Tuesday, February 19, 2008

in exaltation of a national treasure

I remember it like it was yesterday. And like it was a year and two and half months ago, which it was. May I paint a picture for you? I'll do my best. My husband and I had been invited to New York City for a December wedding. We'd never been to New York, and, I can't speak for my husband or anything (okay - I can, and I do, but right now, I'm not going to), but I was peeing my pants with glee over the prospect of visiting one of the most legendary places in all the land, especially during the most beautiful time of year. That's right. We were heading to the promiseland. We were going to the Montel Williams show.

I was able to procure two golden tickets to a taping for my husband and myself. The surreal anticipation before the taping was, of course, sublime. Countless hours were spent perfecting the proper nodding and head-shaking techniques I had seen performed so flawlessly by so many awe-inspiring audience members before me. I'll save you most of the prep time and try to get to the dance. My friends, simple words cannot express the tingly feelings that transpire when one is in the presence of greatness - when one is in the presence of Montel. "Who was the guest? ; Were you on tv? ; Did you caress that velvety-smooth, hallowed mix-between-chestnut-and-cocoa head with your unworthy, inferior fingers?" Slow down, readers. I will answer these questions for you, but, as I learned through the painstaking waiting-game that was the countdown until the Montel taping, patience really is a virtue. The dance will come.

When you are conceptualizing this day in your head, you must first be aware that I was three and a half months pregnant on taping day (St. Montel's Day). In crazy with-child-speak, one must countdown in weeks, and in pregnancy talk, that is about seventeen weeks. If you have had a child growing in your uterus (or if you have lived with someone who has had a child growing in her uterus), you will realize that seventeen weeks is obviously less that twenty weeks, and so you may already have thought, "Why, she was unaware of the sex of Little Cornflake at that point!" Very intuitive, reader! I can only imagine, then, that your next thought is exactly the same as mine was before the taping: WHAT IF SHE IS THERE FOR SYLVIA BROWNE DAY? I know! I know! I could ask her the sex of my child! I could ask her if little Fetey (short for Fetus, natch) would be all I had ever dreamed and more. Well, I hate raising hopes and then slicing them up into miniscule little shards of disappointment, but, alas, reader, we did not get to see Sylvia Browne.

Who did we see? Was it the heartwrenching story of a desperate family in need of hope and assistance, Montel style ("Dreams Really Do Come True with Montel")? Negative. Perhaps it was a Make My Deserving Mom Over for Her High School Crush? Uh-unh. Brave Young Kids Doing Heroic Things? Nosir.

We were in the room for a very topical, up-to -the-minute roundtable discussion between Montel Williams and another legendary contemporary of our time. You know who I am talking about. Yes, sir. That's right. You know who I'm talking about. The Reverend Al Sharpton.

I don't need to tell you that we solved the problems of our greedy, hate-filled world in those forty-some odd minutes we shared. We were together, and we could all make things right. Look at that face. I know you know it, too.

In fear of trivializing my experience and leaving out any of the power and beauty of that day, I will not go into further specifics. Because I know your mouth must be watering, I'll let you know that we did witness a powerfully rousing video of Montel snowboarding set to the fervent soundtrack of Chamillionaire's "Ridin' Dirty." Indeed, Montel. Indeed. And we do picture him rollin.
Not that it's important, but my boobs, my upper arms and the green turtleneck over them as well as my husband's nose made it onto tv. But that day meant so much more. Montel will no longer tape any live shows after this season. Truly it is the end of an era. I hope that he is doing okay. I take from that show my memories, my tingles, and a photocopied-autographed picture of Montel inscribed, "Thank you for coming, Montel." No. Thank you, Montel Williams. Thank you.

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