So you all know I love awards shows, right? That’s pretty well established by now?
As much as I’ve bloviated about the Oscars, however, it’s the Tony Awards to which I have an actual, real-life personal connection.
When I first moved to New York City, I got to be friends with a nurse at one of the hospitals where I was working. This woman loved Broadway. I mean looooooooved Broadway. She saw everything and got autographs from everyone. Her apartment was loaded with Broadway memorabilia. I once stood outside the side door of a theater in the freezing cold with her so as to snag Lauren Bacall’s autograph for my mother. (Not super friendly, that Lauren Bacall.)
Anyhow, she was on the invitation list for the Tony Awards every year. And she invited me along with her and her friends the next year. It would be something of an understatement to say I was crazy happy to go.
It was super space awesome to attend, even though that year it was hosted by Rosie O’Donnell and Nathan Lane and not my #1 celebrity crush Neil Patrick Harris. While I didn’t technically meet many famous people (except Cherry Jones, whom I actually have met twice now and who is just incredibly nice even to total nobodies like me), I did get to mill around the same ballroom with them (and I rode up an escalator behind Marilu Henner!) and it was easily the most glamorous evening of my life and probably always will be.
So even though it makes me pine for New York City every time I watch, I always watch the Tony Awards.
That’s not the reason I always scan the list of nominees when they’re announced every year. No, I always look at a particular category for a particular name. And while I’m not proud to admit it, it makes me a little bit happy any year when that name isn’t there.
The reason I look for this person’s name is that it’s actually been on the list on at least one prior occasion. He’s a former Tony winner in the particular category I check every year. [Updated: I just checked, and it turns out he’s been nominated three times, with one win.] And the reason I always indulge in a little bit of annual schadenfreude is that we dated briefly and he ended up dumping me via answering machine. As I expressed in a follow-up e-mail to him, I was neither surprised nor especially upset at the break-up, and was pretty much on the same page, but it was maybe not the most courageous or gallant way of delivering the news.
I don’t actually wish him ill. The break-up wasn’t acrimonious, and the relationship was brief and pleasant enough. The year he won, I was even a little bit happy for him. (It was long after we’d dated, and we’d long since lost touch.) But it doesn’t break my heart when I don’t see his name on the list, either.
So that’s this week’s Question — what’s your own source of schadenfreude? Out with it! I know I’m not the only one who feels it. (Heck there’s even a song all about it from a Tony-winning musical!) Who will confess to feeling a frisson of not-entirely-admirable pleasure at the minor woes of others? Please note — this is more along the lines of “I love to see the Dodgers lose” (I’m throwing you a bone with a sports reference, Kazzy, since I’m guessing the contents of this post might as well be in Farsi as far as you’re concerned) than “It makes me really happy to set fire to my old landlord’s properties.” Sociopaths, please keep your answers to yourselves.