As a retired event planner, I feel obligated to throw a few shindigs now and again to keep my party skills sharp — and the Oscars gave me a good excuse to have a little gala in my small in-home theatre last night.
The first dilemma was a forced imposed guest limit due to constraints of having only eight “official cinema” seats. Because of “chair scarcity,” each seat became valuable real-estate and thus my desire to fill it with non-flaky people (who would actually rsvp in a timely manner and follow-thru with showing up) was escalated.
I decided to make this a casual Ladies Only get-together so I invited a group of compatible women who knew one another from book club and to make it more fun, I wrote, “Come in pajamas!” One by one, as rsvp’s slowly trickled in and were mainly “No’s” (What’s this? Nobody mentioned I would be cooking!) I would re-invite someone new to replace the original declining guest — again wanting to insure all 8 seats were filled was my goal.
Soon it became almost an entirely new guest list where nobody really knew one another like they did before, but I told myself the Oscars would keep us entertained.
I also thought it would be fun (again being overly ambitious with prior party planning creativity) to hold a contest to predict the most winners (with a prize) and to have a “Dear Oscar” activity with guests anonymously writing down their personal dilemmas (think Dear Abby) and me reading them aloud during commercials when we’d chime in with advice.
Simple so far, right? Easy Peasy La-La Landeasy! Here’s how it all went down:
*Lady #1: Hi! Glad I made it. What a cute movie room this is. Um … all purple? Well I’m just grateful I can stay in my nightgown! I brought shrimp cocktails for everyone.
Me: How nice. I should have mentioned you’re the only one from the original guest list. The other women are actually now Jewish and don’t eat shellfish.
Lady #2: (sniffing, looking #1 over) Also we actually took the time to put our clothes on.
Me: Oh, that’s not her fault. Excuse me . . . Sweetie — please don’t do that to the chair. It’s not a leather recliner.
Lady #4: Hmph, well I have a bad back, however I’ll try to stay until Best Supporting Actor, only because I love Jeff Bridges.
Me: But that’s the very first award. Sheesh, can you at least call in for ‘backup?’ No pun intended, but I really want all 8 chairs occupied.
Lady # 6: Do we have to fill out these Oscar ballots? Ever since the November election, I get nauseas voting.
Lady #1: That’s the shrimp smell. I stashed the platter under my seat.
Lady #4: You mean the cheap-o seats that won’t lean back.
Lady #2: Dear Abby, err Oscar — How to handle it when someone comes to a party dressed inappropriately?
Me: I told you, NOT her fault. Her invitation said ‘Pajama Party.’ And please don’t read your question aloud, they’re supposed to be anonymous.
Lady #5: Shhhh, I can’t hear who the nominees are for Best Depressing Film.
Lady #6: Don’t worry, A Dog’s Purpose will win that. The cute little guy gets reincarnated and keeps dying.
Lady #3: That’s not a thing!
Lady #6: Well, I happen to believe in getting recycled even if you have a tail!
Lady #3: No, I meant there’s no ‘Best Depressing’ category.
Lady #7: Her screen is depressing. Is that just a white bed sheet?
Me: Excuse me, but who are you? And do you ever get told you resemble Jeff Bridges?
Man #1: Hi! My wife had a bad back and called me to be her replacement seat-warmer.
Lady #2: Dear Oscar, There’s a woman here breaking many of the Lord’s commandments. She eats shrimp, she’s scantily clad amongst a married man, and she’s only seen Schindler’s List once. What to do?
Me: Please, I’ll read all those questions during commercials. Yoo hoo over there! Sorry, but that popcorn machine doesn’t work. It’s only decoration.
Lady #7: Really? Wow. Okay I’ll take a large Sprite with extra ice, plus Junior Mints and nachos without jalapeños because I get heartburn.
Lady #5: Heartburn was a good movie with Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep.
Lady #6: I correctly predicted Special Effects, Makeup, and Best Original Score. What do I win?
Lady #3: There’s a man hiding in that corner. He seems like a real prize.
Me: I will hand out a cute gift basket I created when I tally up the votes at the end of the show.
Lady #4: Seriously? That will take hours. Especially if they change their minds about the winners.
Me: All winners are final at the Oscars!
Lady #7: I saw this supposed “cute gift basket” in the guest bathroom. It’s just leftover Valentine’s junk.
Lady #1: Okay everyone, say Meryl Streeeeeeeep. Smile!
Me: Stop! No photography!
Lady #1: Is that a Jewish law too??
Me: No, I don’t want any pictures on social media.
Lady #7: Cuz she’s ashamed of having a theater with uncomfortable seats.
Me: No, I don’t want all my other POLITE friends to feel slighted at not being invited.
Lady #5: Hey, that’s a good title for your blog: ‘Slighted at Not Being Invited!’
All Ladies: OMG. If you’re going to blog about this, we’re leaving. We thought it was just ladies and so we didn’t put any makeup on.
Lady #2: And some of us have no clothes on!
Man #1: That’s totally cool. But I hate to say it, this Oscar show is messed up big time. They just announced the wrong winner for Best Picture.
All Ladies: OMG. Your sound system is the worst. Warren Beatty would’ve announced the correct winner if we watched it in our own homes.
Me: Dear Oscar, Please remind me the next time I think about planning a party — there’s a GOOD reason I retired.
* All names have been changed to numbers (not for anonymity) because the author was extremely proud to have accomplished filling all 8 purple (yes, purple) seats above!