I was a little late to this party, too. I didn't start watching The Office until November of 2006 at the urging of my then college-age daughter, Julia. She had been telling me for months how much I was going to like it, so when she came to town to be there for the birth of her baby brother, she brought along the show's DVDs.
I lay in bed, hugely pregnant, and watched episode after episode. I was hooked. A new little world, found in a fictitious paper company in Scranton, PA, became a part of our weekly Thursday viewing.
Soon after, my husband and I tore ravenously through all the seasons of the original British version, and -- as different as it was -- enjoyed it a lot as well. We were devoted fans, seeking out interviews, extras, and news stories about our favorite dysfunctional "family."
And of course, who could resist watching Jim and Pam go from best friends to married parents of two?
Sure, the familiarity of the awkward situations was cringe-inducing. But they were performed so effortlessly with such comedic commitment, based on such excellent writing about characters that showed such vulnerability. The format, in which the characters talked directly to the cameras -- we couldn't help but feel a kinship with these average working folks.
And now it's over and I feel as though I have lost good friends -- as if they have moved away and I'll never see them again. Come on, it's only a tv show. Yeah, sure...
But it will always hold a special place in my heart if only for this reason: Remembering how the theme song soothed my newborn son -- apparently hearing it so many times right before he was born made an impact.
And every time I hear it from now on, I will feel that wee bit of melancholy for good times past...