Thursday, February 23, 2006

MY Super Bowl vs. THE Super Bowl: A Conundrum

Everyone who knows me knows my obsession with the Oscars. "It's Linda's Super Bowl!" they mock. "It's my Super Bowl!" I proclaim happily. So how the heck do I suddenly find myself on a plane this upcoming Oscar Sunday on my way to a stoopid business trip? I will be missing my favorite gathering of the year, the Oscar party with my movie pals, where we place bets, eat junk food, scoff at fashions, roll our eyes at objectional winners and presenters, and yes, even occasionally cry at a good speech. Instead, I'll be sitting alone in a hotel room in Vegas, "watching" the Oscars with my friends over free long-distance minutes on a borrowed cell phone. But, shockingly, I'm ashamed to admit, this whole thing was my fault.

In December, my boss made his first threats: "You need to go for a week-long training conference, and soon! Guess what? There's a session in Chicago the first week of February! Book a flight. Now."

Chicago? In February? At an airport hotel? I whined. I scratched. My rainy and mossy Seattle self shuddered at the thought of being frozen into a popsicle in the famously harsh Midwestern winter. Then a lightbulb illuminated above my head with a cartoony "Ding!"

"Why, I CAN'T fly out that Sunday! That's SUPER BOWL Sunday!" Jokingly, I added, "I mean, what if the SEAHAWKS are in the Super Bowl this year? That would SUCK if I was on a plane to Chicago!"

Now, I haven't paid attention to the Seahawks since their last heyday in the mid-80s, before I morphed into an adult who is known to sometimes steam with fury at the idea of athletes getting paychecks in the multi-millions, and demanding (and getting) new stadiums with taxpayers' money. Don't even get me started on that. But my pleas and non-stop complaining ended up having an effect. The vice president of the company, who apparently loves me, came up with a compromise. "It's your lucky day..." my boss said to me a week or two later. "The VP found another conference for you to attend. It's in Vegas in March."

"Yesssssss...." I said, closing my eyes, hissing with under-the-breath Napoleon-Dynamite enthusiasm. Victory! Score! And did the Seahawks freakishly even make it to the Super Bowl? Heck, yes they did! Even if they lost to the Pittsburgh "Stealers", I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

It wasn't until I booked my flight for my post Super-Bowl business trip that a horrible realization dawned on me. First day of conference? March 6th. Flight to Las Vegas? Sunday, March 5th. Oscar Sunday.

Crap! Crappity crap crap. CRAP.

If I could kick myself in the ass, I would.

So, the Oscars will be a little different this year for me. No, it's alright... I'll be fine, really <**sniff!**>. My abrupt and urgent idea of moving the party to Vegas ended up petering out, as my pals either were broke or couldn't take time off. Instead, I've decided to make a nest on the hotel bed, and surround myself with junk food and periodically order room service on my company's dime. Maybe I'll wander down to the hotel bar, and get liquored up. I'll be that person—you know, the one whom people quietly sidle away from as I yell slurring at the TV, "Tell that girl to wear a bra! Her boobs are all floppy!" Then I'll stumble outside and fall into the pool. As I drift floating on my back, I'll look up and see the desert stars and think I'm actually an astronaut in space. The next morning I'll be fished out, just in time for my first day of the training conference. Yes.... It'll be good times in Vegas, mark my words.