Girlhood. Momhood. Lifehood.
Insights on navigating the craziness of life with young kids one — “large coffee with skim please” — day at a time.

Hand Picked

  • Twilight
    OK, so my friend introduced me to this series of books and I’m HOOKED. Romance and suspense meets a bit of sci-fi. A total “read 100 pages without stopping” book.
  • Happy Feet, Fun Music
    So this soundtrack really is great..for you, and for the kids. You can dance, you can sing, you can shake your groove thing.

Just Once

February 27th, 2008

When I watch the Hollywood prom night that is the Oscars, I’m all about the flash…the megastars, the killer dresses, the enviable hair, the diamonds - even those silly monologues and the over-the-top montages of silver screen days gone by. And this year was no different. First, I prepared for my big night by pouring a big glass of wine and throwing together a decadent ice cream sundae concoction that included the last sliver of my husband’s beloved mint chip ice cream, a dollop of hot fudge sauce, half a stale biscotti and a few teddy grahams. Oh, and whipped cream that’s been in the fridge so long I looked the other way as I squirted it from the canister. Better to just not see the expiration date.

As I headed to the couch, my checklist was nearly complete.

  • Husband and son off ice skating. Check.
  • Daughter zonked in her crib thanks to my brainstorm of “Let’s do laps around the house in our snow boots so you’ll be worn out by red carpet time honey!!” Check.
  • Cozy fleece blanket and remote control. Check.
  • Brand new glasses (oh I’m getting so old) in case George Clooney is a little too blurry. Check.

Ooooh yeah. On goes the E! channel and for hours I marveled at the gorgeous well-spoken actors and the awards for movies I haven’t seen (except for Juno-loved it). Toward the end of the show though, as I’m tallying my own review of fashion hits and misses, best and worst hair, etc., the lights dimmed for a live performance of one of the nominees for best song and I was mesmerized…

The stage is bathed in a soft blue light. There’s a man sitting on a stool with an acoustic guitar, a young woman at a piano next to him. In unison they start to sing a song from their movie “Once.” He glances over his shoulder from time to time to smile at his fellow singer and songwriter and girlfriend. As the camera pans across the piano you see her hands are delicate and small, unadorned with fancy jewelry or even nail polish. She gently presses the keys as she sings, a simple bobby pin holding her brown hair from her face. He strums his weathered guitar and I notice it has a big hole in the front just below the strings. He may be playing in front of an audience of millions at that moment, but that’s the same guitar he’s probably played thousands of times. His expressive face tells the story as much as the song he’s singing.

Shortly after their performance, they won the Oscar for best song. My eyes welled up at Glen Hansard’s perfect and humble speech (and I don’t think it was the wine). But as Marketa Irglova stepped up to the microphone, the orchestra started to play so she stepped back and smiled graciously, realizing their time was up. They cut to a commercial break. Then, in an ultra-classy impromptu move, Jon Stewart, the host, invites her back onstage to deliver her speech. She quickly appears from the wings, Oscar in hand. “Enjoy your moment!” he says as the crowd claps wildly. The excitement in the room, even through my TV screen, is obvious. When she speaks into the mic with a Czech accent, she doesn’t thank an agent, a producer, a stylist or a lawyer. She simply says…

“I just want to thank you so much. This is such a big deal, not only for us, but for all other independent musicians and artists that spend most of their time struggling, and this, the fact that we’re standing here tonight, the fact that we’re able to hold this, it’s just to prove no matter how far out your dreams are, it’s possible. And, you know, fair play to those who dare to dream and don’t give up. And this song was written from a perspective of hope, and hope at the end of the day connects us all, no matter how different we are. And so thank you so much, who helped us along the way. Thank you.”

The tears were rolling down my face. From a little movie that was shot in three weeks in Dublin using two cameras and a shoestring budget, emerged a beautiful love story and a beautiful song. These two are the real deal.

When the show finally wrapped up close to midnight I unfolded myself from the couch and shuffled into the kitchen to put my wine glass and ice cream bowl in the sink. And I was thinking to myself, forget the designer dresses and the diamond necklaces. Marketa was by far the loveliest, classiest woman in the theatre that night. And she almost didn’t get her big Oscar moment.

But when she did, for “Once,” she made it all ours.

« Previous

Next »