In the car, we’ve been listening to the soundtrack from the revival of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.” I have found that show tunes are a good thing to listen to in the car, because Jerry can’t stand them, and Helen and Alice like them. Most of the time, it’s just us girls in the car together, so everybody wins!
Anyway… Helen’s favorite song is “My New Philosophy,” a duet between Sally Brown (Charlie Brown’s little sister) and Shroeder, where she’s discussing her new philosophies on life. The buildup to the song is a little dialogue between Sally and Shroeder:
Sally: “Oh, yeah? That’s what YOU think.”
Sally: “That’s my new philosophy. ‘Oh, yeah? That’s what YOU think.'”
Shroeder: “Why are you telling me?”
Shroeder: “WHY are you telling ME?”
Sally: (imitating Shroeder) “WHY are you telling ME? [pause] I LIKE IT!”
Helen and I take turns playing/singing the parts of Sally and Shroeder, and we were going along like this on the way out to Madison to drop the girls off for their Tuesday playdate with Jerry’s mom….
Mommy: “WHY are you telling ME?”
Helen: “WHY are you telling ME?”
Alice: I YIKE IT!!
Helen and I completely cracked up, because Alice’s timing was flawless and completely overlapped the girl on the CD.
And now I know where she’s gotten that saying, because she says it all the time — if she likes her outfit, her food, her juice, being outside. If she likes it, she tells me.
“Mommy, I yike it. I yike it, Mommy.”
I’m almost to the point where I’m going to invite them all over and let them have it out in my living room, just to get the bickering overwith.
Don’t worry, Jerry, I’ll do it when you’re out of town so you don’t have to listen to the screaming.
I went to see a play last night. I went BY MYSELF to see this play. It wasn’t a children’s play, it wasn’t something Jerry would enjoy, and it wasn’t one of those plays that was particularly thought-provoking as far as making one think, “Gosh, this is something I’m going to remember for a long time.” It was just entertainment.
I even paid for a ticket, something I haven’t done in probably over three years. Pathetic. I’m the world’s worst theatre patron.
Many years ago, I discovered that I enjoy live theatre much more if I go by myself. This way, I can’t lean over to the person next to me and say snarky things about the actors and actresses or directing decisions. I can’t make comments about the set, and I can’t complain about the lighting if there’s no one listening to my commentary. So I just sit back and enjoy the performance. And that’s exactly what I did last night.
During intermission, they had ballroom dancers doing some swing out in the middle of the floor, and after their dance, people from the audience could go down and dance. I know the male dancer — he’s one of my brother’s friends — so I decided to go down for a dance so I could say hello. I’m a horrible dancer because I always try to lead (it’s the control freak in me), but Mike is a GREAT dancer and a great lead; he can make a terrible dancer like me look like I know what I’m doing. So it was a lot of fun. And we had a nice visit, too. Always a nice bonus.
The show was good, too. The director made some great casting choices and the ensemble was strong. In some ways, it made me ache to get back on the stage, but that’s just not where my life is right now. Not a problem… I’ll get more chances.
20 years ago this month, I became active with a local all-volunteer theatre organization. I loved this group tremendously, and they shaped the person I am today. I won their scholarship when I was a senior in high school, and when I returned home after college I immediately began volunteering with them again, in many different capacities: actor, director, set design, painting, teacher, scholarship chair, tech meals coordinator, etc.
Many of the same people are still involved, and though they mean well, there is a specific faction of them that is tearing the organization apart. It is no longer what it was, and I feel like something has been stolen from my childhood.
I have three options.
- I can stay on the board of the organization and accept things the way they are;
- I can stay on the board of the organization and try to change things; or
- I can resign my position and let this chapter of my life end.
My heart is voting for #2, but my sanity is leaning towards #3. I just wish there were a clear answer… To stay and work towards a change would be a huge effort and emotional commitment, and I wonder if I’m at a good place in my life for that. But to leave? I want this organization to be there for my children, and it won’t survive what’s happening to it. I don’t think it will, anyway — not and be any recognizable version of what it once was. I don’t expect it to be the same, but I’d hate for it to be run like an adult theatre group. It’s not an adult theatre group.
And it’s dying. I’m very sad today.