Friday, December 13, 2013

In Which Working With a Bunch of Cute Young Actors Prompts an Inner Monologue About Love and Other Hard Things (Get your minds out of the gutter, people. Honestly.)

They are so confident! So talented! And so very, very young.

Working with a student theatre company, with a bunch of fit, pretty things at the beginning of their careers, is both exciting and depressing. On one hand I can look at these fledgeling actors and honestly say to myself that I am so so glad to be in my very late thirties, even though in many ways my life is more full of drama and weirdness now than it ever was when I was 21. Little did I know, back then. Last night I had dinner with the director, who is an old friend, and we got the giggles all through dinner because we were changing the lyrics of this one song in the show and I was filled with utter joy. Not only because silly out-of-control giggling is very good for the soul, but because I could look at this moment and see all the years of work and life and friendship that had brought me to this moment
(as well as many times of sadness and self-doubt and unemployment) and for once I Got It. I was truly happy to be right here, right now.

You know what else is exciting-or depressing? Secretly drooling over some hot young guy who's in this show and realizing dude, you've probably got 15 years on him. Give it UP. All of a sudden I'm this dirty old lady.

I'm in a weird place right now with love. Just all over the map.
When I was in Hawaii I was very aware of being alone- as I would be, considering that I was in a tropical paradise filled with lovers and families. The very kooky lady I was staying with was 61, looked 10 years younger, and was having relationship troubles which we talked about quite a bit. I was at the bar with her one night just gazing at all these butterfly women in their fifties and sixties. Makeup, short little dresses, dancing to the band. And on one hand, how awesome! These ladies are anything BUT what you would predict a lady in her sixties would be. They were waaaay more glamorous than me, with my flyaway hair, my freckles and minimal makeup. (And don't think that relative youth gave me any advantages, folks. If anyone was checking me out I certainly wasn't aware of it.) But on the other hand I thought I don't want to be playing this game at their age. Fluttering from one date to the next, worrying about ending up alone. (And in Hawaii ending up alone means you have to kill All The Centipedes. Which is a very fine reason to hook up, if you ask me.)
I checked out this blog today and she's giving advice on staying in a marriage. I happen to think it's very good advice, and not only for marriages but for many long-term commitments. Basically she says: The Sikhs say that marriage is the closest we get to God. It's a spiritual journey. And if you look at it that way- as a spiritual quest, if you like- then maybe, just maybe, it'll be possible to stick with it, not to look for something shinier, sexier, newer. 
I couldn't agree more, actually. Even though- and maybe BECAUSE- I've been distracted by the shiny stuff in the last few years. I had some really good things going, and I let them go because I'm sort of like that dog in "Up", the one who means well but just has to yell "Squirrel!!!" in the middle of a sentence because hey, it's a damn squirrel! Nothing's better than a squirrel! Until the next one, that is.
So maybe- just maybe- my spiritual quest is to figure out what the hell I want right now before I inflict myself on anyone else. Right now I'm mostly pretty happy living in my head... which is SO funny considering I'm in a production of "Zorba"in which the whole message of the play is: Get out of your head! Grasp Life by the balls! Live big! But you know what? Zorba's 60-something and he's alone. And every year it gets harder for him to have a woman. So...
So yeah, I'm going to work on continuing to be happy, right here right now, which is a feeling I kind of landed in around September and am still constantly appreciating, every day. I'm going to think a lot about my particular paradox, which is that I'm not the type of person who's made for short random hook-ups, but I can't settle down quite yet. And I'm going to keep staring at the gorgeous young actor I have a total crush on and be both sad and relieved that I will never even cross his mind.

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