Thursday, July 7, 2011

Applause, applause

My youngest niece. Bless her heart. I have 3. Each as different as it’s possible for females to be. But the youngest, well she’s something else.

So Monday we had the big family cookout. Everybody is milling around, munching, talking, cooking, kibitzing about other peoples’ cooking, you know, a cookout. This left the kids with pretty much nothing to do but be kids. And one of the things that was laying around from the party box (yes, there’s a party box), was giant load of plastic leis, glow necklaces and mardi gras beads (What? That’s not what you have in your party box?). So, most of the kids have one or two decorations, and go about their business. The 12-year old proceeds to make elaborate outfits out of plastic flotsam, including off-the-shoulder tops, head pieces and roman sandals. And then starts a mini America’s Got Talent competition in the living room, where she was host, judge and contestant.

Now, I’ve always said, if the kid ever gets a taste of a real audience, that’s it. She’ll never willingly step off of a stage again. The only reason that she’s not experienced it yet is that she’s under the mistaken impression that she’s SHY. Huh-huh. I have politely refrained from disabusing her of this mad notion by not saying, “Sure, kid, pull the other one.” Eventually, it will happen. School play. Glee club. Amateur night at the Improv. Something. She’ll get one taste of the good stuff – applause. And it will be like heroin to her poor attention starved system. Because really, we’re just her family and there’s no way we can compete with an actual auditorium. Meryl Streep, watch your back. I hope she'll remember to thank Aunt Julie when she gets her first Oscar.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


So last Friday, I went to see Cyrano de Bergerac at the outdoor Shakespeare fest. Yes, I know. Not Shakespeare. Go with it.

And somewhere in the middle of the death scene, I realized how much differently I viewed this story as an adult compared to as a teenager. I remember loving the movie when I was a weepy teenager. Cyrano is quite the swashbuckler. I loved me a swashbuckler as a teen. (Still do.) And the Dallas Shakes Cyrano is a devilishly handsome son-of-a-gun with a way with a sword and a word. I was content. In spite of the fact that that the play is done outdoors. In the summer. On the surface of the sun.

The big thing that’s changed is that I loved the tragedy of the whole thing back then. The ever-so worthy Cyrano, brilliant, honorable, tres gentil, denied happiness with his beloved because of his horrible disfigurement (and can I just sidebar that quite obviously the French don’t share our proportional assumption based on a man and his nose? Otherwise C de B would be quite the popular boy). Yet he stays devoted to her, quietly in the background, selflessly assuring her happiness. I would have been reduced to a blubbering effluent mess when I was around 16. And then, as he dies at the hands of his enemies, the truth is finally revealed – boo hoo hoo hoo hoo! So romantic. The end.

What really? You deny yourself happiness because God didn’t give you the perfect little button nose of your dreams? That’s it? Dumbass. If she can’t see beyond the tip of your nose (ha!), then she’s not your girl. And she ain’t all that in the first place. Get off your damn knee, and go find yourself some happy. And Roxanne? I’d have been pretty effin’ pissed if I found out that he’d been basically lying to me all that time. And let me stay in a goddamn nunnery 10 freaking years! When he could have been writing me kickass sonnets and making like French bunnies? IDIOT! I don’t care if you’re dying. Slappity-slap-slap! Over a nose? Please.

In fact, my teenage self could probably have used a slappity-slap-slap too. Seriously. There are some things that are better left to the pubescent.

TIME: Quotes of the Day