Monthly Archives: February 2014

Is Your Oscar Acceptance Speech Ready?

Andrea Freedman

With the Oscars coming up this Sunday, it got me thinking about award shows past. Watching the Golden Globes, the Oscars or any of the other major award shows never fail to get me fantasizing about going to the Academy Awards myself as a nominee, complete with beautiful ornate dress and sparkling with diamonds.

The camera would show me, first on the red carpet, then nervously smiling in my seat when my name is called among the nominees in the writing category. When my name is called as the winner I hear applause in the background but wonder momentarily if it is really for me. My husband and family sitting with me excitedly urge me to get up and make my way to the stage.

Of course I worry about things like tripping on my way up or that the microphone will be way too high for me to reach and it will be really embarrassing when I try to give my acceptance speech and no one hears me, as well as how I will look on TV.

I wonder if I would get up there and hardly be able to speak. I can picture myself being overwhelmed first by nervousness at having to speak in front of such a large crowd and second by the emotion that I can only imagine comes with being recognized for winning an award of this magnitude.

Once I find my voice, I look into the camera and thank everyone watching at home and then offer the viewers at home some words of encouragement. After all, I tell them, if I could do it, anyone could.

I have a long list of people who gave me a chance when no one else would to thank and I want to make sure I get them all in before the music starts rudely playing to signal that my time is almost up. I hope I have not left anyone out; I am sure someone will say something afterward like “I thought you might have mentioned me specifically.”

Later, knowing myself as I do, I am sure that I would kick myself because there would be something else, just one more small important thing that I wished I would have remembered to include in my acceptance speech.

Whether it makes some of us who have hidden talents wish we would have tried harder to do something about it or whether it is because some of us actually aspire to one day, somehow, be up on the stage accepting an award ourselves, something about watching award shows can make some of us become a little emotional. For some it gives renewed hope that anything is possible and that it is never too late to realize upon one’s dreams. On occasions when I have gotten together with friends to watch an award show, I have sometimes felt self-conscious when I was caught in the act of crying during an acceptance speech.

Some of the winners never fail to choke me up, while I find others downright nauseating. I vow that if I ever do happen to have the chance to be up there myself I will do my best not to say anything that will make people roll their eyes or cringe.

For the longest time I kept my secret about my imagined Oscar acceptance speech to myself, believing people would think I was crazy or at the very least full of myself if they found out about it; then I discovered that I am not alone. There are indeed other people I know who have imagined the same thing as I have while watching the Academy Awards show.

Sure it might be a bit far-fetched to say that I or many others of us out there will ever be up for an Oscar, but perhaps one day we will be rewarded for our hard work in some other equally satisfying way. You never know.

I think I if I were ever lucky enough to get to the point where I was even considered for any award, let alone the Oscars, specifically for my writing, my biggest dream would have been achieved. That is not to say that I would not continue to strive for new goals in the future, but I would be content, knowing that I had accomplished the one thing that mattered most to me, especially if the description for one of the nominated movies boasted something like “Based on the novel by Andrea Freedman”.

This upcoming Sunday night, regardless of the fact that I have not even seen most of the nominated movies, I plan to be firmly planted on the couch, Kleenex within reach; let’s face it, it is not a question of if I will need it but when.

I guess I don’t have to worry about my acceptance speech for the time being but I still have it written in my head and ready to use at a moment’s notice – just in case.

Copyright © by Andrea Freedman 2014

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Splitting Ends – Not So Cut and Dried

Have you ever felt guilty for switching hairdressers, even if it was to save money? Click the link below to read my article Splitting Ends – Not So Cut and Dried – as published in the February 5, 2014 EastYorker community newspaper:

Splitting Ends – Not So Cut and Dried

Mind Your Own Mammogram

Andrea Freedman

Recently, while attending a social gathering, I spent some time chatting with a group of five or six other women. Everyone was getting along fine until one of the women began badgering a friend of hers who was also sitting with the group about whether or not she had booked a certain medical procedure.

As I noticed the other woman become visibly upset and from bits and pieces of what I heard of where the conversation was going, it was clear that this was not the first time that this poor lady had been harassed by her friend to get an unpleasant, personal health-related test.

I decided to excuse myself, not wanting to get involved in a conversation of this nature with people I really did not know that well and I certainly did not want to fall prey to the relentlessness of the woman who had started the whole thing.

As far as I am concerned, some things are private. Perhaps some people do not care to discuss what happens between them and their physicians or for that matter, their bodies. It is bad enough when someone makes it his or her mission to get someone else to have something like, let’s say, a colonoscopy, but I found it even more appalling that anyone would be cornered about this topic in a group setting.

Personally, I think some people are a little too gung-ho about getting overly frequent mammograms, colonoscopies, prostate screenings and other such delicate and let’s face it, sometimes embarrassing medical screenings. They can hardly wait until they turn a certain age so they can immediately book one doctor’s appointment after another and undergo invasive tests and disgusting preparation and after-effects often involved with them. I have even known some people who use their first big medical test as a gateway to thinking they need to be tested for everything else under the sun that one could think of being tested for. It is one thing to be diligent about one’s health but, just like with anything else in life, there is such a thing as going overboard. Having said that, whatever other people do is their business, as long as they don’t use it as a platform to preach to others.

While friends and family may mean well when they strongly suggest that others tend to their health, and while I am not suggesting that keeping on top of one’s health is a bad idea, it is up to an individual if and when he or she is ready to do whatever that might mean. Furthermore, I do not think anyone is obligated to provide their personal information to others.

Nagging will not help – in fact it may do completely the opposite. Actually, if it were me that had been the subject of the interrogation that evening, I think I – I who gets irritated when someone even bugs me to get a flu shot – would have been so angry I might have actually left the get-together.

In my opinion, some things are not necessary to discuss in a group setting. I am also just as happy not knowing the details about others when it comes to certain things; I find it fascinating that anyone would think it was okay to bud into someone else’s business in this way, and at a party no less.

Our bodies and what goes on with them are our own business. If someone tells another person that they think he or she should do something, all in the name of concern, one or perhaps two times tops, and especially if they get a sense that it might be getting on that person’s nerves, it is time to stop and wish the person you are giving advice to all the best.

On the other hand, if you are on the receiving end and feel that you are ever pestered about your personal business, try tactfully thanking the person for his or her advice but that you will take it from there. If that doesn’t work, there is always call display and cancelled plans until the person finally decides to either take the hint or take their own advice and shove it – and I’m sure I don’t have to tell you where.♠

Copyright © by Andrea Freedman 2014