Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I Can't Hear You

Dana Perry's ball gown, left

Date: Sunday evening 
Location: Family room 
Players: Two male family members and me
Scenario: Oscars telecast 

When these two women took the stage to accept the Academy Award for documentary short subject, all we could do was talk about that dress. From remarks like, "the cats would really love it" to my wondering out loud why anyone would choose it.

The dress was worn by Dana Perry who accepted with her producing partner Ellen Goosenberg Kent for "Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1". Their film was about suicide hotlines, and in her speech Ms. Perry dedicated the award to her son Evan, saying, "We lost him to suicide. We should talk about suicide out loud. This is for him. Thank you."

I never heard that because we were all so busy tearing apart her dress. The New York Times reported on the incident because just then the orchestra "played the duo offstage". They had taken too long. The Times didn't mention the dress, but that's why we didn't hear her.

Like a few others' heartfelt moments, which included Alzheimer's awareness, salary equity for women, self-esteem issues and "call your mother", Ms. Perry spoke from the heart and wanted us to listen.

We certainly heard what host Neil Patrick Harris had to say right after. "It takes a lot of balls to wear a dress like that". Less said about the taste of that remark the better, but two of us were probably thinking that as well.

By all accounts Ms. Perry did take the joke in stride, saying she invited anyone to "feel my furry balls", which were really a shawl found in a family member's attic.

Which brings me to this: If your dress is doing all the talking, no one can hear what you have to say.

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