Thursday, December 20, 2007

Why We Do What We Do

One thing that's good about being YOUNG is we don't have to have jobs that we don't love if we don't want to. Our parents did, but we don't. It's a pretty awesome thing to love your job. Some WGA writers who are on strike are writing these essays, "Why We Write" so I thought I'd take a stab at one.

I was shocked by how emotional I got when I wrote it. I guess that's what happens when love is involved.


"When I was a kid, my Dad was sick… I'm talking really, really sick. The kind of sick where priests come over to give lasts rites, wills are made behind closed doors and you find yourself running to a neighbor's house to get someone, anyone to take your father to the hospital because the ambulance is taking too long.

For two years before my father received his heart transplant, he laid in bed. A TV was brought up to his room and that's where we watched Letterman, Saturday Night “Don't Tell Your Mother I'm Letting You Watch This” Live, “Cheers” and “The Simpsons.” I was young, sometimes I didn't get the jokes, sometimes I didn't get the double entendres but I did understand that TV MADE BAD THINGS GO AWAY.

TV was the escape from nurses who poked and prodded, Doctors who gave bad news, the anticipation that my sisters and I were being split up to live in different homes so my father could have surgery 3,000 miles away. It was the escape from begging outside Church and grocery stores for money to supplement my father's surgery and the countless relatives that stopped by the house with their “sad eyes” and their avalanche of casseroles.

But most importantly, TV made my father laugh. A man with maybe six months to live without this surgery, who was wasting away at 140 pounds on his six foot frame, you just had to hear him roaring at NBC's Thursday Night line-up and when you did, you could actually dream the possibility that EVERYTHING WAS GOING TO BE OKAY.

That's why I write.

Because TV gave so much to me, a hopeless and helpless kid, who, had she lost her father (and Thank God she didn't) would at least have those amazing memories, of watching TV, the family gathered 'round, not looking forward to anything else but THIS MOMENT, laughing together and escaping life, thirty minutes at a time.

I always thought, if I could do that for someone, life would be pretty awesome. And it is."

I'm going to dedicate this post to the most fantastic and dynamic boss I ever had. I knew her reputation before I ever met her - she was smart, funny and really cares about the people she employs. She did something for me, that she will never understand, which is pluck me from a miserable job and give me the chance at my dream job - to become a writer.

And then she mentored me and taught me everything I know, all while (and I mean this with great jealousy) looking fabulous doing it. (Seriously, she never had a "bad outfit" day).

If I could, I would work for her and only her... I've probably felt that more now, that we aren't working together, the feeling that the work environment she created, I might never experience again.