Five Ways Something Ruined My Life

Five Ways The Oscars Have Ruined My Life

The first Academy Award ceremony I remember being intensely invested in was in 1998. Let’s do the math. I was in 8th grade and the big movie of the previous year was Titanic. . . To say I was excited about an event where Titanic and Leo would be heavily featured is an understatement of, excuse me, TITANIC proportions (nailed it). I distinctly remember watching the ceremony alone in the living room (no one else in my family was interested) and running up two flights of stairs to tell my dad, “Hey, Titanic won something again!” repeatedly throughout the night.

I think that really started my borderline obsession with the Oscars. I already loved watching movies (and went on to film school) so it made sense to love a ceremony where all you do is honor movies. I may not always agree with them (who does) but I love the EVENT of it all and I love an excuse to get dressed up and yell at the TV and mock the ridiculous gowns actresses wear.

Here are five ways the Oscars have ruined my life:

1. I Obsess Over Seeing Every Nominated Movie

Sometimes I get a little obsessed with things.

Okay, always.

But I especially get obsessed with things that I can tick off a list. Gimme a to-do list, and I’m set! Each year, I basically see the Oscar noms as one big to-do list that I get to check off (in crayon, usually).

(My collection of Oscar ballots/check off lists since 2006)

There have been years where my husband and I (he’s involved in this, too) have seen MULTIPLE double features just to get all the movies in before the ceremony. My favorite was when we saw Dreamgirls followed by Children of Men in one night. Last year we saw 127 Hours and Blue Valentine as a double feature. And then we cried ourselves to sleep.

But what about movies we just don’t really feel like we want to see? That’s where the obsession kicks in. We made ourselves watch The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons just for the ceremony, we once watched United 93 directly before our party started just to get it in (not a great movie to see right before having a party) and we definitely saw Letters From Iwo Jima in the theater despite having no desire to see it at all (just not something I’d rush to go see).

This year we’re not doing as well but maybe that’s just a sign of maturity and not needing to put unnecessary pressure on myself to see movies I don’t want to see.

That, or, I’m just too focused on drinking at the party this year to care.

2. I Feel Like I NEED To Throw a Ridiculous Theme Party

(Cookies from Oscars 2011 – hint, the sad guy in the center who only has one cookie arm is for 127 Hours)

I love a good themed party. I like planning snacks, drinks, decorations, outfits, everything! The Oscars are probably the best for theme parties (in my opinion).  We’ve done cookies/cupcakes for guests to decorate for their favorite movies. When Avatar was nominated a friend brought deviled eggs where the whites were dyed BLUE to be Na’vi eyes and we did Black Velvets (Guinness and champagne – it’s really good) for Black Swan last year.


We do ballots for a dollar, sometimes there’s very specific Oscar trivia brought by our friend Dan and people are always encouraged to bring themed snacks.

(The aforementioned Dan made these fantastic pens – I can’t take credit)

We spend DAYS, (well, WEEKS, even), thinking about this one party and planning out what food or drinks can work for what movie (not to mention the hours it takes for us to make the apartment suitable for guests and then the inevitable post-party clean up). Most of my time is spent obsessing over what ridiculously fancy dress I’m going to wear to a party in my own apartment where I’m usually not wearing shoes or a bra. (Keeping in mind the BFF and I are the ONLY ones who ever get dressed up)

(You can’t see it but no one else is wearing a dress or heels)

This year, I want to hang these posters everywhere.

Also, I’ll be wearing the dress in the main photo of this post. Oscar’d!

3. I Put Too Much Stake In a Silly Awards Show

The main problem inherent in caring about the Oscars this much is you inadvertently put a lot of stake in them as an award ceremony. History proves that this is not always the best idea. Sometimes (okay, always) they make mistakes.

Unless you hate the Oscars (or don’t go on the internet – ha!) I’m sure you’ve seen this detailing the demographic breakdown of Oscar voters. If that doesn’t prove I shouldn’t care what the outcome of this award show is, I don’t know what does.

But I still do.

Some people may react to a movie they love (or hate) losing (or winning) with a calm, normal, well-who-cares-how-does-this-affect-me-really attitude.

I am not one of those people.

I actively get into fights (maybe after some wine) about winners and losers. (I guess this is how people who are into sports feel about their teams). Maybe I am just really supportive of a movie because of a particular actor or writer or director. Maybe I just really hate something else because I ASSUME it’s stupid or hate so-and-so.

For instance, say I’m obsessed with Meryl Streep (I am). And say someone else is maybe obsessed with Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Then, let’s say, maybe, while watching the Golden Globes this year I accidentally yell at my friend hosting a GG party that, “BUT IT’S OKAY, MERYL HAS NEVER WON AN OSCAR IN MY LIFETIME. ISN’T THAT INSANE?!?!” When she said that she was really into Rooney Mara.

MAYBE that happened. And maybe it’ll happen again at the Oscars this year. But come on, Ms. Streep needs more Oscars. It’s insane!

4. I Have Lost Years Off My Life

As with most things I obsess about, the crux of the issue is the amount of energy I expend on something that really shouldn’t matter that much.

Between watching all the nominees and keeping track of what ones we’ve seen, planning a party and getting ready for it and then watching the broadcast and trying to figure out what to be mad about . . .I have probably lost YEARS of my life to thinking about the Oscars.

And that is really upsetting when you think about it.

5. Brought THIS PHOTO Into My Life

I mean, I’m sorry, but for this photo alone the Oscars have completely ruined my life.

This is, hands down, my favorite Oscar look on anyone, ever. (Michelle, obviously).

And looking at this photo and their faces just does things to my insides that I can’t even cope with. Love.

I think I’ll get over my obsession with CARING about the Oscars but I don’t think I’ll ever get over wanting to throw theme parties. It’s too fun and, come on, I don’t follow football so this is my Super Bowl.

(Heath & Michelle pic from here.)

  • Kaitlin Howard

    This is great. Also… I was, and still am, in love with Heath.

    • Erin Long

      It’s kind of like…who’s NOT in love with Heath still? So sad.

  • Thash Nathan

    Oh my gosh I thought I was the only one! I think we could get a few more like-minded people and start a support gro– Oscar party to end all Oscar parties! 😀

  • Leigh Clouse

    The Oscars=my Super Bowl! Thanks for sharing your obsession. It’s good to know I am not that out there with my Oscar mania.

  • Desiree Gaines Jacobs

    Be still my Michelle in Yellow loving heart! There is a lot of red carpet fashion that goes by the wayside, but that look will long live on- it’s incredible! My husband and I are throwing our first Oscar party this year and I have been obsessing for weeks about the menu, prepping all week, and still very much unsure about what to wear! We are pulling out our fancy serving pieces and I am so excited to see the spread come together. Hope you’re happy with all the winners and have so much fun at your party!!

    • Erin Long

      Good luck with your party! And be careful, it may quickly become a yearly event to stress about!

  • Natalie Borriello

    The photo! Oh my word the photo! I may well be very close to crying…or possibly already tearing work…!
    Your posts are the highlight of my week

    • Erin Long

      Well, now I’m tearing up at your comment so we’re all a mess! :)

  • Erica Bauwens

    This is funny because I just posted a blog about how I’ve never seen any of the best picture nominations! Opposing sides huh? But you do make an Oscar party sound very fun, I’m loving the pens!

  • Amy Powell

    I definitely watch every Best Picture nomination each year & fill out ballots & make crazy recipes! I don’t throw a party, though… because since no one else gets it, I get too annoyed & can’t enjoy “MY” moment. So I sit at home & obsess w/ my dear husband who’s actually jumped on the bandwagon too :)

    So excited for Sunday!!

    • Anonymous

      Haha amazing! So glad I’m not alone!

  • Taylor Madison Russell


  • Jane Murphy

    Oh my gosh! If you’re ever in Western Australia you must come to our Oscars party! We do food themes too and make it our mission to see all the best pic noms. And I have an Oscar shaped cookie cutter which I do gingerbread Oscars with. AND I also love that yellow dress and the Michelle and Heath moment! Are we the same person?! Did I write this article?!

    • Erin Long

      O.M.G. I’m gonna need an Oscar-shaped cookie cutter.

  • Frollein Schultheis

    here in germany, no one really cares about the oscars and i’m almst alone with my “OMG, i can’t wait!” so no oscar theme party for me!
    i’m so thrilled to see the pretty dresses, the cute couples, the host, the presenters and all the tears and thanks-to-the-academy-and-god-speeches.
    i’m watching all the nominated movies after the awards, mostly because they show them here month later.

    and i have to admit, everytime i see a picture of heath and michelle (especially the yellow dress pic) my eyes get wet. such a wonderful couple!

  • Emma Farley

    I want to come to your party!

  • John Jacob Jingleheimer-Schmitt

    This is awesome to know that it’s not just my family! we have sunday dinner every week, but for the oscars we have a party. we all dress up, drink and enjoy! It’s fabulous!

  • Jeni Marple

    My parents have had an Oscar party since I was little – this year was number 26! It’s always an event with Ballots completed on who you think will win each category, side competitions and trophies. And food…can’t forget the food. :)

  • Rachel Jackson

    I’m SO late on this, but all of these, to me, seem like reasons why The Oscars have made your life awesome! Can you please tell me the secret to getting your friends to want to come to an Oscars party? Because I can’t get anyone to be jazzed up about it, and all I want from this life, this world, is to have an Oscars party! But no one cares as much as me. I’m glad to know that somewhere in this world, you and your kickass-themed Oscars parties exist. Someday, I too will throw one, and it will be glorious. Someday…

    • Erin Long

      I think I gradually convinced my friends they liked Oscar parties but who knows. Just wear people down and then they’ll love it! Haha, yes, my column title is just a joke, obviously it’s just made my life awesome. :)

  • Fiana Shapiro

    The ’98 Oscars really brought out my love for the show too! It was and is my favorite movie, Billy Crystal really made it a production (how’d he do this year?..i don’t have t.v. anymore and couldn’t find a free site to stream it online) One year I got all dressed up in a long gown, along with my mom and sister, and for awhile my family was trying to see a lot of the nominees each year. Now though, I don’t seem to want to see a lot of what’s nominated, or I don’t always get around to it. But I used to get so excited for the whole experience (though no year has ever been as good as 1998)

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