The long list for a contest I entered, and so badly wanted to be nominated for came out this morning. I started my shift at five am, I thought it best to not not look until after the ten hour shift. I sent the piece off in January, before I started my blog, before I wrote everyday. As time has passed, I began to meditate on how much I wanted to be considered, to have a shot at platform-building prizes. What it would mean to see my name on that list.
My name was not on the list.
In fact, the alphabetical list started on “C” (I could think of another c-word, if pressed hard enough). My husband reckons it is not my writing, it is that this national contest is prejudiced against “A” names. At least, that’s what I think he said, I was blubbering and making this sad little sound that sounded like the airplane noise you make when trying to entice a toddler into eating cold pea mash.
Needless to say, there are little mountains of sopping wet tissues all over the house. These formations have colonized the house, starting in the living room, and trailing to the office, the bedroom and everywhere in between.
This is why I didn’t check at work, this kind of blow is not what you want to receive in gumboots and an apron. But I thought about it. What it could mean. I thought about Charlie Bucket and the golden ticket in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory“. I kept thinking about when Charlie’s family hears on the news that the final ticket was found. His Grandpa says, ‘let’s not wake him, lets let him have one more dream’. But then the camera cuts to Charlie, wide awake and well aware.
So essentially old Chuck Bucket was my inspiration for waiting. He’s a poor bastard anyhow, he’s such a sad, goony kid who wears nerdy turtlenecks and has all four grandparents sleeping in the same bed. It’s like “Bob & Carol &Ted & Alice“, but with arthritis and bedsores.
Obviously, there was a misunderstanding with Charlie, and he eventually gains access to Willy Wonka‘s delicious fortress, and learns of the many riches and quirks of the Chocolate Factory. No matter, this prize is clearly the Robert Redford to my Meryl Streep in “Out of Africa“. It was not mine.
Yes I’m mixing movie metaphors, I’m delirious with grief over here. This is also why I most likely don’t win contests.
There’s a line to be drawn, a balance between hope and reality. I hope I look like Heidi Klum, but in reality I look like Snooki without the hair and makeup. Hoping to win is not the same as winning. But you also want to have an open heart, believe that these things are possible, and not fall apart when things don’t work out. Like I always say about Mick Jagger, and what he always says, “You can’t always get what you want, but you get what you need”.
Yeah, I guess Mick. If you say so. But for now, I’m just going to have a good cry.