I’ve mentioned before, but probably not on pamie.com, that I watch Kathie Lee and Hoda most mornings. That’s not exactly true — I have it on while I’m working. Depending on which part of the house I choose to work from that day (couch if I’m feeling frustrated, desk if I’m feeling self-punishey), I will let the TV do its thing from The Today Show all the way to that silly fourth hour of booze and constant chit-chattering. It makes me feel like I’m at an office, stuck in a corporate job I can’t stand, and I’ve got Kathie Lee and Hoda at the next cube going on and on and on about a movie one liked that the other didn’t that starred an actor whose name they can’t remember, or they’re ranting about a young starlet whose behavior they don’t understand, or sometimes — unfortunately — Kathie Lee’s talking about her sex life with her husband. But they really do make me feel better about my drinking, as most days I wait until at least after two to drink as much as these two sloshy ladies
As time has gone on I’ve grown to develop a fond affection for my ridiculous office mates (That crazy Kathie Lee is always upset about something!). But the disturbing thing is I have come to recognize myself in Hoda. Particularly when Hoda likes something.
Especially particularly when Hoda likes a song.
Oh, god, it’s the worst when she likes a song and Kathie Lee hates it, so Hoda will make them cue it up and she’ll bob her head and semi-mouth the lyrics she barely knows in any way until she gets to the chorus when she’ll close her eyes and jam out along with Rhianna. And you want to be like, “Mom, STOP! Everybody’s looking!” You practically grow a set of braces across your teeth and your hair frizzes into that bad day-after perm day when you couldn’t wash it. (Does that still happen? First: do teenage girls still get perms? And do you still have to keep them in that sad freeze the first day? These are the questions that linger when you are childless.)
Okay, so I found an example of this. I guess I never noticed before that this was a recurring segment, because I look up once I see Hoda doing something exactly like this:
If any of you have ever been in a car with me, you recognize this behavior. You recognize it because at that moment, whether you ever realized it or not, you were my Kathie Lee, tolerating me. You were Oprah, and I was Gayle. You have had my pointy dance finger dangerously close to your eyes. You’ve probably been butt-bumped by me. You have probably wanted to start drinking about five seconds after I claimed to have found my jam.
I’m not exactly sorry about my behavior, but seeing it projected through someone else in front of me on a screen reminds me of something I tend to forget. Something important, I think, as I move through life. That the person I am in my head isn’t the one other people see. I forget that way too often. I particularly forget it when I’m singing Karaoke. I forgot it last week when I was suddenly on stage at an improv show for the first time in six years, doing the loudest Nancy Grace impression of all time.
Nancy Grace because that’s what I was assigned. Loud because I hadn’t done improv since The Velveeta Room, a place that’s an enormous bar filled with chatty patrons and clinky beer bottles.
It looked like this:
And at one point this:
My Hoda face was out of control. But fine, you say, sure, that’s performing, that’s on stage. I’m supposed to feel free to do whatever I want and express myself and just have fun with my life. Hoda isn’t doing late night shows at The Hideout. That’s different.
But then there’s this. Proof that while I think I look like Beyonce, I’m actually coming off as Hoda.
I was just at Starbucks, wondering why my spine is all sore, particularly between my shoulder blades, when I remembered that about twelve hours ago I was in my living room doing this:
And I know, I know, “Dance like nobody’s watching,” or whatever. But that’s the thing. That’s me dancing like everybody’s watching. That’s me all so I think I can dance. I TOOK DANCE CLASSES IN HIGH SCHOOL. And college! I took dance classes in college, and apparently sometimes I think I’m still there.
Last week when I got to Austin I was walking down Sixth Street to pick up my festival badge when I was standing at a crosswalk across from two young women who looked extremely familiar. And I was like,
“I can’t believe I’ve already run into people I know and I’ve only been in Austin for ten minutes. I don’t think I know them from the festival. I know them from performing. Do I know them from doing comedy, or did we go to college together? I think they’re dancers. We must have been in a show together–……… they’re the finalists from last season’s So You Think You Can Dance. That one on the left is Melanie and she won and that’s the only reason you recognize her. Those girls are roughly sixteen years younger than you are. They’re still experiencing a healthy level of cell division. Melanie doesn’t need glucosamine for her joints. She’s practically a child compared to you and for a second you thought you went to college with her. What is wrong with you? This is why last year everybody told you that you weren’t allowed to wear Crazy Bandz. CHECK YOUR BIRTH CERTIFICATE, LADY. Those numbers have a meaning!”
…that voice in my head may be directly responsible for my day drinking.
Anyway, I just think it’s time for Kathie Lee and Hoda to implement a Dance Central segment into their show, where we don’t get to see the video, we only watch them try to dance. And it will be my favorite thing and productivity will go waaaaaay down, but it will improve morale around the office. This office. The one that’s just me and my cat and various deadlines.