Thursday, January 14, 2010

With a Little Help From My Friends

Let me share with you a little story called 'My Wednesday.'

It actually started about three months ago when my colleague Vivien announced that she had just won tickets to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Looking back, I'm a bit confused as to why I decided to then immediately try to win some myself-- as I haven't ever actually SEEN The Daily Show-- but win them I did.

I coaxed John and Katie to come as my guests to see the taping this afternoon. We arrived at Jon Stewart's studio around 3pm (all the way out on 11th avenue and 52nd street which feels like the ends of the earth) dressed in many layers with hot Starbucks cupped in our mittened fingers. John and Katie soon admitted that they too had never seen the show (if you are a huge Daily Show fan, my sincere apologies for taking these tickets from real fans. Basically we all just thought Jon Stewart is sexy and had very few other opinions on the matter) but stand there we did. In line. For almost THREE HOURS.

Now, the first hour was fun. John, Katie, and I act like fifteen year olds when we get together. We people watch, make fun of each other, talk about boa constrictors, old professors, and laugh, and laugh, and laugh. I love them, and there are very few people who can keep me as entertained in a line all the way out on 11th avenue in the freezing January wind for an hour as Katie and John can. But bit by bit your girl Sarah eventually here got a little fussy.

And by hour two she got REAL fussy. Might I remind you that I had reserved tickets for all of us? And here we were, standing in the freezing cold waiting to be told what the hell we were doing out there for over TWO HOURS.

By hour three I had about hit my limit. I was cold. I was hungry. I was tired of standing, and I was annoyed at the world. (At this point I probably should have just gone home, but my story continues...)

We were finally let indoors to a quite shabby studio (like, LOW BUDGET studio, people. Could have been the Gage County Fairgrounds for all I know) with fingers, toes, and noses that had gone completely numb. I shot daggers with my eyes at 'Phil' who told us about a kajillion times to take off our belts before going through the metal detectors (to which John, without fail, just audibly asked 'do we have to take off our belts?' each time Phil asked if we had questions) and grumpily fell into my seat at the very edge of row three.

Katie and John did their best to stay positive, but things like 'at least we get to see John Stewart!' become less than appealing to someone who doesn't even watch the program. We joked some more, we watched two slightly nerdy teenage boys from Jersey flirt with an intern, and I complained. 'I don't even care about famous people!' I ranted. 'Famous people no longer excite me at all, this is the worst idea ever, its only for tourists, WHY are we still waiting!?'

But then.

Oh, but then.

I was humbled.

Humbled by-- ironically-- a very, very famous person.

A person that once made America swoon in unison.

Ladies and Gentleman, Ringo Starr appeared. Not only appeared, but started to sing. And your girl Sarah-- the one who was so crabby that the warm-up guy 'Paul' called me out in front of the ENTIRE audience for not clapping or repeating his idiotic questions ('Are you ready to see John Stewart?!' ' I SAID, are you ready to see John Stewart!?' 'You can do better than that, ARE YOU READY TO SEE JOHN STEWART?!' and so on.)--- started to cry. I burst into happy tears, right there in the middle of my hissy fit.

If there is one Beatles song that will always, without fail, bring me pause and a smile to my face it is 'With a Little Help My Friends.' It reminds me of my childhood-- of my mother's old psychedelic box of 45's that my sisters and I used to play on our playschool record player in the basement. It reminds me of my first ever crush-- Kevin Arnold from The Wonder Years. It reminds me of high school-- of swaying back and forth at prom with my best girlfriends to cheesy songs about friendship, and it reminds me of my old Chevy Lumina and the road trip I took to Colorado with Meghan upon graduation. And you have to admit-- even without emotional attachments-- It's just a good song.

And I, out of nowhere, got to see Ringo Starr perform it live (with Ben Harper, of all people) three rows from the makeshift studio stage. So there I stood, in complete awe and sincere thanksgiving to Jon Stewart and Ringo Starr for humbling my jaded spirit. It's been a rough month for me. It has. I've had ups and downs that you wouldn't believe. But in that moment I was able to look over at Katie and John, who for the entire evening had put up with my sour attitude then loved me anyway when I continued to pout. I was humbled to know that yes, I will get by. I'll get by with a little help from my friends.

***Note: No, I did not know that Jon Stewart would have guests on the show, and until he was announced, I did not realize that the guest would be Ringo Starr. I assumed it would be someone political. Also, John Stewart was AWESOME. He is a gracious human being who joked with the audience, was kind to his staff, and complimentary towards Starr and Harper. He seemed like a first rate human being, and if you were wondering, is just as sexy in real life as he is on TV.


Meghan Pasicznyk said...

One of your best bloggies ever! And not just because it features "Jewel or Bust". Love you, Sarie :)

Alison said...

Love the use of SWOON. My favorite word. ever.

tre cat said...

Your post was the best way to start this dreary Iowa Thursday. Bits of joy can come in the most surprising of circumstances.

Ms. S said...


Gail said...

I am so glad that you are surrounded by "Polly Positive" types who love you just the way you are because I do too!!!! I will not part with my 45s now that they have been mentioned on your blog.

B Butler said...

A great story that will be told over and over again for years! Love to you. BAB