B, Sid and I finally finished watching all nine seasons of The Office earlier this week. I'd already seen most of the episodes with Roommate Matthew in our Lincoln Park apartment back when the show was still on the air, but I started re-watching it a few months ago after making Sid check out a clip of Mindy Kaling in the series' second episode and then never stopped. The Office has always been a favorite show of mine, but seeing it again with Bevan and Sid (and Buddy and Patches) on the couch next to me made it more meaningful somehow, maybe because Bevan's the kind of person who always cries at the parts that are supposed to make you cry and Sid ended each episode with enthusiastic questions and criticisms about each characters' decisions and motives, as if her adamancy could have changed the final outcome somehow. Mostly I guess re-watching The Office after spending so many more years of my life in one was a good reminder to try and enjoy work and my co-workers a little bit more, because so much of life really does happen there, even if, in the immortal words of Darryl from the warehouse, most days all you wanna do is leave.
At the end of the final episode, just before the credits rolled, most of the originals who had stayed for the run of the series (except Angela and Stanley and Toby) signed off with one last talking head interview (for some reason Pam got two). All of the interviews were pitch-perfectly tailored to each character and made me smile (and B cry) so damn hard, but a few stood out as ones that I needed to store here for safe-keeping. Those few are below in the order that they happened. I know Bevan won't read them because he never reads the quotes that I post here, but I think they're completely wonderful, especially when paired with "I Will Remember You" as performed by Andy Bernard.
Pam: I didn't watch the whole documentary. After a few episodes, it was too painful. I kept wanting to scream at Pam. It took me so long to do so many important things. It's just hard to accept that I spent so many years being less happy than I could have been. Jim was five feet from my desk and it took me four years to get to him. It'd be great if people saw this documentary and learned from my mistakes. Not that I'm a tragic person. I’m really happy now. But it would just...just make my heart soar if someone out there saw this and she said to herself "Be strong. Trust yourself. Love yourself. Conquer your fears. Just go after what you want and act fast, because life just isn't that long."
Andy: I spent so much of my time here at Dunder Mifflin thinking about my old pals, my college a cappella group. The weird thing is now, I'm exactly where I wanna be. I got my dream job at Cornell and I'm still just thinking about my old pals. Only now they're the ones I made here. I wish there was a way to know you're in the good old days before you've actually left them. Someone should write a song about that.
Erin: How did you do it? How did you capture what it was really like? How we felt and how made each other laugh and how we got through the day? How did you do it? Also, how do cameras work?
Creed: It all seems so very arbitrary. I applied for a job at this company because they were hiring. I took a desk at the back because it was empty. But no matter how you get there or where you end up, human beings have this miraculous gift to make that place home.
Phyllis: I'm happy that this was all filmed so I can remember everyone and what we did. I worked for a paper company all these years and I never wrote anything down.
Jim: I sold paper at this company for twelve years. My job was to speak to clients on the phone about quantities and types of copier paper. Even if I didn’t love every minute of it, everything I have, I owe to this job. This stupid, wonderful, boring, amazing job.
Pam: I thought it was weird when you picked us to make a documentary. But all in all I think an ordinary paper company like Dunder Mifflin was a great subject for a documentary. There's a lot of beauty in ordinary things. Isn't that kind of the point?
THE AFTER POST
I'd like to give a special shoutout to officequotes.net for their diligent quote-taking and also to YouTube for having handy the string quartet version of "Sweet Child O' Mine" that played at Dwight and Angela's wedding. I listened to it at least twenty-five times while writing this post.