Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Make way for Meena!

As I sat watching the Academy Awards on TV last weekend, it occurred to me that I am totally unprepared to go on a stage to receive an award if the need ever arises.

If you must know, I did clear my mantel a few years ago in anticipation of receiving the Pulitzer prize but darn those folks at the selection committee there. They are too picky. It is not enough that I write. It seems they are looking for quality in writing too. Where does this greed stop, I ask you? Well, I may still be batting at zero in the Pulitzer game but it is early days yet. Bigger miracles have been known to happen. And even if Pulitzer slips through my fingers, I feel confident that I have a good shot at getting nominated for this decade’s ‘The Ultimate Nagging Mom’ award. I am not picky. Really! Either one will do for me.

When that day comes, am I really ready to walk the red (or blue or gray or black) carpet and claim my rightful place on the stage? Do I have the right outfit in my wardrobe for the occasion? What about the acceptance speech? Have I practiced enough to get my eyes to sparkle with unshed tears of joy and my lower lip to tremble ever so gently in a show of nerves and frailty? Oh boy, talk about emergency preparedness! I really have my work cut out for me before my day of glory.

Let’s start with the outfit first. None of the items in my wardrobe will do, I am sure. They are too decent to qualify. They cover all parts of my body, for God’s sake. I need something that fits me like a second skin and leaves nothing to imagination. It would be better if the fabric closely resembles a potato sack except that it definitely has to be very sparkly. I will not compromise on that. After all, I want to fit in, not stick out like a sore thumb there. If I can somehow find an extra large fabric bow in red that I can hook on to my bottom, I will be all set.

I am not worried about the acceptance speech though. I have seen enough Oscar awards to know how to write it but it is not just the speech but the whole theatrical delivery of it that I need to work on. I will start by practicing to look dazed at the audience with the ‘I can’t believe I made it to this stage’ look. It won’t be easy but if anyone can do it, I believe I can. I will also have to practice how to fan my face for the next several seconds to portray a desperate attempt to prevent my tears from spilling over and ruining my mascara. That is a must. That will set the tone for what is to follow.

Now for the speech – I will have to prepare a list of all the important people in my life. After all I don’t want to leave anyone’s name out in my ‘thank you’ speech and hurt their feelings. That will be unkind of me. Hmmm…..let’s see. What was the name of that wrinkled old woman who came around to bathe me when I was a week old baby? I can’t believe I forgot her name. Anyway, I will make a note to check with my mom. Then, what about the bus driver who drove me to school every single day of my formative years? I can’t leave him out now, can I?

Of course I will be thanking my mom, my dad, my sisters, my husband, my children, my dog, my brothers-in-law, my nieces, my nephews, my neighbors, my friends, my clients, my teachers, my students, my postman, my lawn maintenance guy and my plumber. Oops! I almost forgot about the handyman. And if someone in the audience feels the urge to start pulling out their hair at the monotony of my speech, it is just too bad. I would rather have the entire gathering snore in boredom than leave out thanking anyone of these important people in my life.

Whew…….that was exhausting but I think it will be worth the effort. I feel mentally ready now to put on the show of my lifetime. Step aside Natalie Portman.  Move over Colin Firth. It is time to make way for Meena Sankaran. Now if only I could find a sparkling potato sack with a red bow! Life will just be peachy.