Well, my younger sister and I did not go to the Oscars. We met at the hotel where my sister works. We checked into a vacant room for the evening to watch the big show and gaped from the safety (?!) of a hotel room floor in Colorado. I brought a sack of burgers and fries, she brought the candy. We sipped from cold canned beverages (hers diet coke, mine lemon seltzer). We stared, we commented on the movies we had seen, we picked out our favorite dresses, we predicted the winners. The night went by in sister-to-sister snark with jokes and giggles and bawdy humour that was definitely not for the family-friendly crowd.
In the five plus years since Kelly moved to Colorado, we have been roommates for almost the entire duration. We have a TV at home, but do not have any reception, and we willfully and gleefully ignore most TV programming. The TV is hooked to a DVD player, occasionally spinning in repeating rounds the discs from our combined movie collection. Online articles, the radio, and print weekend newspapers are our sources of news; we each have our favorites on a shared online video streaming account for newer movies and shows. However, sometimes TV events like the glamour of the Oscars are missed. Neither of us are big into celebrity worship, but we do love the awards shows. It is fun to see the pretty dresses and have our own sister-shorthand-running-commentary. For the last four years, she has been our ticket to these shows. In that time, we have kept up a similar tradition, usually the Golden Globes and Oscars, on the floor of a vacant room at the hotel where she works. We scarf burgers or pizza and gorge on Junior Mints and Sour Patch Kids like some do during the Super Bowl. It is a night of unhealthy food with a healthy dose of humour.
We often comment on our lack of fabulousness, but I cannot imagine there is an Oscar party out there that is as intimate and witty as ours. Or one that is as easy to clean up and clear out. If we are careful, and use the common facilities, she is able to quickly clean the room after our festivities and put it back into the vacant-clean-and-ready stage for a last-minute, late-night check-in. We go back home for the night, leaving the splendor of golden statues and formal attire for another year.
This “tradition” reminds me of our teenage years. We watched the awards shows then too, usually with a baked frozen pizza, and it was one of the few times in our childhood when our mother let us eat in front of the TV. We used to keep lists (in the days before the internet and live-blogging), tracking our predictions and the eventual winners. It is just something we do and share, like talking politics and listening to country music. I even remember a few Oscar shows in our twenties, I was in Saint Paul while she lived in Albuquerque, when we talked on the phone while watching the awards over a thousand miles apart. I think of the Oscars like touchstones. We watch them, together and growing. Soon our time as roommates will be ending. Our apartment lease is up in a few months and my sister ponders a move to another state with the possibility of a promotion. I will stay behind to work and finish school, pondering my own life changes.
No matter what, I predict that next year, we will be watching the Oscars together, either one of us visiting the other for our sisterhood tradition, or together across the miles by phone. Some events, like the Oscars, do not really matter in the day-to-day, but in the year-to-year of our sisterhood, they matter greatly. We connect, we watch, we chat, we joke. The night goes quickly in fun and frivolity and our days go by.