On Monday my daughter and I attended a taping of the Ellen show. I was hoping to see Diana Nyad and Simon Cowell who were to appear on Tuesday's show. Ellen usually tapes a day ahead. I also knew this was premier week and I was hoping Ellen would feel generous all week and shower her studio audience with gifts. The last time we'd attended we received a cd of one guest, two dvd's of another guest, and hair and make up products of a third. Neither the cd's nor dvd's have yet to be opened by me, but hoping for good karma, I did use the shampoo on the day of this new show. The Ellen Show process is surgical. We were guaranteed audience members so we checked in by 2:00, showed our drivers' licenses, received our black light invisible arm stamps, and sat down amongst the couple of hundred other members for the day whose chatting created a cacaphony of excitement underneath the solid walls of the parking structure. We received numbers to enter the studio, then returned to the metal benches. I chose to sit with my back to the wall, I didn't realize we were sitting under a speaker. Thus began a pantomime routine with a worker. She mouthing, "Can you hear anything?" We shaking our heads. She disappearing, returning, repeating. We shaking our heads. Until finally we heard some mumbling. She returned, we put thumbs up, not knowing it was blaring out to the crowd, although, under the speaker we could not hear. Standing back in line, entering, seated. Rumors as to who the guest might be. Bright lights, not so much awe, repeat attendance. Then the warm up and the dancing and the announcement, "Celine Dion". Not a big fan, but I am okay. Disappointed more that I'm not going to see Diana Nyad. She's my hero, not Celine Dion. The show begins, Ellen! She's warm, sweet, funny. I begin to wonder what my possibilities are for a gift. Celine Dion tickets? And then I learn Celine performs in Las Vegas. A trip to Vegas and tickets? It's premier week after all. I scale back. A cd? While waiting to enter we chatted with a woman (well, she chatted at us) who said she'd taken a cd she received from the last show to Target to exchange it. I would likely do that. If we received tickets for the show, well, I 'd give them away or sell them. Celine and Ellen talked, sitting at home on the sofa kind of talking. Funny some places, interesting others, a little unsettling when Celine noted she met her husband when she was 12. The picture showed a gangly adolescent standing next to an already balding and definitely gray-haired man. She explained her feelings grew when she was a teenager. A hush. And then Ellen said Celine would be singing after the break. After the break when we continued to dance and cheer and whoop and clap is when we would learn our gift. Our special premier Ellen gift. Just a few more minutes. Celine sang. We applauded, Ellen thanked Celine for coming. The credits began to roll. I turned to my daughter. We shrugged our shoulders. The show ended. Ellen stood in front of the audience, sans camera. This would be it, now we'd learn our special surprise, so special she didn't want to reveal it on camera. "Thank you all for coming," she said. And a few other things that I heard but did not listen to. Then, from somewhere Portia stood next to Ellen, they linked hands and went through the curtains. The announcer told us the show was over. And I knew who to blame. #32. The chatty lady who told us tale after tale of how she never wins anything and that of course we weren't going to get anything today. My daughter jokingly said, "why are we talking to you, then?" and I encouraged her that "today her luck would change". It did not. I don't really think #32 was the bad luck charm. But I did not want to watch the rest of the week of Ellen to find out that ours was the only day when they didn't receive a gift. Except the gift of reflection where I understand that I didn't go to get something, I went to spend time with my daughter and experience one of the best run tv shows in the business. I'm looking forward to when I can go again. Although I'll likely still be expecting Ellen to be generous. More than not, she is.