN when I dozed off? No, it was just a strange end to a very long awards show. I still don’t understand why the president of the United States’ wife would have anything to do with the Oscars or the Best Picture of 2013, but there she was. I can’t remember what the Best Picture was back in 2013, but I do remember thinking that her presenting the award was a little odd. I was obviously in over my head.

Oh well, now I can cross that whole Hollywood voyeur event off my Bucket List. I even told my sister as much, and she came right back at me with the foreboding question, “Have you ever watched the SAG Awards or Golden Globes?”

“No, I haven’t,” I answered, and she told me in no uncertain terms that I simply must.

To date, I have not watched any more awards shows. I doubt that I will. I prefer to pull on an old sweatshirt and watch something educational, like Wicked Tuna or Naked and Afraid. But shhh…some things even sisters don’t have to share.

Carole Townsend is a Gwinnett author and freelance writer. She writes about family, from both a humorous and poignant perspective. Her newest book, MAGNOLIAS, SWEET TEA AND EXHAUST (July 2014, Skyhorse Publishing) takes a look at NASCAR from a Southern suburban mom’s perspective. She is currently writing her fourth book. Carole has appeared on local and national news and talk shows, including CNN, ABC, CBS and NBC affiliates. When not writing, she travels throughout the region, speaking to various civic and literary groups, and advocating for the health and well-being of the family, particularly women and children. For more information, visit www.caroletownsend.com.