Monday, November 16, 2009

Life as a TV show

Obviously, TV shows are an example of art imitating life. Sometimes, though, life imitates this art form right back.

I'm not just talking about the ridiculous things that happen that make you feel like the butt of life's scripted jokes. Do you ever have those things happen to you that make you feel like you're a TV character, because no one would really appreciate it except for an audience that knows your character? I point to the classic example of myself in college, walking to class, when suddenly, my underwear fell out of my pants. No one witnessed this. At the time I was so confused that my first response was to grab the elastic around my waist to make sure they hadn't somehow shimmied down my leg to the pavement. This was not the case; the pair on the ground had clung to the inside of my jeans and loosened during the walk. My pants were much baggier then, which was the style at the time. Oh, I also weighed 2-hundo.

There are hundreds of these classic moments, and sometimes life finds a way of bring them together like the best TV writers. Last fall, rushing on my way to a date, I was splashed by a car going through a puddle left from the rain earlier in the day. No, not puddle- small pond. Not car- giant SUV. Not splashed- hit by a 6 foot wall of water that left me looking like I sat in the front row at a Sea World killer whale show. I ran uphill, in Chucks mind you, because I was going to a concert, so I had to look real cool, back to my apartment, and changed the jeans and hoodie. The tee shirt stayed unharmed. A short while later, my friend, who happens to be fond of DJs invited me out for drinks. Her and her friends discussed their crush on one in particular. Later, I told her I had gone on three dates with him. I was complimented on not doing a "Saved By The Bell" spit take earlier in the night.

*Flashback: she often flirted or spoke with DJs at college events and bars. We her laughed this was when the following dialogue was exchanged: "I just like DJs." "We know."*

At some point in every TV show, and in life, we become caricatures of ourselves. In the later seasons of TV shows, characters are so well known, we just "get" them. The writers don't have to try as hard as they did writing them.

Jerry Seinfeld was always portrayed as a neatfreak and obsessive. In one of the later episodes, we see him throwing out shoelaces because they touched the floor of a men's room.

My friends from college and I had our sixth "Geeks Thanksgiving" yesterday. This is a tradition we started right after graduation, and have not skipped one since. It's nice to know that some things change, but some things stay the same.

Erin tells us how she tells her kindergartners "That's ridiculous, go away" when they're bothering her.
Liz makes weird noises and when we make fun of her defends herself in a high pitched squeal.
Courtney drinks a 20 oz. bottle of Coke at dinner because she doesn't like anything healthy, and doesn't like "grownup drinks." Twisted Tea does not count.
Keith has a new hobby, making jewelry.
Those of us at justforscuz volunteer to sit at the kids table, which is fitting since we refuse to take part in adult relationships or proper adult behavior.

With life moving forward-people getting engaged, married, soon having kids- it's good that we can count on our friends to stay who they are when that's what we need. That's why we loved them in the first place.

Our TV show ended. We don't see each other often enough for there to be a series based around our interconnected lives. It's sad, but all good things must come to an end. As I said when "FRIENDS" had its finale, which we all watched together, "I'm glad we're ending when we are." My roommate looked at me and said "We're ENDING?" like I was an idiot. And I love that somewhere across the ocean in Spain, he's probably rolling his eyes at something I've done that he can just sense.

We have all moved on to spinoffs. Some survived and some did not. I like to think that mine is still going, because fortunately it's based on hating my job and being awkward at dating. That won't change anytime soon.

It's nice to know that once a year we can have our TV Reunion Special: Geeks Thanksgiving.

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