"Lemon if there are two things I'm certain of, it's that you will never finish that quilt and that you are not over Floyd."
So is it funny or sad or maybe both that the TV character I most identify with right now is the one who was glumly eating ham on an empty sound stage while wearing a wedding dress she bought on sale "just in case"?
I watched the 30 Rock premiere last week and although it was completely hilarious, it also reminded me that I'm turning 31 in five days and I'm completely terrified about it.
I love Tina Fey's character on that show. She has a great job, she's smart, talented, funny, respected by her boss and coworkers, but she's also kind of clueless and maybe a wee bit dramatic. I don't mind saying that I see some serious parallels between Liz Lemon and me.
In this episode, Liz has broken up with her super adorable boyfriend Floyd and is desperately trying to pretend she is totally over it. A trip to look for bridesmaid dresses ends with her writing staff finding her standing in her office in a wedding dress shouting "if needs be-I will marry myself!!". As I was watching the scene I thought, "Ok, so yes, she looks like a total loon right now but I think I know EXACTLY what she is feeling right there and I'm sort of afraid that given the opportunity, I might be in a similiar situation someday."
Like it or not, relationship status can often overshadow any other good things in our lives. Last year on my 30th birthday, my mother and sister were helping me pack for a week long trip that would take me to New York City for several black tie parties and PR meetings and then to San Francisco to meet up with some college friends and then run a half marathon. Mom and Emily had suprised me by coming to visit for my birthday and I had just said goodbye to the last of the guests at my super fun party where I laughed away the evening with a bunch of people I really love. But there I was, trying to figure out exactly how to fit 8 days worth of incredibly varied clothing into the suitcase, and sobbing, because I was 30 and single and the crush I had been nursing for a few months had proved that evening to be totally uninterested. I was at least smart enough to be terribly disappointed in myself for letting something so stupid and beyond my control cancel out the one million things in my life that were going right, but I'll admit that I did cry it out that night. By the next day I was laughing with a bunch of friend over dinner in Manhattan and back to feeling really at peace with my new stage in life. And the last year has bourne out my theory that my 30's were going to be just the beginning of all manner of new adventures.
Now 31 is roaring up and I'm finding myself a little worried. There is a very delicate line between, "I really do want to find someone to spend my life with and I think I'll be pretty sad if that doesn't happen," and, "I have a pretty great life whether or not I get married I have lots and lots to be thankful for." At 31 you start doing a little too much math and realizing that your baby-having years are fast disappearing and the pool of boys your age who share your religious leanings is getting shallower everyday. All of the sudden the idea of a grown women who is perfectly sane finding out her ex has a new girlfriend and then buying her dream wedding dress because it was on sale and trying it on at work and getting busted for being CRAZY seems less like thursday night on NBC and more like wednesday afternoon at my office.
So there it is. I'm not dealing well with this upcoming birthday and I'm actually OK with that. Because Liz Lemon is still funny and smart and successful and strong and capable and totally normal even if now and then she needs to sit on the sound stage in her $4,000 "ham napkin."