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Playing along with the best well-managed reality show on tv

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Lynne D. Schwabe Lynne D. Schwabe
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Lynne D. Schwabe was the owner of Schwabe-May of Charleston, ran her own marketing consulting firm and is a nationally recognized motivational speaker. She has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Women's Wear Daily and has appeared on CNBC's Power Lunch. She currently is director of development for the National Youth Science Foundation. She can be reached at schwabestatejournal.@gmail.com.

I miss my good friend Candy Galyean all year long, but especially at Oscar time. She was as addicted to movies as I am, and we'd spend countless hours debating the nominations and trying to decide who would win in each category.

Then, when Oscar night approached, we'd plan an Oscar night party, at which everyone would get ballots on which to vote before the program started. These went into a sealed jug, along with $20 from everyone, until everything was all over. The person who got the most awards right won the pot. 

In the interest of full disclosure, I never even came close to winning the pot, having never seen movies in some of the more exotic categories, like "Best Makeup and Hair Styling" or anything foreign, animated or anything labeled a "short." But it was so much fun watching the show, accessing the attire of both men and women and jeering and pelting the TV with popcorn if a vote didn't go the way we wanted it to.

We also got really dressed up for this party, even though we were just sitting around in a living room in front of a TV. As cute as we all looked (and I secretly thought that I was the most glamorous … for my age … hubris will get you every time!), Mac Miles always won the "Best Dressed" honor. He's always immaculately attired, but at the last Oscar party we had, he arrived at 7 p.m. (after dark), wearing sunglasses, a blue blazer, a beautiful shirt, a chic scarf draped around his neck, some kind of pants and Gucci loafers with no socks. 

"I'm channeling Hollywood," he said. He did. The rest of us tried to live up to his example in spirit, if not in threads.

The Oscars are really like a pretty well-managed reality show. Of course, we all watch, hoping to see some horrendous gaffe, someone stumble and fall or the occasional actor who, in the bright spotlight and cheering, forgets to thank his wife. It's great that they are more tightly controlled; remember when thank-you speeches were allowed to run on for what seemed like hours while the benighted mentioned everyone who had crossed his career path since age 7? We also watch for moments like Jennifer Lawrence backstage last year when Jack Nicholson walked by. Her completely naked reaction of delight, accompanied by "OMG" and then a clapped hand over her mouth was truly delightful.

There are Oscar moments that we will never forget (at least I won't), for example that bizarre Bjork who attended several years ago wearing a swan costume. Or Cher wearing only netting and sequins. Or the streaker and David Niven smoothly saying, "The only laugh that man will ever get in his life is by stripping off his clothes and showing his shortcomings." 

Or Sallie "You really like me" Field. Or Angelina Jolie (really, there are so many here), when she kissed her brother-date fully on the mouth. The show is so thrillingly littered with unscripted, awkward and bizarre moments that it's really hard to not watch!

So, in the "for what it's worth" department, I haven't seen "Her," "Wolf of Wall street," "Philomena" or "12 Years a Slave." 

And so that you know why I never win the pot, here are my predictions for things I have seen:

 

  • Best Picture: "Dallas Buyers Club"
  • Best Actor: Matthew McConaughey
  • Best Actress: Cate Blanchett (I know, I know, Meryl Streep was terrific in "August: Osage County," but Blanchett's performance was much more finely nuanced)
  • Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto
  • Best Supporting Actress: June Squibb (a character that got more complex as the movie went on)
  • Best Screenwriting/Script or whatever-it's called: Woody Allen for "Blue Jasmine," although Dallas Buyers is a close second.

 

If you see me March 3, you might want to buy me lunch because I never win! Where is Candy when I need her?