First, The Office. Well, The Office as it should be. I WILL still be following The Office this fall, without Michael Scott. But we all know it will never be the same. Laugh all you want at Little Miss Danica, but The Office means a lot to me. It defined me during formative years. It nails my humor in a singular way. There have been times when I've felt lost, discouraged, depressed, and the only prescription that seemed to work was the friendly Jim/Dwight rivalry, a handful of ignorant Michael Scott comments, a dash of wacky Creed, and general Office camaraderie.
The clock just would not stop ticking as the "Goodbye Michael" episode neared. I didn't even want to watch it. I felt like a part of me would die or be lost. The Office without Michael is like chips with no salsa. Coke with no Diet. Danica with no Beard. OBVIOUSLY I was gonna watch it. But I was scared. Especially to watch it with The Beard. I knew I'd be emotional. And I've never really been a crier. But it was inevitable. The Beard would have to see that side of me sooner or later.
Well, it was sooner. I fell to pieces. Absolutely fell apart. Ryan's white tee sleeve was streaked with mascara. I couldn't believe it was happening. The moment between Jim and Michael melted my heart completely. The years of frustration and anger dissolved in the cathartic goodbye that wasn't. They did a fantastic job. It was hard, but it was time. I said goodbye.
Then it was goodbye to the LAO. No need to dwell on that. It's all been said and done.
When a student is struggling with a concept, the recommendation is to increase the FIT.
I practiced my crying by increasing all three of these during Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2. It didn't stop. My head was throbbing. The Beard watched with me and concealed his embarrassment. That's why I love him. It was really hard to say goodbye to Harry Potter. Again, something I've loved since I was probably 11. Harry Potter is amazing. J.K. Rowling saved books. Twilight is ridiculous (although I read them), Hunger Games are pretty awesome, and there are other respectable options for young adult and universally appealing fiction. But I think I'm right in saying nothing will touch Harry Potter. Ever, probs. I love to reread them. The movies got better and better. The geek humor of following Harry Potter religiously is incredibly endearing. Thank you, J.K. Rowling. Thank you Harry Potter.
Finally, I said goodbye to my last name. Danica Budge had such a nice ring to it. That's been my name. It's everywhere. Email, Twitter, all kinds of social media, all my online shopping accounts (which are numerous, I assure you). Social Security was a bit of a hassle. Changing my information with Nebo School District took a while. I still haven't even dealt with BYU. It's still a little weird when I habitually sign my name "Danica Budge." Have 200 kids call me "Mrs. Holdaway!" or "Mrs. HALDaway!" all day has helped with the tradition.
But you know what? I love being a Holdaway. I didn't shed a tear over that one. I've joined another family that I'm so proud to be a part of. I like to label myself as The Beard's by taking his name. It's an indication of our new little family. I'll always be a Budge. But now I'm a Holdaway. And it feels great.