I haven’t posted a Patron Saint in a while, but yesterday’s Oscar nominations prompted this very special one for me.
While not technically unemployed (she was a student at Mercy College), this 26-year old had never acted professionally. That is, until Director Lee Daniels came along auditioning for “Precious” Jones, the lead character in his film “Precious”, based on the novel Push by Sapphire. As an aside, I’ve had this book on my radar for years, but have yet to read it. It’s now on my bedside table.
Gabourey Sidibe has since become the darling of Hollywood. She’s been nominated for Best Actress in every awards program imaginable (Academy Awards, Golden Globes, SAG, BAFTA, Independent Spirit, etc.). While it seems she’s been consistently bested by Oscar shoo-in Sandra Bullock, I believe she leads the pack with her performance in this heart-wrenching film. I left the theater grasping at my heart and feeling jubilant for this girl who, on screen, goes from an abused, pregnant sixteen-year old with a four-year old child by her own father to a woman with all-out gumption and a plan. Throughout, Gabourey makes Precious real and palpable. You just want to give her a big hug. On the red carpets, Gabourey presents herself as a young, fun, confident woman. I just want to hang out with her!
Anyhoo–that is why I’m naming Gabourey Sidibe a Patron Saint of the Jobless. She went from an unknown student to a world-class actress overnight, teaching all of us that anything is possible.
After this week’s continuing Balloon Boy drama, I was thinking: If you are jobless and of sound body and mind, would you really take part in a reality show and humiliate yourself to make a few bucks? Think about it.
Looking at TV’s field of reality programming – quality shows like “I’m A Celebrity. Get Me Out of Here”, “The Bachelor”, “The Hills”, “The Real Housewives of <insert your town here>” and my <cough> favorite: <cough>”Keeping Up With the Kardashians” – I realized that at least one person on each of these programs comes out as a vapid idiot. Would you be willing to be that person in exchange for work and $$$?
There’s no way I could sob and cry over some dude I’ve known for a week, stage fake weddings, puke on camera or catfight and pull someone’s wig off in front of a fancy hotel. Maybe it’s just me, but I do want to maintain some sense of pride.
Talk to me: If you were broke or out of a job, would you shame yourself on a reality show for money?
Photos: Telegraph UK; NBC
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged balloon boy, broke, I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, jobless, keeping up with the kardashians, out of a job, reality shows, the bachelor, The Hills, the real housewives, work
When I was in the thick of unemployment, I couldn’t afford to go out to eat or have beers with my friends. I was also stressed most of the time and pre-occupied with where my next buck was coming from. I kept hearing people ask, “I know she can’t afford to go out, but we miss seeing her” or “She won’t even let us buy her a glass of wine”. In addition to all that, I often didn’t shower or change out of my pajamas.
When at the mercy of the unemployment office, the jobless can get sensitive about taking money from others, no matter how well-intended. It’s called pride. Pride can also cause them to slowly feel disengaged from their circle of friends. So what can you, a gainfully employed person, do to show that out-of-work pal that she’s not out of luck or out of love?
- Invite him/her over for dinner – An invitation for a home-cooked meal is a low-key way to make your friend get dressed and leave the house without spending money. Also, my UPiC (Unemployed Partner-In-Crime) and I used to make dinner for each other. We got to eat well by sharing the expense, and we had something fun to socialize over
- Drop by with an inexpensive bottle of wine – They may not let you buy drinks while out at the local watering hole, but home is a different matter. And go cheap so they don’t feel like they owe you
- Grab her for a walk or jog – A good gab session coupled with exercise is a great way to socialize, boost endorphins, get out of the house and loosen stress
- Give the gift of flowers – I’m not talking bouquets from 1-800 Flowers. I’m talking deli/grocery store blossoms. And before you think you’re too good for them, I once saw George Stephanopoulus darting across 14th Street in NYC carrying deli daisies (presumably for his fabulous wife Alexandra Wentworth). Brightly colored bouquets can help cheer up any job hunter or the job hunter’s cave (read: home)
- Just listen – No advice. No contacts. No “what I would do if I were you…” (even though I assume you will have gone through that exercise already). Just bend your ear for a while, offer a calming smile instead of tips and end your visit with a big hug or word of encouragement
How do I know these things work? Because my friends are awesome, and they helped make unemployment bearable for me!
Yeah, I’m looking at you, Josie Bissett, Thomas Calabro, Laura Leighton, Daphne Zuniga and now, maybe, Grant Show. If you haven’t already heard, these well-known 1990s apartment dwellers will be gracing the small screen together again in CW’s remake of the Aaron Spelling classic drama. I call it a dramedy, but whatever.
Left out in the cold? The gang’s former watering hole, Shooters.
Before you say anything–I know these folks have been working off and on for years in TV movies, commercials, a few primetime shows, etc., but when was the last time you actually saw their names and photos in large print…on a regular basis?
Here’s to you, cast of Melrose Place. Thanks for reminding us that we all have second – and sometimes third – acts! We’ll be watching and rooting for you!
Melrose Place premieres Tuesday, September 8 at 9 p.m. ET on CW.
Posted in News, Patron Saint of the Jobless
Tagged CW, Daphne Zuniga, Grant Show, jobless, Josie Bissett, Laura Leighton, Melrose Place, new melrose place, Thomas Calabro, TV, work
The newly coined “Beer Summit” has been going on for days, months, years! Since when did it become a point of “shock and awe” that a good confab over a frosty adult beverage can soothe what ails us?
If our President is being heralded as a hero for organizing the so-called “Beer Summit”, then I’m a bonafide legend. Most of you are, too! How many unemployment happy hours or Pink Slip Parties have you been invited to since the recession turned “layoff” into a lifestyle? During my time out of work, I attended and/or organized several such gatherings. Why? Because in times of crisis, people turn to the bottle. I say that in the hopes that you don’t label me an “alcoholic” or send me AA pamphlets. It just is what it is. When you have a drink and are among friends, your nerves ease, your sadness subsides and emotional walls come tumbling down. So it’s no wonder the President employed the old “happy hour” scenario to try to create some meaningful conversation among the alleged racial profiling cop, Prof. Gates and himself.
When I got laid off (and dumped the night before), my girls and I bonded on a sunny porch over a bottle (or three) of vino. It was certainly wine-soaked wisdom that turned my bad mood around that night. We also came up with quite a few ideas and solutions for my jobless state. Let’s face it: A pop of a cork can cause keen understanding along with wise insight to gush forth like Niagara Falls.
So, American media, quit acting like this “Beer Summit” is such a new thing. Granted, I know we’re talking about larger, more important issues of race relations, but it’s embarrassing that y’all think it’s so cool that beer is being served on the White House lawn. In backyards and bars all across America, people have been gathering for centuries to drink a pint and toss around answers to our nation’s problems; why don’t you cover that?
Photo: Saul Loeb, AFP/Getty Images
Wow–NKOTB made my “Saint” list last week, and now the Backstreet Boys are back with a new single and European tour dates? If Nick Lachey tries to revive 98 Degrees, I will know we’re in hell…or would that be heaven? Gosh.
Sometime over the summer (hopefully this weekend over July 4th!), I hope you’ll get some invites to a friend’s beach house or a family member’s lake cabin. You may be unemployed, but you still need a vacation. In fact, you probably need a getaway more than anyone! But you can’t go empty-handed. Good manners still apply to the jobless, and I have five inexpensive host/hostess gift ideas that will be memorable and easy on the pocketbook:
- Embroidered tea towel – always fun and decorative. Found at most gift and home stores, many sell for around $20. Find out your host’s favorite color or room hue to make it more personal
- Personalized cocktail napkins or coasters – Useful and thoughtful. Can be demurely designed, monogrammed or sporting witticisms. Depends on how well you know your guest! Gift stores like Swoozies have great selections
- Exquisite truffles or other treats – You can purchase a small, but luxurious box of truffles that will make any host swoon. Yes, Godiva, Vosges and other high-end chocolatiers have selections for about $20. Whole Foods also has great sweet treats
- Monogrammed soaps, carving boards or party cups – No advance preparation required! Go for a single monogram — many gift stores have entire alphabets available. Very simple, but tasteful.
- An armful of simple blooms like tulips or a bottle of wine – Many experts advise against both: Blooms require your host to find a vase; your gift of wine may make the host think they have to serve it. However, both options are easily accessible, affordable and will look SO much better than empty hands
Simple rule to remember: You’ve got a free place to stay and are often mooching free food and drink, so you can spend a few bucks to thank the person who’s providing you an oasis.
Another simple rule to live by: Buy the best you can afford. Even if it’s small and costs 10-20 bucks, if it’s exquisite, your host will be blown away by your refined taste, attention to detail and thoughtfulness.
Posted in Cheap Thrills, Shopping: The New Deal
Tagged beach trips, gift, host, hostess gifts, jobless, lake cabins, lake house, travel, unemployed, vacations