Ms. Geek Speaks: How to behavior at an awards ceremony

Miss Geek wasn’t going to comment on this, but when a certain Mr. White and a talented, but misguided Ms. Streep became headline-ish news, she has to say something.

Ms. Geek does not actually enjoy most awards ceremonies, even when she is the awardee. She does enjoy getting dressed up and going dancing, but sitting and eating without dancing seems to be a missed opportunity. She does appreciate that she gets to practice making small talk,  particularly when one is seated with people one may not know.

When you are invited to an award dinner or luncheon, first, dress appropriately. Wear something comfortable, but not something you’d sleep in while sober. Men wear an undershirt. You may know it as a T-shirt but it was originally mean to go under a long-sleeved button-down starched-collar shirts. Wear socks that match your shoes or your trousers. Do not wear tube socks. Make sure your shoes are shined, comfortable and can take walking up steps. Dancers know how to roughen the bottom of their soles to promote stability on slippery surfaces. If you don’t have rubber soles, try a little sandpaper on your leather-bottomed shoes.

Women, please wear the appropriate undergarments. Otherwise, you might have a wardrobe malfunction that will soon be sent around cyberspace. Remember that Scarlett Johansson incident when a slipping strap led to her nipple getting more exposure than her face? She could have gotten advice from men with toupees (or hair replacement systems) or belly dancers. A former roommate watched each glamorous woman take to the stage and asked himself and us: “Bra or no bra?” Would you rather your talent spoke for you than your breasts?

You can almost glue your costume to yourself although that will not replace proper undergarments. How about that whimsical wind that brought someone’s undergarments to our attention? Emma Watson may not be magical enough to control the wind, but she can wear dancer foundation garments and use safety pins to prevent flashing the photographers.

You might also practice getting in and out of cars, a time when some photographers are just waiting for a flash of flesh. On the other hand, if you really need attention, and can’t wait to flash some dirty old man like David Letterman, then those are the opportunities to pretend you didn’t mean to be overexposed. If that’s the only kind of exposure you can get, then you might need to re-access your career goals and your neediness for attention in therapy. Awards ceremonies are not the appropriate time.

Practice wearing your clothes. Be sure you can sit in a normal chair comfortably and don’t require a lady-in-waiting or two to navigate with your skirt. You must be able to walk in your shoes down a carpet and perhaps up the steps.

At an awards ceremony, it is a time, theoretically, when your talent should shine, not your clothes. If you have no talent, then you might try to gain attention by dressing absurdly or inappropriately. If your talent can’t make you the talk of the town, then let your bad taste do it for you. Are you in mourning for Mr. Blackwell? I can assure you there is plenty of snark to go around online.

At awards ceremonies, one is not in friend-mode. One should be in business mode. That means not drinking too much and too much is defined by how your non-drinking companions tally it and not how you judge it solely from your judgment impaired memories. Just as I have fooled myself into believing that I was capable of writing a witty sentence or two on 2 hours of sleep or less, you can be fooled into believing you are wonderfully Oscar Wildesque when you are more Oscar Madisonian.

You might not have voted for some of the winners and you might not be a winner, but be gracious. That goes to you, Mr. White. You’d wish for others to be gracious if they lose and you win–on in the case of a voter, your candidate wins. Do not take the awards ceremony at a time to heckle the winners or losers. Didn’t the incident between Kanye West and Taylor Swift teach us nothing? Or did you understand that incident as bad attention is better than no attention at all? Kanye West got a lot of attention and he actually makes videos. Mr. White, you don’t make movies. You only write about them. Your name became better known and perhaps bad attention will pay off for you. Or it can get you kicked off the lists of various award dinners.

As a presenter, this is for you Ms. Streep, remember the attention should be on the recipient of the award and not the person presenting the award. Some people might not have had the opportunity to be center stage and receive an award. Ms. Streep, this is not the case. You have had many opportunities to be the awardee and speak your mind or tell someone somewhere about your causes or gripes. You were last time as Best Actress was in 2011 for “The Iron Lady.” Has it really been too long that you couldn’t keep your not particularly well-researched comments to yourself when you presented Emma Thompson her award last year? Thompson became a sidebar and you became the focus.

Think of the awards ceremonies like a wedding: The attention should be on the bride–not the bride’s mother, maid/matron of honor, mother-in-law or drunk relatives.

As with formal dinners, one should try to prevent and not create uncomfortable situations.

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