I’ve gone off and met my friends inside the shiny box, before, and the experience never fails to fill me with a certain wide-eyed glee. To those people who insist you cannot form a real bond with people you haven’t met in real life, I say: Are you going to deny there’s a bond when within 15 minutes of meeting I am complimenting the other person’s tits in all earnest sincerity? Are you really that jaded and soulless? Fine for you, but I’m guessing you’re just not the sort of person whose rack I would WANT to exclaim over, anyway. (And it wouldn’t kill you to go for a professional bra fitting. Just sayin’, Droopy McSquashed.)
I am never worried about meeting someone I’ve come to adore online. I do, however, worry about having the opportunity to evaluate the work of such people, because OHMYGOD what if it’s awful and I have to find a way to not lie but not crush them and how did this amazing person produce such dreck? Up to this point: I have an excellent track record of befriending scary-talented women.
I’m so pleased to tell you all that the excrutiatingly pretty Jennifer Mattern is another brilliant creator who is just as smart and funny as you’d expect.
[Sidebar: The last email exchange before I left went something like the following.
Me: So I will see you tonight! Can’t wait!
Her: Wait, how will we know each other? You’ve seen pictures of me, and also I will be the one twitching.
Me: Here’s a photo of me. I will wear a flower in my lapel. Shit, I don’t have lapels!]
Last night I drove to the Berkshires* to see Jenn’s new play, Like Home. I lived in the Berkshires about a zillion years ago, and I was overcome with nostalgia as the road began to twist and turn and the various declarations along the way became more and more chuckle-inducing.
“Hogback Mountain FUDGE!” Yeah, um, I prefer for my confections not to have any PORK words associated with them. Thanks.
“COLD BEER – HOT COFFEE” Written in letters so large, it’s clear that these two commodities are the only reasons to continue living. And around there, I suppose they are.
“Come sleep with us!” Do I… have to? Can’t we just cuddle?
And my favorite–an entire town with lampost banners sporting little arrows pointing at a gigantic red circle, each one reading “YOU ARE HERE.” What a good use of the taxpayers’ money!
Anyway, after a delightful scenic drive, I arrived in North Adams and drove right past the theatre. Then I circled back around, parked, and WALKED right past the theatre. (You people thought I was kidding about needing a map to drive home. This is just HOW I AM.)
Then I (finally) walked into the theatre and there was Jenn, and her face lit up, and I couldn’t stop grinning, and we hugged, and I immediately tried to put her in my pocket because she is so dear and adorable and I want her with me always. And then we braided each others’ hair, except I don’t have much hair to braid, so instead we just jumped up and down and squealed a lot.
After Jenn introduced me to her husband David, the director, (also a very fabulous person, though he didn’t look like he’d appreciate the level of affection I was lavishing upon his wife) and showed me the space (what a FUN little theatre they have there), we sat down and gossiped for a while. Some people might think that I was selfishly dumping on Jenn about my own issues (it hasn’t been such a great week), but we THEATRE FOLK understand that I was merely distracting her from her jitters. Yes. It was selfless, really.
And then, also, there was the picture-taking and the rack-complimenting, where we made David take pictures and she insisted she wanted my body and I insisted I wanted her boobs and then we had to braid each others’ hair some more.
I wanted to take a picture of Jenn by the article that came out in the paper yesterday about Like Home, so I did. When I checked it on the display, afterwards, I said “You look sort of stunned.” She replied, “Well I AM!” Fair enough!
Then we made David take a picture of us there in the lobby, and then a second one, just in case (although the flash decided not to go off for the second one, so it’s, um, well, it’s a MOOD SHOT! That’s it!).
I defy you to not be jealous of Jenn’s boobs. It’s not possible.
Anyway, our lovefest had to come to an end so that they could, you know, have the play. And here my trepidation kicked in a bit, because what if it was horrible?
Oh, but it wasn’t horrible. Not even a little. I told Jenn afterwards that I thought Like Home was like the love child of Neil Simon and Harold Pinter, and I meant it. (And if you don’t get what that means, you are not a theatre geek.) It was hilarious; it was heart-wrenching; it was transparent in some places and complex and others; it was everything I love in a stage production. I wish I could see it again, as is my wont with really meaty pieces, so that I could get the next deeper layer of it now that I’ve seen it once. But there’s only so much driving I can do in this lifetime, so I will have to wait for it to hit Broadway.
If you live anywhere close enough to get there for this show, MAKE THE TRIP. You won’t be sorry. The production is worth it. (Heck, Jenn’s boobs are worth it. And she totally gave me permission to blog about them.)
* I passed some of my drive time chatting on the phone. When I told Joshilyn that I was on my way to the Berkshires, she ended up chiding me for assuming she would have any idea what the Berkshires are. (The mountains of Western Massachusetts, should you be similarly confused.) She then offered up what I suppose was meant to be an even more egregious geography offense, where someone insisted that Missouri is “in the south.” Joss was chuckling in my ear at that person’s naivete when I said, “Missouri isn’t in the south?” Ahem. Well. At least I’ve heard of the Berkshires.
I am laughing so hard right now, Miss Mir. I can’t even be clever about describing it, I’m just plain laughing. I have never before been described as excruciatingly pretty and I am going to get it tattooed across my Polish rump. And here I just thought I looked glassy-eyed and intoxicated.
My boobs thank you for the great publicity.
Bless your heart for making the trip. Such a joy to meet you…must go do laundry, but more soon.
Ah, yes, her boobs are nice.
Missouri is the mid-west. Not the South.
We drove to North Adams just last weekend (for a big see-a-lot-of-art-we-haven’t-seen-before trek); we were ships passing in the night, Mir. As a Missouri native, I can attest that it is solidly Midwest.
You both look lovely. So young! I had not realized you were such a spring chicken.
Um…I think that southern MO is the upper south…
And I have access to accents and behaviours that would back that up, baybee.
I know her play would be amazing…I’m mad you got to go and I didn’t. Grrrrr
Your boobs are pretty, too.
for a minute i was like jenn? ME? is she talking about me?! lol. well, you weren’t. carry on
Jenn AND Mir – Nice rack! (I’m all about the compliments, sometimes)
Missouri – Midwest, I guess. I thought Ohio was the midwest, too, and Missouri isn’t really near Ohio, is it? (if it is, just humor me and say “no, dork, they aren’t anywhere NEAR each other”) But we are in the Southwest (on the Weather Channel, isn’t that the official word?) and it sure feels like South to me.
Jenn thanks you and her Polish momma thanks you. In fact, her boob gene definitely comes from my side of the family. “When you got it baby, flaunt it!”
So sweet of you to make that long (nostalgic) drive to meet a cyber friend and risk sitting through an unknown artist’s work which may have not been up to your expectations. I’m glad the risk paid off. Your favorable critique eases my own jitters over opening night.
The photos are wonderful – you two could be sisters … er, except for the boobs. At least your glasses match :>)
Thanks again for supporting Jenn! Your own writing is quite amazing and I’ve only had time to skim this blog.
What boobs ;) You guys look like evil grinning twins!
Damned straight Missouri isn’t in the South. They’ve never heard of grits and think that Waffle House is just another IHOP. Nothing north of Virginia nor west of Mississippi is Southern. Sorry. Southern Missouri & Arkansas may have bizarre accents and may intermarry with their kin, but nope – not in the South.
Signed, a disgruntled Georgian.
P.S. I’m married. I’m not allowed to notice, much less comment, on any rack except the one I’m contracted to. But the one I didn’t notice was nice.
Sweet jesus could you two and your boobs be ANY cuter?
Just so you know, I checked out Jenn’s boobs BEFORE I checked out anything else in the pictures. Yes, nice rack Jenn. I have to say though…my rack is pretty nice too…
I think that in each of the 3 pictures, poor Jenn was right in the middle of talking when the picture was snapped. Or maybe she was really just saying “Cheese!” ? No matter – cute pics!
Also, I’d just like to thank you, Mir for the pictures of YOU. I’ve been reading your blog for at least a year now and I’ve only ever caught partial glimpses of you. I like that I can now put a face with your online persona.
My husband grew up in the Berkshires! And I have even been to North Adams before. Although not the theater. Sounds lovely. Wish I could see the play!
As to the whole Missouri thing, I’ll leave it to the experts (of which I decidedly am NOT one).
YOU WENT WITHOUT ME? You drove all that way without me when you knew that I would have been good company and I never get lost and I love Jenn (and her boobs) and Dave and I wanted to go so badly and I don’t drive so I can’t get there and wah wah wah wah wah. YOU MEANIE.
Your kids are right. You ARE the meanest mom in the world. Now I’m gonna sulk. A lot. And I’m not even going to say nice things like “Man, you and Jenn could be sisters you look so much alike.” Nope, not one nice word outta me. So there.
Both of you are adorably cute.
I can’t believe you drove all the way there and didn’t tell me. You know because I make everything about me.
I don’t live all that far from north adams, aren’t you psychic? don’t you know these things? I totally would have been in on the jumping up and down and squealing thing. And I could have worn my smoke and mirrors bra.
Y’all make me want to get a pair of funky little glasses. Because poor eyesight is the new black.
You guys are both extremely cute and I am extremely jealous that I didn’t get to see the play.
Wow, I can totally understand the jumping up and down and squealing because you are both obviously twins separated at birth–congratulations on your reunion at last! And you both look so young–it must be the short do. I’m jealous of your shiny selves.
Ooooh, it had been bothering me for ages, and then the answer finally came to me yesterday when I was reading Us Weekly on the elliptical machine at the gym. Who do you look like? SARAH SILVERMAN. A much prettier, funnier, lovelier version of course.
Jenn’s boobs = 2 Thumbs Up! And, you’re just cute as hell, too.
I’m stomping my feet, which I know is absolutely not good theatre behavior, but I wanna go to the theatre with Mir. You could explain it all to me. ;-)