Hello. My name is Laurie. And I am an addict.
My drug of choice (Besides cigarettes and vodka)? No, it's not heroin, or crack. Or even Xanax. My addiction, ladies and gentlemen, is far more shameful - and far more powerful - than those indulgences.
My addiction is to...American Idol.
And I can't help it. I can't. It's like a power over me, undeniable and irrefutable. Come 8:00 on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, I'm drawn to the television, unable to flip through the other billion channels on DirecTV, for fear that I may miss even a second of my show. And if, for some reason beyond my control, I miss the show, I'll stay up and watch the West Coast broadcast at 11. Even if I'm tired. Even if I have to go to sleep. I have to watch.
Last night was no different. Billy and I, along with the three other people in the house last night, gathered in front of the new, large television to drown in American Idol. The surround sound was on. The volume was loud. It was like we were actually there. And, friends: It. Was. Fabulous.
But indulging in my favorite guilty pleasure of American Idol necessitates that I listen to music on my drive into work, singing at the top of my cigarette-smoke-filled lungs, pretending that I, too, am an American Idol. With my window cracked and my cigarette tucked firmly between my pointer and middle fingers, I belt out the lyrics to my favorite show-stoppers: Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera, Susan Tadeschi, Counting Crows, Otis Redding, Wynonna Judd, Celine Dion, Anthony David. (A good Idol knows she must be diverse.) I try to stay true to the original tune, but add a bit of individuality. (A good Idol knows she must own the song.) I smile. (A good Idol knows she must be a performer.)
And by the time I've made it from the house to work, I'm hoarse and my vocal chords ache. My throat hurts. As does my forehead, where I've pinched my eyebrows together in agony during the sad ballads and lifted my eyebrows in glee during the pop tunes. And I just know that if it weren't for that damn American Idol, I'd be just fine. I would've listened to Howard Stern, I probably would've chuckled. And my throat would be fine and my face wouldn't feel like I've been mashing it up against a window for thirty minutes.
Damn you, American Idol. Damn you.