July 14, 2008

Speaking of Vaginas...

While driving on the George Washington Bridge the other night, I looked over to see the city skyline. It reminded me of a time in my life when I wanted to be on the stage. The NYC skyline always has that effect on me--it epitomizes theatre to me. When I was in high school, I dreamed of going to New York University. (I was coming off the high of attending Nationals for dramatics.) I imagined myself walking down the streets of New York like I had so many times as a kid with my aunt and uncle who lived on Lexington. Unfortunately, my dad informed me that he couldn't afford to send me to NYU. My dreams of attending a school in the city faded as practicality set in, although I did start my freshman year at Penn State as a theatre major. I would change it to Comparative Literature before deciding on the generic English major because of some well-worded brochure for the English department. I could go in many directions with that kind of degree. Besides, who really makes a living as an actor?

Other than being involved in some theatre during college and making it to callbacks for an off-Broadway production locally a few years ago, I haven't done a thing in the theatre. So the other night I decided that I would get involved again, even if just to volunteer as an usher or something like that. It came on the heels of my dad's suggestion to get involved again. We went for dinner in town a few weeks ago and as we passed a local theatre, my dad said, "You should do something like that again. You were good."

Sure, my dad is biased, but I honestly had thought the same thing myself. Just because I haven't done it in a while doesn't mean I can't, right? So I pointed my browser at that local theatre's web page. I was so excited when I saw an OPEN AUDITIONS link. I clicked on it and it was calling for women to participate in The Vagina Monologues.

"Holy shit!" I said out loud as the feminist actor in me leapt out of my head and pranced on the couch. I can't be sure, but I think she was spouting some lines from Taming of the Shrew as well.

I suddenly pictured myself backstage before the show with that wonderful, alive nervousness of opening night. My dad would be proudly sitting in the front row, along with all of my friends and family. I would be on the stage again. I was so happy with the thought.

SEND AN EMAIL to be considered.

So I did.

I wrote an email professing my interest and hit SEND.

Oh my god.


I did it!

I would possibly be realizing my dreams again, albeit on a small level.

Then it dawned on me. What was the date of the show?

February 9th, 2008.

As in...five months ago.

In my excitement, I guess I forgot it is 2008.

I'm an idiot.

I guess I got too excited...

July 06, 2008

Taking A Guilt Trip Down Memory Lane

When I was a kid, the 4th of July was such a fun day. I would spend the day at my grandmother's house playing with all of my cousins and at night we would light some firecrackers and catch lightning bugs. We could play for such a long time--the light of the day lasted until nearly 9pm--which was always so exciting. (How many of us even notice that as an adult?) I still love sitting in the warm summer air and watching the glow of lightening bugs...it's one of the simple joys of life.

I have a lot in my life that brings me such happiness. They're the little things that are difficult to express to someone else. I'm sure we all have things that make us smile or laugh, the you-had-to-be-there kind of inside joy that others don't understand or witness. As I sat here before, Katie came walking in from her room and came over to me. "That's Eeyore!" she said, clear as day, as she plopped an Eeyore stuffed animal on my lap. I looked at her, not realizing she knew his name nor could say it, and felt so proud. She gazed back at me with her huge eyes and just...smiled. She's growing and I'm happy about that. I am thankful she's healthy and smart and that I get to have such a source of joy in my life.

As we drove home from an enjoyable lunch at Fuddruckers today, Dan and I started talking and we recalled that just three years ago, we spent July 4th at Dan's aunt's house with all of his family. (GASP!!) We played games and actually had a good time, even though we ignored and were ignored by his sister. The situation wasn't new. (I guess we were feeling exceptionally friendly that day or something.) Unfortunately, after several hours Dan's father dramatically left the party and I learned later that he claimed that he had to leave because of the family feud. He and others complainted about that day, though in hindsight that was the last day they will ever get with us. Too bad they didn't appreciate what they had when they had it. I wonder if they ever look back on that same day and say, "Damn. I shouldn't have messed it up."


I started singing "Memories" (the Elvis version, the one I heard WAY too many times growing up since my Mom was/is a huge Elvis fan) and we laughed.

"Memorieeeeees...pressed between the pages of my miiiiiind!"

Memory Lane is sometimes a road filled with potholes and ruts, the kind of road you wouldn't want to drive. It's the bad neighborhood that makes you say, "We don't need gas that bad. Let's keep going." Dan says his usually leads to Guiltsville. I have a lot of nice memories from my childhood.

"Memorieeeeees...sweetened through the ages just like wiiiiiiine!"

This past July 4th was fun, although it was cut slightly short because of Katie's fear of fireworks. I can't say I blame her; I never really enjoyed them myself. We spent the day at my grandmother's. Now my cousins and I are older, with jobs and spouses and kids, but I still try to see the simplicity in things.

As we arrived home, our front yard was filled with lightening bugs. I put Katie in her crib, leaving her to dream as I rushed outside. As I caught a glowing bug, I hoped that Katie's life would be as magical as the flashing lights of my childhood.

July 01, 2008

Phone Phobia

My thoughts flow freely just as I'm trying to go to bed. So after a failed attempt, here I am in front of the computer. There's something very rewarding about a quiet house and only the glow of the screen in front of me. I'm drawn to it like a moth to a candle.

The thing about your thoughts is that when they are jumbled in your head, it doesn't really matter. Trying to pry them out and post them is a bit difficult when they're jumping around, but I'll try...

I had a missed call on my cell Saturday morning that I figured could have been one of my family members (a different area code), but considering that I have everyone I care about programmed into my phone, I couldn't think of who it could be. When the phone rang again and I was able to answer it, I saw the same number. I hit "accept" and I faintly heard someone already talking so I listened without saying hello. A deep voice was saying, "Bitch, bitch, you're a bitch..." then said the full name of my husband, who's last name could sort of rhyme with bitch, using bitch in his name. (That will soon change, as you'll read.) I won't lie, it scared me because I heard the name of my husband at the end. I normally would think it was just a prank and it wouldn't scare my "virgin" ears. I guess you need some back story to understand my concern...

We are in the process of changing our last name. It will be easier to understand and use. I especially won't be burdened with the horrible association to everyone who has that name...since they all hate me and blame me for the demise of their family. But no one (we assume) knows about it. I know it would make people in Dan's family angry and I know they would blame me. Since we had to publish it in the newspaper as part of our state's name change law, I assumed someone got word of it and somehow tracked down my number and decided to call. (We don't have a landline and no one has my number.) Since Dan's last name was used and the caller sounded angry, I immediately thought it was someone from his family. (YES, I'm paranoid. Maybe I'm watching too much Dateline or something.) I hung up without saying anything and nearly hyperventilated. That seems to be my body's reaction to anything involving THOSE people and it's rather annoying.

So after breathlessly explaining it to Dan, he says [enter macho tone here], "Give me the phone. I'll call them back."

I hand him the phone. Great. One more hangup (no pun intended) to add to my Phone Phobia.

He starts the phone call by saying, "Yeah, this is Dan X. You just called?" Not exactly the force I was hoping for.

Then he starts chatting. About what, I don't know. I just couldn't believe it.

"Wait--who is that?" I yell loudly.

"It's the guy from TruGreen lawn service." This guy had called about a dozen times in the last week after giving us a quote for lawn service but Dan was avoiding his calls.

"Give me the phone." He hands it to me as I try to remember that I should remain calm in stressful situations and not resort to harsh words or--god forbid--throwing anything.

"You just called me?" I ask, giving him a chance to lie. He admits he did. "I just heard you say 'bitch' and you are NEVER to call this number again." Sure, he tried to say that he was just talking to a colleague, but I was just relieved it wasn't anyone who was personally attacking me. I still plan on writing a letter to the jerk's company, though. And I won't rely on Dan to defend me, don't worry.

I have come to accept the fact that I will probably never be left alone by the people I hate so much. I know the feeling is mutual, but they won't admit it because I guess they think they can fool Dan. I am blamed for Dan not speaking to them. There's an old saying, though, that says: Give them enough rope and they will hang themselves. (Or is that just something my mom always says?) They prove how heartless they are every time they make a feeble attempt at getting their own way, but I wish they would just leave us alone. Dan has told them that so many times. [Enter a big sigh here.]

So hopefully our name changes come through and I could at least move on emotionally. I really feel like I am finally going to get the proud, old-fashioned excitement of being Mrs. X. I wasn't emotionally able to take Dan's last name for so long because of what I associated with it. My love for him wasn't enough. When I finally had our baby I went through the process and changed it. Then I felt like an idiot because I was carrying around the name of some of the people that I abhor.

I think if I didn't have children, I would never have wanted Dan's last name, no matter what it was or who it was. My feminist ideals were part of the reason. But my traditional ideals of having the same name as my child outweighs my Lucy Stoner attitude.

I'll keep you posted.