I have been on a Rent kick this week. The first time I saw it was actually not on Broadway. It was a traveling production and I heard a radio ad for the show. I got this very strong sense that if I went to the place and tried for those front row tickets that I would win them (for those who don't know, the first two rows of Rent performances are set aside to be sold cheaply at last minute on a lottery system. The point is to give everyone a chance to see the show regardless of financial situation). I asked a friend if he would come and take the second ticket and he wouldn't believe me when I kept telling him that I had a feeling I would win. He told me to call him if I got the tickets and he would drive over. Needless to say, he ate crow that night and enjoyed Rent from the front row. And Tom Collins accidentally sprayed me mid-song. It was wonderful.
A little while later, I was in NY and I had the same bout of intuition. I asked my friend if she wanted to go see Rent and she hemmed and hawed about buying Broadway tickets and I told her that I would win us the ones in the front row. She said she had tried for them dozens of times and had never won. But, of course, we won that day.
I went back and saw Rent like this five more times. Each time, I felt absolutely positive that I would win the tickets and each time I did. Then one day we went up to NY specifically to see Rent and to hang out in the city with my friend's cousins. And I knew in my heart that I wasn't going to win the tickets. I could feel it though my friend kept laughing it off, saying, "you always win the tickets." Of course, we didn't win and I was so crushed because it felt like this little candle that had been burning (would you light my candle?) had been snuffed out. I never got that feeling again and I never won them again. And now the show will be gone. It makes me so incredibly sad.
I am trying to convince Josh that we need to see it one last time (though we will have to buy tickets. I just know that I will not win them). Part of me wonders if I stopped winning the tickets because I got too old and crotchety. At first, when I was winning them, I was just out of grad school, poor, idealistic. Now I'm listening to the soundtrack and saying to Josh, "why should they get out of paying restaurant bills?"
What is the saying? If you're under 30 and you're not a Democrat, you have no heart and if you're over 30 and you're not a Republican, you have no head.
I am still firmly an open-minded Democrat, but damn, pay for your cup of tea, Mark.
Why the Rent kick? Because I am going to a wedding and I was thinking about a wedding I went to many years ago with a Rent theme. Which was...a little strange, no? Mostly because all of the songs they played were not the ones about love but the ones about the impermanence of life. Not very wedding but they loved the show and that's what they wanted AND they paid for their wedding instead of trashing the hall and screaming, "we're not going to pay!" But it was a little disconcerting to sit at the Mimi Table complete with handcuffs and a whip as the centerpiece (is she joking? Is she not joking?).
All weddings remind me of that wedding because it's hard to forget a Rent-themed wedding. And while all wedding are--at their core--about love, this particular wedding that I'm about to go to is about Love. It's about absolute true love and it's an amazing story of twists and turns and two coasts and pure, undeniable love. It's one of those weddings where all of the guests are just as happy as the couple--isn't that rare? So, even though the groom has been a member of my family for years (at least in our hearts if not on paper), this weekend, I get a new brother. And we are figuratively turning cartwheels even if I don't have the coordination to do them in actuality.
The wedding is also why I seem to have forgotten Mother's Day. I would read a post and think, "oh! Wait! Mother's Day is coming up." And then I'd switch back to my to-do list about shaving through the leg forest (completed this morning--the legs are nude) and getting a pedicure and buying wedding cards and forget. And when it comes down to it, I don't really know what to say about the holiday. It's such a strange beast.
And it is simply easier to return to talking about love than unpack the complex feelings I have about this holiday. What was the best wedding/commitment ceremony you've ever been to? Obviously, if you are married, you probably have strong feelings (or not?) about your own ceremony and if you are not married or can't get married, you may have some strong feelings (or not?) about weddings in general, but what was the best wedding/commitment ceremony you've ever attended or heard about? Best is however you wish to define it--happiest, craziest, most unforgettable. I have another wedding story beyond the Rent one, but I'll share it in the comments section below since this post is getting too damn long. And if weddings are not your forte but you have a damn fine graduation ceremony story or a Bat Mitzvah that rocked the bimah, I'll take that too.
So now, the blogs...
Gabrielle's coverage on Fertility Notes of the death of Eight Belles brought me to tears. There was not only the infinite sadness in the loss of the horse, but the analogy she drew moved me too: "Isn’t it crazy how so many emotions can occupy and be caused by one single point in time? I think a lot of women who are trying to conceive are familiar with this polar tug. There always seems to be a friend or a family member who is pregnant, right when you should have been. There is always a child who is just about the same age of your child if only…." I especially loved her end thought about the contrast of celebration and grief. This post was brilliant.
Bri at Unwellness has a post called "Happy. Weird." She begins, "It has been hard for me to write lately. I know everyone has one of these obligatory posts, apologizing, as it were, for success and happiness. Once an Infertile always an Infertile and all that, but not really, right? I mean, surely you think of me as I think of me, judging and ranking." She goes on to explain why she writes the complaints--because we do a disservice to each other when we paint parenthood as all sunshine and roses. But also why she doesn't write more of the happiness--because she doesn't want to gloat. Because it's a fine line: what is talking about that happiness and what is "admitting that I am happy and seeming to not remember what it is like to be without the thing you want most." I loved this post because it was so honest and smart and raw. Personally, I want to hear the bad AND the good. Only hearing the bad doesn't give a realistic view and only hearing the good isn't helpful either. The middle is a nice place to be.
517Butterfly at A New Kind of Normal has a post that brought me to tears. Very brief, very moving. Click over and just sit with it for a moment.
Lastly, Sharah at Outlandish Notions has a post about living child-free. It is the most gorgeous analogy and I love this part: "More time passes, and memories grower paler and the pain grows duller and then one day you wake up and it hits you: you are happy. Not just faking it, not just the absence of pain, but true and real joy in the life you have instead of longing for a life that might have been. And that is a wonderful day." Did I love it because it's the happy ending or because peace is good? I don't know. But it's a post that fills me with hope about a plethora of situations.
Roundup to the Roundup: tell me your greatest ceremony story (one you attended or one you merely heard about--since mine is a "heard about" but damn, I wish I had been there) and drag at least three bloggers to the NaComLeavMo list. "Give me your commentless, your feedback whore, your thoughtful writers struggling for affirmation; send these, the casual journaler, to me; I hit my ctrl-v and place them on the list." Even if I may be a bit slow this weekend. You know...wedding stuff.