The notion of living together after the wedding can be somewhat of a novelty within the military community. Our story is hardly unique – the first 6 months of our marriage were spent with me finishing up my undergraduate degree at Clemson University in South Carolina and Clay being stationed up at Fort Drum, New York. While not ideal, especially after our long-distance engagement, we made the best of it – as many do.It was during our first few months of our long-distance marriage that we began watching a little known mid-season replacement television show called The Office.
Clay, being a fan of Steve Carell on The Daily Show, convinced me to watch the show. I remember watching the pilot on March 24, 2005 and not being terribly impressed and conveying said feelings to Clay over AOL Instant Messenger. I was/am a huge fan of Christopher Guest movies so the idea of a mockumentary-style television show appealed to me but I was unsure about this remake of a beloved British show. But for the sake of Clay, I stuck with it. And before I knew it, I fell in love in the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. By the time we were able to finally live together as a married couple, our Thursday nights revolved around Michael Scott, Jim Halpert, Pam Beesly, Dwight Schrute, and company. We were die-hard fans. In fact, my Motorola Razr (remember those?) ringtone was even The Office theme song.
Clay deployed during the middle of the second season and didn’t return until 16 months later – well after the third season finale. I remember watching the Season 2 finale, Casino Night, and crying when Jim and Pam finally kissed. I cried because I was happy for them. I also cried because it was less than one week after the helicopter crash that changed the course of the deployment. I was sick with worry that I would never see Clay again that I would have given anything to be able to kiss him -like Jim and Pam – that night. Corny, I know. But it is the truth.
Clay eventually came home and our Thursday nights picked up right where they left off. We moved to Raleigh, North Carolina and before we knew it, Clay deployed again – this time during Season 6. That time around, I had a new baby that was often nursing as I watched The Office. While we were still fans at that point, we agreed that it wasn’t as good as it once was. But we continued to watch. And we continued to laugh.
We were at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma when Steve Carell left the series at the end of Season 7 after proposing to Holly (squee!). By that time, Parks & Recreation had the honors of being my favorite sitcom on television but we still checked in weekly with the employees of Dunder Mifflin that we loved over the years. We weren’t about to give up on them.
And finally, here we are at the end. As you may know, The Office series finale was last night. Almost 9 years after we first watched the pilot, we’re now living in the Washington DC area with a three-year-old son, we have a little girl on the way, and we still sat down every Thursday night to watch our favorite people in Scranton, Pennsylvania. It was time to say goodbye (many argue that the series should have ended when Carell left), but that didn’t necessarily make it any easier.
It certainly helped that the series finale was one of the best episodes of the entire series, a feat that is quite amazing due to the sub par last few seasons. The tone of the show and for the entire series for that matter, can be summed up in the following exchange between Michael Scott and Dwight Schrute…
Dwight Schrute: “I can’t believe you came.”
Michael Scott: “That’s what she said.”
Funny, sweet, and a little bit awkward. And a perfect cameo by Steve Carell. I suppose that it seems silly to blog about the end of a series but The Office has been with me through my first post-college job (thus making me appreciate the nuances of show even more), multiple deployments, four states, two children, and almost 9 spectacular years of marriage. To some it was just a television show. To me, it was a little bit more. So I can’t help but wish a fond farewell to the employees of Dunder Mifflin. Thank you. You are a gentleman and a scholar.
Karen’s Favorite The Office Episodes
- Dinner Party – Season 4, Episode 9
- Casino Night – Season 2, Episode 22
- The Injury – Season 2, Episode 12
- Garage Sale – Season 7, Episode 19
- Conflict Resolution – Season 2, Episode 21
- A Benihana Christmas – Season 3, Episodes 10/11
- Finale – Season 9, Episodes 24/25