Those who know me know that I dig that annual celebrity ass-kiss called the Academy Awards. Typically, we host a get-together rife with good food and stiff drink. We gather under some high-minded idea of celebrating all thing film; while the real fun is found in ripping on the finery that the stars come draped in. Ronnie and Jeff were going to come over again this year, and indeed, there are no two people I would rather listen to riff on the red carpet that these two. We had a great menu planned; featuring fondue and some pulled-pork sliders. Real life, however, served itself as a reminder that its all mindless fun until reality sets in.
When I was leaving work on Friday, there were two text messages that stopped me in my tracks. One, from Ronnie, that said that his mother had been hospitalized for a suspected stroke. That was stunning enough, but the second text was from Kristy, my hometown bestie, informing me that my Aunt Bonnie was in the hospital and in critical condition. A flurry of phone calls followed, updates given, worries grew. Within the next 24 hours, Ronnie's mom's tests were good and she improved. My aunt, however, was not expected to survive the night, but has astoundingly defied the odds again and is conscious and responding to medication. I've written about Aunt Bonnie on this blog several times. She is the one that's a wizard in the kitchen; the creator of the Magic Noodles. This is the woman who, despite all of her health issues, hand-wrote all of her recipes for me. She is one of my most treasured aunts and she and my Mom are as close as two sisters could be. Mom had a hand in raising Bonnie and they have always been two peas in a pod. When I was young, I always knew when Mom was talking to Bonnie on the phone when I heard her nearly breathless with laughter. I still picture the two of them at Dad's funeral; their wheelchairs pulled together, sharing tears with clasped hands. I remain ready, in case anything happens, to head back to my hometown to help Mom, in case anything happens. The prayers are ever-present for Aunt Bonnie...her own strong faith has gotten her through so much.
So, the Oscar get-together has been canceled due to all of the family crises. I remember that the Oscars were going on when I was home taking care of my ailing parents. The situation didn't allow for a viewing of the awards, let alone any type of party. The Oscars seem so vapid and meaningless in the shadow of Real Life but sometimes I think that's the allure as well. For some of us, giving a night over to a little glamor and some potential for bad celebrity behavior is a much-needed lark. That same year, Kristy got Ronnie to text me his twisted and hilarious red-carpet observations. I sat in my childhood bedroom, with only these texts connecting me to the awards and I relished each text that came. I was convulsed with gut-busting laughter as the texts rolled on and humor was a rare thing during those days. Don't tell me laughter doesn't heal.
I am a die-hard film fan, too, although this year, one that has barely participated in the process. I've seen one, count it, one nominated film: The Help. Also, the most highly touted films such as The Artist or Hugo have been met with relative "mehs" from many of my most trusted fellow film fans; including Ronnie and Jeff. Therefore, I haven't been moved toward seeing many of the nominated films. I'm a film freak in traction.
It looks like a quiet year for the awards and for us. K threw together some frozen meatballs we had in the freezer in the slow cooker with a garlic-chipotle barbecue sauce that we had picked up in Kentucky. We are munching on some healthier cut-up veggies as well as some flax brownies from a box. It ain't fondue, but it is what it is and it won't go straight to my ass like most of the items we were going to make. I miss the camaraderie, though...I will hopefully get some texts or emails on the red carpet from Ronnie and Kristy. Laughter is good. It's part of the secret to Mom's and Aunt Bonnie's longevity, if you ask me.
In the meantime, prayers remain for all those loved ones who need them.