It’s October again! For me October means wearing baggy sweatshirts so I don’t have to wear a bra, sweeping falling leaves remnants off my wooden floors, taking the kids to pick out the perfect costume while complaining about the price of an outfit they wear one day, guilting my husband into actually taking the kids trick or treating while I stay home to pass out candy, and then raiding their stashes after they go to sleep. Its all around fun for everyone! October is also the month I take my annual trip to LA. Almost every year (there were a few broke years) for 10 years I’ve made my way to LA for a little designated mom time to enjoy trading in the hustle and bustle of my everyday life for being a tourist for 3 days. It all started when I was pregnant with Ben, and I waddled my big belly out there to get away. And its been a tradition ever since. I visit friends, catch a real LA spin or yoga class, check out a few trendy eateries, and see a taping of a show or two. And every single time I have tried to get tickets to The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Every. Single. Time. I submit months in advance and pray every night that it’s finally the year I get chosen. And every single year I’ve been rejected and not given the tickets.
Getting to go to a taping of Ellen took on more meaning 6 years ago. That’s when an old but not forgotten episode popped back up when I needed it the most. Anyone who knows me knows the story. In 2010 I watched an episode where Ellen interviewed actress Maura Tierney about her battle with Breast Cancer. In 2012, when I found a lump in my own breast, I remembered that interview. And because of that interview I insisted on a mammogram, which led to an early diagnosis of a rare type of tumor that was growing rapidly. I underwent 3 surgeries and countless other hours of medications, appointments, and long nights, but its because of that interview that I’m healthy today. And because of that interview my 3 year old son, who was born after this whole ordeal, is here today too. So getting to attend a taping and see Ellen in person has become incredibly important to me.
So jump back to this year when I again submitted for tickets months ago. Her website says that tickets are given out in the order they are submitted for, so I watched the website every day all summer hoping to be one of the first to submit. Once I submitted the waiting game begun. This year is especially exciting, as my little sister is turning 30 and we’re all taking a mother/daughter trip to LA together. I can’t imagine other people who I would rather be with when I finally accomplished this goal, so I knew it was my year. I kept telling myself that “10 years is the charm”! The website says that if you haven’t received word that you got the tickets by 2 weeks before the selected date, you can try and submit for another date. Today was the exact 2 week mark. I checked my email every 1/2 hour, hoping and praying that the email would come. Then at the very end of the day, feeling defeated once again, I checked my email one more time. And immediately my eyes were drawn to the words Ellen DeGeneres in my inbox!
When I saw her name I immediately started crying. I was SO happy! And perhaps a little delirious…..because I didn’t notice the word Walmart with her name. But through my happy tears I finally noticed, and the unfortunate truth finally came out. I wasn’t reading an email from The Ellen DeGeneres Show, I was reading an ad from Walmart on Ellen’s new clothing line. Talk about a punch in the gut! Now don’t get me wrong, I love the Ellen line from Walmart! Cute tops and jeans that actually fit…they’re every middle aged mother’s dream. But at that moment it felt more like a nightmare. And then the realization set in….I didn’t get the tickets.
In the moments that followed a song I grew up with slowly filled my mind. It was a song from the popular 70s group Bread called Diary. In it he finds a girl he loves diary under a tree and thinks he’s reading about her undying love for him. He’s so happy…until he realizes the person she’s writing about is someone else, not him. And now he must move on. The song has always been sad, but it took on a much deeper meaning at that moment. I’d like to think that God, who I had been begging for months to make this happen, had to get a little laugh out of that one. I mean, it couldn’t have been more perfect. But my heart was broken, so I couldn’t share the laugh.
I don’t know what will happen in the future. Maybe 11 years is the charm. Or maybe this was the sign I needed to tell me this will never happen. And its time to give up and move on. I think only time will tell on that one. But for now I may need to find a new grocery store….and favorite pair of jeans!