-Answer: I will be attending an audition for this popular t.v. game show this Wednesday at 11 a.m.
-Question: What is...that one...with the guy with no mustache?
-Can you be more specific?
-That is correct!
Yes, the gods of fortune have smiled upon me and this Tuesday evening I will be boarding a train Philadelphia-bound, armed with a ream of print-outs containing every country and its capital and an iPod loaded up with educational childrens' songs listing the order of the U.S. presidents.
It all seems very exciting, and it is, but the truth is...I have actually auditioned for Jeopardy once before. Way back in 2005 (or was it 2004, or 2006? How am I to know when I didn't have a blog back then?) I auditioned in Boston. This was before the advent of the online test, when one sent in an actual postcard with an actual stamp (and I know of one person at least who would have appreciated this), hoping against hope to be randomly selected. And I was! And then, bubbling over with enthusiasm, I quickly spread the word to everyone I knew, except...no, I didn't do that at all. I didn't tell a single soul. I was actually a bit mortified by the whole thing, that I was being rewarded for something I had undertaken on a whim, when there were so many other deserving participants out there, and when I was clearly a dimwit, a dummy, a dolt. (And clearly brimming with self-confidence. What, you expected otherwise?) I mostly notably did not tell my boyfriend at the time, which was hard to avoid since we saw each other nearly every day and tended to inform each other of most of the mundane details of our lives. But I knew his roommate, Zack, had also turned in his postcard to the show, and hadn't been selected. I also knew that Zack was smarter than me, and if anyone deserved to audition, it was him. And here I was taking his spot when it should have been him, or at least that's what I assumed he and my boyfriend would think, if I told them. (And they might have, too. They were kind of assholes that way.)
And so, when the day came, I quietly left my office, pleading a doctor's appointment, and made my way to the Copley Place Westin. Long story short, I left there with a Jeopardy souvenir pen and my dignity, since having told no one I was going, there was no one to know that I failed. But now, seven(?) years later, I have been given another chance. Only this time, instead of a short trip on the green line, it will be two hours on Amtrak, a missed day of work, and an overnight stay (chez Erin). In other words, it's a bit harder to keep secret, this time. What's more, I have discovered I don't even want to keep it a secret this time. This wasn't random selection; I passed the online test! (So what if I read on a previous Jeopardy contestant's website that the online test is only to weed out the real idiots?) The point is, no one is going to make me feel like I'm not good enough this time, least of all myself. Seven years older (and hopefully wiser), I may not be even close to prepared, but I am ready. Or I will be once I listen to this song a few dozen more times...
♫...Van Buren, Harrison, who stupidly stood coatless in the cold. When he died Tyler took over though he didn't fit the mold...♫