Thursday, March 07, 2013
A quasi-local community theater is holding auditions for a summer production of The Wizard of Oz, and I'm suddenly seized by the desire to go down and try out. This is ridiculous all the way around -- I haven't auditioned for a show or acted in one since my senior year of college, and I've never prepared a song for audition, not to mention we have two weddings and a baptism in the key months. And Darwin says, "You don't really want to be a flying monkey all summer, do you?" Well, no, not exactly, but...
I think this is probably my version of the mid-life crisis. Several months ago, after we'd seen The Avengers, I realized: I will never be Scarlett Johansson. I will never play the girl next door, or an ingenue, or a superhero in a fitted suit. I'll never be America's Sweetheart. I don't look 18, or even 29. I have too much gray hair (far more than most 34-year-olds, even if everyone else didn't already dye their hair) to pass for Juliet or Desdemona.
And of course, I'm happy. I don't have a hard life, as I remind myself with clenched teeth while I'm bathing fighting children or washing out some boy's poopy underwear. I do have a real life, but it's easy to forget that when I'm off in fantasies about what could happen, dreams of achievements or honors without the hard work, diligence, and trials that necessarily attend those things. My head is full of half-written novels or glorious martyrdoms, none of which seem to correspond with my actual half-written novel and actual mundane opportunities to die to self every day. An overactive imagination doesn't turn out to be a substitute for just doing the grunt work.
Of course, it's a lot easier to keep chanting, "There's no place like home," when you've already got your ruby slippers.