Was I disappointed? Of course. I didn't want to leave the party Friday night, probably the coolest I'll ever get a chance to blunder into.
Waitstaff passed yummies. The carnival colors of Speed Racer flashed before a flotilla of comfy couches in the screening room. In the gym, Matrixy patterns fashioned out of drilled holes streamed down the wood panel walls in a somehow friendly and gym-appropriate way. A cowboy boot piñata waited patiently for the bat. Four, count 'em, four real live Oscars (best editing, best sound, best effects and best sound effects editing - hmm, that sounds a little like a snake eating its tail, doesn't it?) stood on a shelf.
Yeah. I KNOW. I am not making this up.
You know that feeling of walking into a room and feeling like an impostor? I didn't have that, really. I saw Bound when it first came out, and loved it. Randy is an old school buddy of the host.
(Gotta admit - I don't know what cracked me up more, the fact that the other cool tchotchkes, the toy sized movie monsters and cars and robot squids and cartoony figures that surrounded the gold statues actually held Mia and Nora's attention longer or the fact that Mia said, "Mommy held a real one of those," and Daddy got to correct her, "those are real too.")
I didn't want to leave the party.
There was cake.
But even though our kind hosts had supplied babysitters, ping pong, Twister and bean bag toss, even though there were tons of happy kids running around and parents sipping and chatting while they nonchalantly ignored the gold men on the shelf, we're not a family made that way.
Nora fell in the gym and hit her head and wanted to go to the doctor. I made an ice pack out a plastic baggie from the caterer and some ice from the bartender, but she didn't want it, just wanted to see Dr. Ocean (that's her version of Olsen) and his funny pirate watch. Mia was red-faced and over-excited too, bobbing from room to room, not making eye contact when I reminded her to walk, not run. When she burst into tears because she couldn't get the Wii controller to work, I was getting frustrated and it was time to go home. It would be half an hour after bedtime by the time we got home if we left now.
Sometimes when my children are inconsolable, it's my mothering that feels like the job of an imposter.
Just that morning, another mom had reminded me, "You want to be drinking coffee with the moms in the other room, but we have to be a little more vigilant. Our kids need a little more help." I needed to remind myself of this on the drive home.
And I know that if we'd hired a babysitter and made it a date night, I would have looked at the other kids having fun and wished Mia and Nora could have come to play, and to see all this too.
This is the way they display Oscars at the mall, not at private parties. Behind glass or with a little cord attaching the unawarded statue to the lectern so the hoi-polloi lining up to get their pictures taken won't do something silly. The one pictured here, by the way, is Clark Gable's Best Actor for 1934's It Happened One Night, the actor's only win.
Spotting this guy last month on the way to buy some sneakers was a bit of a sock in the jaw since this was the movie that started my long and intense pre-teen love affair with Gable. IHON also won for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Actress to Claudette Colbert. In 1996, Stephen Spielberg bought Gable's Oscar statue at a Christie's auction and returned it to the Academy for safekeeping.