I used to tape the Academy Awards. An hour or so before the telecast would begin, just as Barbara Walters was moving in for the kill to make John Travolta weep like a schoolgirl, I’d make sure a fresh tape was ready to go. I’d carefully apply the label to the front and, in my very best handwriting that still managed to look like a serial killer’s scrawl, I’d write the date of the event with a fine-tipped blue pen.
By the time the show began, I was ready. The appetizers my mother would buy for me would be within reach, but I didn’t eat them during the commercials. No, during that time, I’d sit hunched near the VCR, ready to press “record” as soon as the Revlon ads ended and the festivities began again. I was proud that my edits were almost seamless, that I could tell by instinct when the commercial block would be over.
My sister used to make fun of me for taping the Oscars. She didn’t sit there and do it all night, but before the show started she would walk by me as I was consulting with my mother about which I wanted first – the pigs n blankets or the chips and dip – and she would say, “Are you taping it?” Her tone made me realize that she thought that my actions were kind of idiotic and that they made me weird, but she’s the one who faithfully watched Days of Our Lives every single day, so I knew that if I had to engage in a verbal sparring session about entertainment in general, I could crush her.