James Lipton says "It is the Most well acted play in the history of MAN!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

On Saturday Night, I took my daughter to see the 8th grade theatrical production of

For those of you with very young children, reach back into your minds. I know I have a whole crew of band, art and drama geeks out there. The concert, the recitals, the performances…. Are you feeling me?

Oh Yeah.

While it was no “Lion King”, it was a wholly agreeable effort. The kids remembered most of their lines. They were enthusiastic – quite- and the giggling kept was to a minimum. Of course, when the fake beards fell off – we all laughed. Who could resist really? The sight of 13 year old boys trying desperately to keep their melting facial hair on, while delivering lines was priceless. Think “Spamalot”, but not on purpose.

The one kid behind me kept singing the Disney songs to Aladdin, which irritated the piss out of Emily. She kept leaning is to whisper,” It’s not THAT story!”. I am happy to report she is able to sort out that different versions of stories exist, and not all of them come from the Mouse that ate all fairy tales.

But the moment when I saw my future? The bows had been taken, the applause voluminous. The parents and grandparents, friends and relatives had all paid their $3.00 and paid homage to the drama gods. I had privately picked out the future out gay males, and the fag hags who love them. The adults – being versed in the normal ebb and flow of live theatre, started to make the motions of leaving.

Ahhhhh, No. Each 8th grader decided to make impromptu speeches. ALL OF THEM. I began to grip my head in my hands. I had been sitting on gym bleachers for TWO HOURS. Even with my sufficient ass padding, that was an uncomfortable seat. I had a headache and I had to pee. Emily has been berating me quietly, but insistently to buy her something from the PTA bake sale. For the past two hours. I was seconds from running out and kicking over the bake sale table and stuffing their accursed brownies and frosted cookies down their throats.

Now 8th grade speeches? I looked around, trying to find a compatriot adult. Anyone? Could I send a “wrap it up” hand gesture to someone? Anyone? No. All the adults looked enraptured, Little Ben and Tiffany’s big moments! Cameras were flashing like strobes. I worried that any epileptic in the crowd would seize up and fall of the bleachers.
Christ! Don’t these people have places to go?

That’s when I saw it. Every One of my plays, and choral concerts, and band recitals, and every other thing that I had trotted out onto a stage to do. My mother and step-father. Sitting there. Beaming at me, cameras flashing like strobes. Genuine enthusiasm for mediocre acting and so-so flute playing. Their beloved daughter. And they did this for each one of their three kids. Holy Shit. They LOVED us.

I drifted back to the gymnasium.

Emily: “Mama, can I? Can I get a cookie Mama? Just One? A little one with frosting? Mama? Mama? What’s your answer?

Me: “My answer is still No – and when you get to be up on a stage – remember keep it short and sweet – and always thank your mother.”

17 Baleful Regards:

The Gradual Gardener said...

Two hours on gym bleachers? Sorry, I have no sympathy for you, since I routinely suffer through FOUR-TO-FIVE-HOUR bleacher stints at karate tournaments. You got it easy, girl!

IzzyMom said...

Two hours on bleacher with an ancillary singer sitting behind you? You're a helluva sport. Have a drink on me :-)

Table4Five said...

I did four years of high school musicals, and not once were we allowed to make a speech at the end. Maybe it's a new thing. Of course, no one had digital camcorders back then to record every precious thing I did.

I would have bought every cookie, cupcake, brownie and slice of banana bread on the table.

MrsFortune said...

Priceless. LOVE those 8th grade speeches. Always totally vapid and shallow, yet ridiculous and pitiful at the same time. Like being at the Oscars, really. You are a brave woman, but really, some adult should have put a stop to it ... the teacher or whoever was in charge was probably already halfway through her 3rd martini backstage, though.

Anonymous said...

Good grief...SPEECHES? What, like the Oscars? "I'd like to thank Mrs. Smith for all her support in divining the character of Aladdin..."

Oh, and is your Wrap It Up gesture a spinning pointer finger? Yeah, that's mine.

Anonymous said...

Ha, you were picking out the drama fags and hags. That cracks me up. That's like me picking out the toupes in a board room full of old fat guys.

Dawn said...

Oh yeah Madge - it's the rolling finger move. I used it tonight at an "event".

And Tb's that is one of my favorite games to play with groups of young children. I can even hear the coming out speeches in my head.

I say this as a very devoted fag hag to several of "the gays."

Oh and I forgot to add that the grandfather in front of me had not been in touch with soap or water for some time. Apparently they like to let Gramps marinate in his funk as a way to survive the winter. Even breathing through my mouth was not doing the trick.

Kids were CRYING people, CRYING during these speeches. I expected the flying car from Grease to pop out and a rousing chorus of "We go together" to begin....

Anonymous said...

Ack. I've always been so grateful that my kids confined their dramatics to home. Glad *you* had fun though.

Lena said...

Oh the speeches! All I can say is "Painful". When did squelching children's thoughts go out of style? LOL

Tickets to Junior High Aladdin Production: $3

Wanting to drive a needle through your ear: priceless

Anonymous said...

Where is Harry Mancini and his baton when you need them?

Lisa said...

Heeheee. Yeah that sounds like a little slice of hell if you ask me. I would have needed about 6 cookies to mentally deal with that.

YOu have more self control, cookiewise than I do.

Mom101 said...

Drama/Dance geek = MEMEMEMEMEMEEEEEE! I know Thalia will follow in my footsteps, and it's all about payback for what I put my parents through. Oh that's right, I was Dancing Witch #2 in Dark of the Moon. And I think it was more than $3.

You're a good mom, D.

Anonymous said...

I used to feel the same way about elemetary school orchestras. What sadistic fuck thought it was a good idea to put a string instrument in the hands of an eight year old?

Until my daughter became part of one.

Now, I'm all, "Don't anyone leave until the very last note of 'Silent Night' is played or I will CUT YOU."

Anonymous said...

Oh, man. If they're doing speeches in 8th grade what will happen when they're seniors in high school and doing their last musical? A symbolic death scene to represent them passing into a new phase of life? I'm all for encouraging kids at events, but this to me seems a leetle extreme.

But hey, you could have used Emily's wish for the baked goods as an excuse to duck out -- didn't she need her sugar so she wouldn't faint? (nah, you're too good a mom to pull that trick...) ;-)

halloweenlover said...

I'm doubled over laughing about all of this. You're so bad!

Why no baked goods? Those are the best part of the night?

Imez said...

Well, you won Best Post of the Day. I loved it.

And I love pictures of Will Ferrel doing Jame Lipton. In fact, I'll borrow one his lines in tribute to you.

"You're a blinding brilliant light from heaven and you make Ghandi look like a violent child pornographer."

PS why'd you go to see the play if your kid wasn't in it?

Catherine said...

You are SO good at this blogging thing. Great, great story.

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