Tonite I am going to the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood to see the touring company of the Broadway revival of Pippin. I am looking forward to it, I have a great seat, front row mezzanine which is perfect at that venue. It’s going to be a great evening and I am happily anticipating every aspect of it.
Except that I am going alone.
I hasten to add that I am fine with that. I go and have gone many places alone. I travel alone. I enjoy being alone (as I think we’ve established in several other posts). This is a little different though. I got this ticket several weeks ago in an angry hissy fit about the unfairness of life and the need to rely solely on myself for everything.
Might I add “rely on myself for everything, DAMMIT!!”
Today I am laughing, but I wasn’t in that moment. I had just had the horrible realization that the Hollywood Bowl Season had ended and I had seen exactly zero shows. I have been going to the Hollywood Bowl every summer for as long as I can remember, seen innumerable shows there, had more fun than anything, drank more wine, ate more food, danced more dances….can I just say that it’s my happy place? I even scattered some of Tom’s ashes there, we loved it so. And here was a summer gone with no shows, all because my friend Eric did not get me tickets like he has for the last few years since Tom died. All Eric’s fault I tell you, what the hell? HE probably went a lot of times too and just didn’t invite me….
Right. That , actually far worse than that, was where my head was the night that I ordered the Pippin ticket for myself. I felt alone, and angry and full of needing to blame someone else, which caused me to extrapolate out that no one would even want to go with me to see Pippin anyway, so why even bother asking anyone? Why even waste my time? And, as a matter of fact, why do I even bother with anyone anyway? No one really cares about me but goddammit I want to see Pippin and so I will go online and get one great ticket (for a ridiculous amount of money) and by god I will SEE THAT SHOW AND LOVE IT!!!
That my friends, is an example of what kind of insane thinking I am capable of. And exactly what I do not want to do anymore, actually, rarely do, but OH! I was in it that night.
BTW…the whole hissy fit, from start to finish, lasted maybe 15 minutes. From first recognition of no Hollywood Bowl through buying the ticket. Right after buying the ticket and printing it out I began to laugh and laugh, and laugh some more.
Really Michele? REALLY?? I had one summer without the Bowl (my fault entirely mind you, entertaining me is not Eric’s job!) and that leads me to everyone hates me I might as well die ( or eat worms and die, something like that).
The good news here is that I recognize that it is my responsibility to ask for what I want, and I know a zillion people who would have gone to the Bowl with me HAD I ASKED. (I called Eric and asked what happened; he was having his own issues, certainly nothing to do with me). I could have found friends to go to see Pippin with me too (well hooked into musical nerdom am I) and 15 minutes……nothing! This, in the past, would have been good for a couple months! I’m actually having a hard time writing about it right now because of the recognized absurdity of the whole thing.
But it’s a lesson, as all things are. It speaks to my ego, my self-centeredness, my inability to take responsibility for my own needs sometimes . It also speaks to the fact that going to see a musical without Tom is hard for me, and that’s ok, but in my rant I had the thought that I couldn’t tell them that fact because who would get that? And the truth is that I am blessed with incredible friends who ALL would get that, if I would just say it.
And the 15 minutes, the swiftness of the outburst, speaks to my sobriety, my acknowledgement of the truth in a situation, my knowing that next year I will make better choices, hell, I’ve made a bunch of better choices every day since this actually happened (sometime in late September). I have re-found my ability to laugh at myself in the last few years, and this was a good acknowledgment of that. And guess what? A reminder that I don’t get to go into someone else’s head and imagine what they think or feel, that I get to ask, and oh my! that is so much easier!
And tonight I get to go and see the show, by myself. I get a chance to re-write a lot of stories I hold in my head about how much I can enjoy something on my own, or, more specifically, a musical without Tom. It will be a new experience, seeing a big musical by myself, and new experiences are good and useful for acceptance and growth. Taking it back, taking it all back!
And there is also this….before the show I will go to yoga and be in community there. And then my group of “poker girls” are going out to lunch, and I will be with women I love. I will end the day in a dark theatre with a great show, by myself. And I will remember many a musical there with MY musical theatre nerd and I will enjoy the hell out of the show and my ability to do things on my own, but never, ever alone.
We’ve got magic to do…….. Just for you
We’ve got miracle plays to play
We’ve got parts to perform…. Hearts to warm
Kings and things to take by storm
As we go along our way
ADDENDA: I was ready to push “publish” when I thought maybe I could find a funny picture. Scrolling through images that I googled I stopped on one nice image of Pippin, and as I looked I got a bigger image of pictures surrounding it. I’ve talked about my “winks” before…I am going to show you one…..
There is the Pippin image, and right up at the top , for absolutely NO reason I can imagine there is a blurb for “The coalition to prevent deep vein thrombosis”, which is what I believe actually killed Tom. And after he died I found a piece of paper with a poem on it, the jist of it being what it says in that little green quote from wicked…” It’s time to trust my instinct, close my eyes and leap”. And just out of frame there is a little picture of the title Seussical, the Musical, which Tom actually wrote additional material for when Cathy Rigby performed it on tour.
Yes sir. Never alone. Magical.