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Monday
Sep022013

Torn Between Two Lovers

This is serious. I’m having a relationship crisis, and I don’t know how to handle it.

I’ve never felt this way before.

As many of you know, I’ve been in love with the same man for more than twenty years. He’s an amazing guy, and he gives me everything I’d ever need. He makes me laugh so hard I had to institute a “no talking while I’m drinking” rule so I’d stop snorting coffee out my nose. But he’s more than a great joke, well delivered. He engages my mind in unexpected ways, making me care about things that would be so easy to dismiss. He inspires me to be a stronger woman, a more engaged parent, and a better steward of this world we all share. I can honestly say I’m a better person because of him. And there’s no one I’d rather have supporting me through a crisis. He always knows exactly what to say, the perfect blend of kindness and clarity. He soothes my spirit, eases my grief, and gives me hope in even the darkest of times.

Is that a giant sword in your hand, or are you just happy to see me?

You can see why I love him so much. Anyone with a lick of sense would.

I thought my feelings for him would never change. And I suppose they haven’t, except

Except someone new came into my life a few months ago. I’d met him before, but I never had any reason to spend time with him until this summer. He was just a casual acquaintance, a friend of a friend. I liked him well enough, but I’d never thought of him in that way, you know? Not until I started seeing him every day. And now …

Man, this is hard. I never imagined finding myself in this sort of situation. I’m not that kind of girl! At least, I didn’t think I was. But this new guy, well … I just couldn’t stop myself from falling in love.

 

 

Quick-witted doesn’t begin to describe him; his mind works so fast it creates a slipstream that sucks in everyone he meets, making them sharper and funnier just by virtue of proximity. I’ve never met anyone like him before. He’s so ridiculously talented that he deserves to be arrogant or at least a bit proud, and yet there’s not an ounce of conceit in him. He’s the first to poke fun at himself, the first to offer some self-effacing quip that has me laughing my head off even as I’m falling more deeply in love with him. Plus he has this amazing English accent that makes me swoon every time he opens his mouth.

Ugh, what am I going to do? I never meant for this to happen.

My only consolation comes from knowing I’m not alone. I can’t be the only one going through this right now. Surely there are others who, like me, are completely conflicted about the return of Jon Stewart to The Daily Show tonight.

Haha, you thought I was talking about a real guy, didn’t you? (Not that John Stewart et. al. aren’t real. This is The Daily Show, after all ... not Colbert.)

Yeah, because the consideration of infidelity is totally something I'd confess on my blog. Mmkay.

 

When I first heard Stewart would take a break from the show this summer to film a movie, I admit I was disappointed. I’ve watched him for nearly two decades now, all the way back to his early days on MTV. Still, I knew there was (and is) an entire cast of talented writers and producers who make The Daily Show the stimulating piece of infotainment it is today. I wasn’t worried about the quality or content changing. I just thought the show might lose some of its comedic punch without Stew-BEEF at the helm. And when I heard John Oliver would be taking over, I got a bit nervous.

Don’t get me wrong — I love John Oliver. Anyone who’s read my book knows I’m a sucker for English guys. And anyone who’s met my husband knows how much I enjoy a man with a big ol’ schnoz in the middle of his face. (You know what they say about guys with big noses, right? The bigger the beak, the larger the … Breathe Right strip? Not sure where I was going with that ...)

 

Sexy! You got a license for that thing, buddy?

 

Moving on …

I think John Oliver is abundantly talented, and I was looking forward to watching him host the show. My only fear was in the delivery. Here's why:

The Daily Show works best when pointing out hypocrisy, whether in politics, media, or America in general. At their core, successful segments more or less consists of the same three parts:

1) Here’s what’s happening,

2) Here’s why it’s so ridiculous, contradictory, and self-defeating that it’s funny, and

3) Aren’t we silly to elect these clowns/put up with this poop?

It’s a proven formula, and I didn’t want them to change it. But I was afraid the last part, when voiced by a Brit, would come off less as “aren’t we silly” and more like “you are all so fucking stupid.”

Hear ye! Hear ye! Americans don't do irony!


While it’s never easy to hear the hard truths about one’s country, hearing them spoken in a foreign accent can be downright demoralizing. It might make some people feel a bit, well … defensive. It’s like when your younger brother gets threatened at school — you know very well how evil the little soul-sucking demonspawn can be, but you don’t sit back while some kid beats the stuffing out of him. That’s your job.

 

He started it, Mom!


As it turned out, my fears were groundless. John Oliver was perfectly humble, with a swift sense of humor that’s as clever as it is unassuming. Sure, he was a little stiff during his first few guest interviews, but he quickly hit his stride. His final week more than proved he has the chops to host his own show. He pulled no punches with Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), grilling her about the conflict of interest inherent when those in charge of reforming the financial industry owe their position to campaign contributions from the very institutions most in need of regulating. From the show on August 8:

 

You were the number one recipient of money from Goldman Sachs from 2011 to 2012 for all sitting congressmen. JPMorgan was your number two corporate donor over the last five years. What I deeply want to know is … what do you have to do for that? What is required of you for that money? […] Are there opinions that you have on Wall Street? Do you get the money because you already have those opinions, or do you need those opinions to get the money?

 

Rand Paul (R-KY) was on the show the next night, and Oliver did a good job of keeping the conversation focused on the Affordable Care Act (and the many times Congress has unsuccessfully attempted to repeal it). It was a refreshing change, as the non-fake news programs seem far more interested in speculating over the senator’s 2016 presidential aspirations than anything else. (When they’re not educating us on the Very Important News of Miley Cyrus twerking for Beetlejuice, that is.) 

 

Reports indicate over a thousand people, including 426 children, were murdered in the mass poisoning in Damascus last— oh, wait! Look! Disney kids behaving badly!

 

Oliver’s penultimate interview with Regis Philbin, followed by Simon Pegg on his final night, were shining examples of how comfortable he’d become in the host's chair. He did a fantastic job this summer, but that only makes it harder to say goodbye.

And that’s why I’m so torn up, y’all.

What started out as a summer fling has turned into something I never want to end. I tell myself it’s wrong, that I have to let him go. Yet how can I just walk away after everything he’s given me these past few months? Seeing him around the studio will be torture. How can I pretend it never happened, that he means nothing more to me than any of the other correspondents, when my heart aches for the times we were together?

Yet how can I betray my first love? He was only gone a few months; I’m sure he never expected me to stray. It was the furthest thing from my mind — I actually believed his absence would bring us closer, in the end. And I guess it did, because I still love him. I missed him when he was gone, and I’m glad he’s coming home. It’s just that … there’s no way things will ever be the same. Because there’s no way I’ll forget my summer romance.

Why, oh why, can’t I have them both?

Won’t someone please tell me what to do? This is killing me.

 

 

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