Sunday, November 6, 2011

My Fair Lady: A Story in Three Parts

Part One:

Well, I did a funny thing. See, last week on a blog I read (Formerly Phread - the same blog incidentally that won me the Triathamom entry - haha) she was giving 10 tickets to see My Fair Lady at Hale Centre Theater. Just had to email her and tell her you wanted to go, and if you were one of the first 10 to email, then you got to go! And hey, I love My Fair Lady and I especially love going to plays, and most especially musicals. And . . . ok, maybe I'm just a big sucker for free things. I can't help it.

The thing was, you had to arrive an hour early to eat hors d' oeuvres with the group and "socialize" and then hear the creative director or someone talk a little bit about the play. And I'm not really a "socializer." Having to "socialize" with people I don't know makes me pretty nervous. And I feel like a dork, just in general. I was afraid I would stand out and look dorky (what to wear?!), or say something dorky (or not know what to say at all??), or laugh dorky (because I have a really loud nervous laugh - if you know me, you know this is the truth). I was afraid I'd end up with food in my teeth and no one would tell me. Or I'd spill something down my shirt. Or, well, who knows. Anything could happen . . .

But I wanted to go. And gosh-darnit, I am getting to a point in my life where if I want to do something, I'm just gonna do it. Social awkwardness be darned. And so I did. I emailed her. I was one of the first 10. And so I went.

Part Two:

So, I got to the theater on time. I went to the little conference room place where I checked in and they gave me my ticket. And I stood in line for the food (of course! what else could I do?). Turns out there were several local blogs that were given complimentary tickets to give to some of their faithful readers (I didn't know this would be the case). Sooo, there were more people than I expected. But everyone there seemed to know at least someone else. And yes, I felt a little silly. I don't even know the girl who writes the blog - I just read it. haha. But I found an empty chair. And ate. And wondered if I could slip out of the room at the end of this shindig and escape having to talk to anyone. But. I knew I'd be sitting in the group with the other readers of the blog, and Jenny, the blog author herself. So she'd probably notice if I didn't at least introduce myself during this "socializing" tidbit. Dangit.

The choreographer and musical director said a few little insider things about the play and how it was made. That kind of stuff. Then we had about 15 min left before we should go be seated.

I looked around and spotted Jenny (at least I was fairly certain it was her - I'd only seen her picture on the blog . . . and there was no one else there that looked like it might be her, so I could only assume I had spotted the right person). After a few more minutes of convincing myself I really had to, I walked up to where she was talking to some other people and tapped her shoulder and introduced myself. Yay! The worst part was over.;) She said I was the last one she was waiting to find in the group. Yes, of course I was.

And she introduced me to some of her other readers ("guests") who were there with her. And then we all migrated to the bathroom and went to our seats. My seat was next to Jenny. Good thing I had said hello beforehand!

Seems she already knew the other people sitting on the other side of me so I casually injected myself into their conversation and tried not to feel like the lame blog stalker that I really am. I tried not to become paranoid (are they looking at me funny? do I look funny?) and I tried not to feel stupid when I couldn't remember simple details about Jenny's life that I really should already know from reading her blog for years - but that I really wouldn't know about someone whom I've just met in real life and am trying to make small talk with (how many kids do you have? etc). Awkward. Oh well.
Funniest moment though was during intermission when Jenny went out and the couple next to me leaned over and asked, "so how do you know Jenny?"
Me: "uh, well, I don't. I just read her blog. And wanted to see the play." Duh.
Oh well.

Part Three:

But the play was worth it all. My Fair Lady is one of my favorites. I love the play Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw that it is based on. Phonetics is one of my pet wanna-learn-more-about topics. And I just think this whole idea is fascinating of how we talk, or dress, affects so much of how other people react to us. Our perceptions of the world are based so much on our own experiences and biases and judgments. It's crazy, really.

And then . . . ohh Henry Higgens. Did he really think he was helping Eliza? It makes me think of how often we put forth efforts to help someone "improve" . . . we want to be helpful, we think we're helping, we think they need it, we think they need to change, to become better, to be healthier, to be whatever it is they are lacking. How often does it ever work? And yet we continue to do it. We do it to those around us, certainly our spouses to some extent or another, and our children. And although I know there is an element of teaching and training that is absolutely necessary to child rearing, there is also an aspect of acceptance that I think I forget sometimes. They cannot be other than who they are. How much do I accept as the nature of who this person is, and how much do I try to change - to say "this is unacceptable and it needs to change"? And how much change are we truly capable of anyway? Some would say we can change anything, with enough work and perseverance and desire. Others may say that there is a core to our being that will always be part of what we are. But who is to say which parts belong where?

And I know that in thinking this over, I veer way off from the point or purposes of the play. But I think that is the point of art anyway. Where it takes your thoughts, beyond what is meant or what is intended.

This time I was also more bothered that Eliza goes back to Henry in the end. Why?!? Because she doesn't know what else to do? And just because she knows his schedule and where he put his slippers means that he can't live without her - is this love?! Hmph. I don't know.

Interesting things to think about, though. And that's why I'm glad I went. That's what art and music and all of this good stuff in the world is all about. And that's why I endured a little social awkwardness to be able to go and experience it. :)

The End.


Jennifer Pelo Rawlings said...

I used to love MFL when I was a kid. Now it totally bugs me that she goes back to him. Ick.

Good job going. You have been very brave lately. I'm quite impressed.

The Mel B said...

Still one of my favorite movies of all time. And it doesn't bother me that they end up together. I think it just took him some time to quit being arrogant and realize how much he appreciates her. I dunno. But now I want to watch the movie. Hmph.

Kristen said...

Mel - that's how I always thought of it before too. This time, though, it just seems like he hasn't really changed much by the time she actually goes back to him. Let's just decide that's the beginning of the change and that he really does become different towards her.;) I can be happy with that.

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