Last week when it became clear to me that The Office series finale was tonight, I felt like I wanted to cry. I've seen many great TV shows run their course and come to an end without batting an eye. There are excellent shows that I live for and can't wait for a new episode (Breaking Bad, I'm looking at you) and other shows that ended too soon (I'm still mourning My So Called Life). So, how is it that a show that's been on the air for 8 years and had a great run, can make me feel like I'm going off the deep end?
Typically, I don't count watching a different TV show or a new movie as one of our new adventures or experiences. This somehow feels different. When The Office first came on the air, I was a newlywed living in San Diego. Fran and I were eager to give it a try after hearing rave reviews about the British version. It caught on and we were addicted.The night before I went into labor with my first child, I sat on the couch, eating a nectarine, watching a rerun of The Office. Lilia was born and in the time in between VCR's and DVR, we watched The Office every Thursday night. We would make sure we got Lilia in her crib "right on time" so Fran and I could sit together and watch our show. Sometimes we would be hurriedly rocking her in the dark and hear The Office intro music starting. Whoever was doing the rocking, would have to stop and continue in front of the TV. Lilia would have a later bedtime that night. Neither of us wanted to miss our show.
It became a constant for us, our new little family. As we started staying home more, as new parents often do, we made The Office a part of our schedule. We started calling it (and any show that came on before or after) our stories. "Our stories are on tonight!" Some people refer to soaps as their stories. Not us. It was The Office.
We moved into a house of our own and I became pregnant with Franky. Pam Beesley, one of the show's central characters, was pregnant with her first baby at the same time. I laughed (and ate ice cream) at the witty pregnancy jokes and thought about my impending baby boy. Soon, Franky was here (and so was our DVR) so we could tape The Office. We got into the habit of watching it on Fridays and again, one of us would ask, "You ready for our stories?" Many a week when Fran or I would be mad at the world or mad at each other, we would watch The Office and end up laughing and forgetting what was so worrisome 30 minutes earlier.
The Office ending is the end of an era for me. We won't be having any more children, so I will never rock another newborn to sleep while watching a great show. The end of The Office means, my kids are growing up. They aren't babies anymore and that's what really hit home with me.
I remember being little and having to be in bed by the time Hill Street Blues started. I heard that intro music playing and you could typically find me hiding so I wouldn't have to go to sleep. I thought my parents had it in for me, but now as an adult, I realize that was their thing. Their entertainment and maybe a comforting ritual. Who knows, when Lilia grows up, maybe she'll remember The Office theme and have a distant memory of her parents laughing and a time when all was right in her world