We went to see a regional theatre production of “Cats” today. I have relinquished my title of The Only Person On The Planet Who Has Never Seen Cats. I am still, however, proud holder of the Only Theatre Major On The Planet Who Hadn’t Seen Cats During The Formative Years title.
It was a lot of fun. The children would’ve enjoyed it more, I think, if they hadn’t been sharing a room last night and so awakened this morning at “the crack of darn” to torment each other. At one point, Monkey–who was sitting on my father’s lap–commenced shaking his head back and forth wildly for no apparent reason. This is what you do if you are four years old and realize that you are in imminent danger of falling asleep at an inopportune time. It kept him awake, but he may have whiplash and I think my father might’ve sustained permanent sternum damage.
Chickadee whispered various things to me throughout, including (but not limited to): “Are all those people kids?” “Why do they like dressing like weird cats if they’re grown-ups?” “How do you know?” and “Look, smoke!” The star of the production according to Chickadee was the smoke effects. Now playing… “Cats”! Starring… smoke!
For me, it was an enjoyable production on its own, enhanced by the fact that it afforded me many flashbacks to my days in college as a theatre major. Ah, memories. (“Meeeeeemory… all alone in the mooooooonlight….”) Memories of dance classes, with everyone in leotards. Memories of yummy men… in tights. Memories of how those yummy men could dance. Memories of how every single one of them was gay. It appears not a lot has changed since I left the world of theatre. During one particularly… uhhh… flamboyant solo, I found myself expecting the actor to start tap dancing. In a loincloth, maybe. It wouldn’t have surprised me. But I would’ve been laughing too hard to cover the kids’ eyes, so it’s just as well that the choreographer had something else in mind.
I did not run into anyone I knew in junior high, which was fortunate. The kids looked appropriately spiffy for about five seconds after they got dressed. By the time we got to the show, Monkey had green marker all over his pants and Chickadee had managed to will about one-third of her hair out of its twin plaits and into a fuzzy halo around her head. Both of them were also covered in dog hair (because the world’s sweetest but hairiest dog lives here). If we’d encountered anyone I’d once known I probably would’ve introduced the children and then said something stupid like “They’re normally much tidier but I dropped them in one of those mud puddles out there! Ha ha!” Because I’m weird like that, and the last few days of rain had left the theatre parking lot a bizarre labyrinth of mud swamps.
My father did see a coworker and introduced us over intermission. My father, my number one fan, apparently makes periodic announcements at his office that all employees must read and love my blog or face immediate termination. So this poor woman, who was really just wanting to get her kids settled with their snacks, immediately started telling me how much she loves this blog. My dad was standing right there so I didn’t think it was a good time to tell her he hasn’t really ever fired anyone for not reading it. Instead I said something stupid because that’s what I do best. Then I tried to placate my whining children with delicious and nutritious Tic Tacs while everyone around them ate chocolate cake from the concession stand.
So, Cindy? It was very nice to meet you, and let’s just pretend I said something witty and my children were perfect and I bought them some cake. Great; thanks.