I remember watching a preview for The Office back in 2003, right before Christmas. Immediately, I knew it had my name written all over it. I was home for the semester and I planned on watching the premiere. I anticipated for a few weeks (I think it debuted in March) and it did not disappoint. I was head over heals for Michael and Dwight, Jim and Pam. I watched the first season (six episodes) and looked forward to the next.
Over the years I have converted lots of my friends to The Office. With the exception of my time in Russia I watched every episode within a day or two of airing if I happened to be busy on Thursday. I cried on multiple occasions (Jim and Pam kiss/wedding/baby but also several things with Michael because he was so sweet, such a child like man). I even pushed through the "lesser" seasons. You know, the ones where everyone complained the show had lost it's spark, it's humor, it's charm. I defended the show and never complained, recognizing that it wasn't as good as it once was but having faith that they would find their way back.
Last Thursday when Michael took his Mic off and walked away with the request to "let me know if this ever airs," I realized it was the end of the office. Michael Scott is the office. He was the one who attracted me to watch in the previews, the one who I cheered on and kept coming back for, the one who developed the most while still keeping intact the integrity of his character.
I admit I cried more than a normal human should when he left. From the moment he started his most poignant goodbye's with Dwight, to the moment his plane took off I was bawling. The thing that got me the most was when he talked about going home to see Holly. He said Holly was his family and the kids he would have with her would be his children (prior to that he always said his employees were like his children). He had finally outgrown the office and didn't need them anymore like he always had.
Goodbye Michale, goodbye office. I'll probably watch the last few episodes of the season just to know they are in good hands and then, I'll say goodbye to the show. Jim and Pam have their happily ever after, Dwight is always happy, and everyone else is just beloved and secondary.